Why and How to Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar Into Your Diet
Let’s ask the most obvious question first: what is apple cider vinegar (ACV) and why should anyone drink it? Drinking vinegar is not exactly the most appetizing thing to ingest. I honestly still haven’t quite gotten used to it. However, there is a right and wrong way to have that shot of ACV. Let’s start with what it is and the benefits of drinking it.
WHAT IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
ACV is fermented juice from apples. This means that yeast is used to digest the sugars in the apples and then turns it into alcohol. Then a bacteria is used to turn the alcohol into acetic acid (McDonald, 2018). That is called fermentation! That’s probably a bit more information than needed, but there it is! Good news is that it contains many vitamins including vitamin b1, b2, b6, vitamin c, biotin, folic acid, and plant-based antioxidants (polyphenols). This relationship between the yeast and the bacteria is called the “mother” which is what you see floating around in your ACV.
Now let’s get to the really important stuff…
The probiotics, acetic acid, and all the nutrients found in ACV make it an incredibly healthy component to add in everyone's diet. Let’s run down a list of benefits:
1. Helps Controls Blood Sugar
Though it can not cure your diabetes, it can certainly help with those blood sugar levels. A study was conducted where participants were given a meal that included a bagel, butter, and orange juice. Following the meal, they were given either 20 grams of ACV or a placebo. After checking their blood glucose levels 30 – 60 minutes afterwards, they concluded that ACV helped lower blood glucose levels after the meal. This is important to consider because it leads to fewer cravings, fewer sugar binges, and fewer energy crashes.
If you are taking diabetes medication, please talk to you doctor about ACV before incorporating it into your lifestyle.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
It is safe to say, that most American’s want to lose weight to some degree. There are many reasons ACV is associated with weight loss. One is listed above where it reduces sugar cravings. It is also known to decrease an individual’s appetite.
But drinking ACV should not be your entire weight-loss plan! Studies that have been conducted in the past linking ACV with weight-loss are where the subjects were involved in a calorie restricted diet and regular exercise. The biggest piece of information here is that it helps with appetite aiding in the prevention of over-eating.
3. Gut Health
ACV has many different properties including the following: antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and pre and probiotic characteristics. Researchers took tainted lettuce and treated it with either vinegar or lemon juice or used both. The result was a decrease in the growth of Salmonella. With all the lettuce scares we’ve had the last few years; it wouldn’t hurt to start using ACV as a salad dressing just to cover your basis and give yourself a better chance of not contracting a horrible bout of diarrhea.
When it comes to gut health, it is also recommended to have a small amount of ACV before you eat to stimulate the production of digestive juices. This is important for breaking down large chunks of food and helps food move along smoothly which may help prevent bloating and consitpation.
4. Restores Our Body’s Alkaline Acid Balance
Even though ACV is an acid, technically, it has alkaline properties. Why is this important? Because as Americans, we typically ingest a lot of acid through the foods that we eat. Why is this bad?
Because when your pH balance is high on the acid side of the spectrum, the result is the following: lack of energy, infections, anxiety, irritability, headaches, excessive mucous production, sore throats, allergic reactions, sinus congestion, and even an increase in the risk of arthritis and gout.
This should be reason enough to have a daily dose of ACV. If you experience many of the above problems, it wouldn’t hurt to try ACV for a few weeks and see what happens.
Please know when to contact a doctor for additional guidance.
HOW TO DRINK IT
DO NOT TAKE IT AS A SHOT! This has been the practice for many decades. In fact, you may have heard about your grandmother or great grandmother taking it like a shot. However, this method not only erodes tooth enamel, but it can also burn the lining of your esophagus. NOT recommended.
Put two tablespoons of ACV in water is the most basic way to incorporate ACV, but there is certainly still a strong vinegar taste. If you are not a huge fan of that, I personally use V8 juice to really mask that taste. There is still a vinegar taste, but it is much milder. Other than that, you may be able to use any beverage of your choice to attempt to mask that vinegar flavor.
In the last few years, multiple companies have also come out with ACV gummies. These certainly have mixed reviews when it comes to providing the above health benefits, but it simply depends on the person. Personally speaking, I did not notice the benefits of the ACV gummies after giving them a go. So I just went back to drinking good ole ACV. My favorite brand is the Bragg’s brand that has a cleanser formula which includes honey, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. And it actually tastes pretty good! In fact, I think it tastes better than regular ACV.
There are many ACV products available at your local grocery store as well. There are many different salad dressings and even bottled beverages. You can make your own salad dressing by looking up ACV salad dressing recipes. For the quickest dressing just mix ACV with some olive oil.
You can even add 1 – 2 tablespoons of ACV in your smoothie. This would be the most beneficial in terms of really masking that vinegar taste.
I hope you enjoyed this blog, and I would love to hear about your recipes or how you prefer taking your daily shot of ACV.
Take care of yourself and be kind to others!
Leffler. (2021). Ways Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Lose Weight, Say Dietitians. Retrieved from https://www.eatthis.com/apple-cider-vinegar-weight-loss/
McDonald. (2018). Debunking the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Retrieved from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/health-and-wellness-articles/debunking-the-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar
Mishra. (2017). Stud About the Nutritional and Medicinal Properties of Apple Cider Vinegar Info Abstract. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322953260_STUDY_ABOUT_THE_NUTRITIONAL_AND_MEDICINAL_PROPERTIES_OF_APPLE_CIDER_VINEGAR_ARTICLE_INFO_ABSTRACT/link/5a7992d5aca2722e4df382ea/download
Wilson. (2019). Apple Cider Vinegar for Candida. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/apple-cider-vinegar-candida#_noHeaderPrefixedContent