The health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar
By Amy Crawford
Do you have any extra-ordinary daily healthy habits (i.e. not including cleaning your teeth for example) that have become so ingrained in your lifestyle that you do them without needing to consciously think about it? I've got a couple that come to mind. One is my morning walk with Wilson. I wake up, put my walking gear on, grab Wilson and his lead and go, without ever deliberating or asking myself the question whether I should; it just happens. The second is my daily apple cider vinegar (ACV) habit, which actually happens as soon as I get up, prior to my walk with Wilson. Up I get, put the kettle on, grab a glass, squeeze half a lemon and add about a dessert spoon of ACV, topping with half cold filtered water/half boiling water. I scull it and walk out the door, every single day.
Until recently there was a not-so-healthy daily habit (which formed a little too quickly too) - that was the 'dark chocolate after dinner every night habit'. Please note, I'm by no means implying dark choc is unhealthy however I do support everything in moderation and I wasn't eating just one square a day.. I also believe my cacao intolerance developed as a result of that daily habit. I digress. Back to ACV.
Diluted raw ACV is a tonic that has been used throughout history to treat a range of health ailments and offers an impressive range of health benefits. Here we discuss why drinking apple cider vinegar on a daily basis can improve your health.
What are the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
- ACV is rich in potassium. This mineral is key for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity etc. It also helps to prevent brittle teeth and hair loss.
- ACV is rich in acetic acid. This acid is said to slow the digestion of starch which can help to reduce the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals. When taken regularly with each meal, ACV can assist with indigestion and gastrointestinal discomfort and the reflux that is associated with eating certain foods.
- ACV is rich in malic acid which gives it its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. The acids in apple cider vinegar prove helpful in detoxification in that they bind to toxins in the blood and help the body eliminate them more effectively. Furthermore, the antiseptic qualities of ACV cleanse the digestive tract, clearing congestion, blemishes and acne
- Rich in ash which gives ACV its alkaline property. This aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state (particularly important if you drink a lot of coffee or wine.) It can help regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
- May help improve bowel irregularity and helps to remove toxins from the body at a faster rate. It can help clear up skin conditions and blemishes.
- ACV helps with weight loss by breaking down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them.
Recently I reviewed an article by Chinese medicine practitioner and author Dr Mao, who states: "Traditionally apple cider vinegar is used to remedy digestive distress, aid in detoxification, and to reduce intestinal bloating. Mix one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with 12 ounces of warm water and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach. The acetic and butyric acids promote gastrointestinal health by balancing your pH and encouraging friendly bacterial growth".
Which brands and where to find it?
It is important to note that in order to obtain these benefits you should be drinking raw organic apple cider, that has the 'mother' of the vinegar included. The ‘mother’ is made up of strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules with living nutrients and bacteria, similar to the ‘mother’ in Kombucha. Clear vinegars have been processed and don't offer the benefits of raw ACV.
There are a few great brands available, but I use Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. You will be able to find a great product at your local health food store or organic market.
Apple cider vinegar also has many applications around the home, I am told it is a great disinfectant in place of cleaning products, and many people use it in their hair with shiny results. How do you use ACV? And please feel free to share any habitual healthy habits whilst you're at it!