You may well have heard the claims made of this ‘superfood’, but what exactly is so special about apple cider vinegar and could this golden elixir hold the key to better health?
Firstly, what actually is this much-talked-about top pantry pick? Vinegar is made in a two-step process. The first step exposes crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol. In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid – the main active compound in vinegar. Raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (this is the stuff you want!) also contains ‘the mother’ – strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance. This cloudy appearance signifies that the vinegar still contains the active components. Pasteurisation is thought to destroy these components and therefore the health-enhancing properties of the vinegar.
Raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurised apple cider vinegar (or ‘ACV’ for short) is one of the oldest and most useful remedies on Earth. It contains a wealth of raw enzymes and beneficial bacteria, which are responsible for the majority of its health benefits. Read on to discover the benefits of adding a little daily apple cider vinegar into your life…
Eases Digestive Ailments
ACV is very effective when it comes to a variety of digestive disorders as it stimulates digestive juices that help the body breakdown food. It can help indigestion, bloating, gas and heartburn. In fact, experts say that taking just a teaspoon of ACV with a glass of water will bring relief from heartburn or upset stomachs. If a bacterial infection is at the root of your bowel issues, apple cider vinegar could help contain the problem, thanks to its antibiotic properties.
Helps the Body Maintain a Healthy Alkaline pH Level
Most of us tend to be more acidic than alkaline. As the acid-alkaline balance is essential, with so many bodily functions occurring only at a certain pH level, the body is constantly striving to achieve a state of equilibrium. Just a small change in pH can have a profound effect on body functioning. While you might think that raw organic ACV is acidic, when consumed, it actually becomes alkaline. Acid-forming foods include things like processed foods, alcohol, sugar and other simple carbohydrates. Keeping your body more alkaline will naturally help keep your energy levels up and make you better equipped to fight off illness and disease.
Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
There is scientific evidence that ACV may help lower blood pressure, which in turn lessens the risk of heart disease. ACV contains potassium, known to help balance the body’s sodium levels and maintain optimal blood pressure. Furthermore, it contains magnesium, which helps to relax blood vessel walls and ultimately lower blood pressure.
Improves Heart Health
In addition to lowering blood pressure, which lessens the risk of heart disease, drinking ACV can help increase HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol. ACV is also believed to contain the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been scientifically shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidised, a key step in the process of heart disease.
Promotes Healthy Detoxification of the Liver and Other Organs
In the process of helping to balance the body’s pH, ACV works to help detoxify the body. Research has found that it specifically helps detox the liver and can help stimulate circulation. ACV boasts a variety of healing processes for the skin and blood, helping to remove harmful environmental toxins that build up in the body, especially in the liver. It helps to flush it out and improve the natural blood filtration process while boosting energy levels.
Eliminates Candida Overgrowth
As ACV is rich in natural enzymes, consuming it can help eliminate candida in the body. Candida has been blamed for many different health issues, including poor memory, fatigue, headaches, depression, sugar cravings and yeast infections. While it’s a naturally occurring yeast, it can quickly grow out of control if the body becomes too acidic from eating too many processed foods or too much sugar, or if good bacteria is killed off from antibiotic use. ACV is fermented with a beneficial yeast that serves as a prebiotic for healthy bacteria in the gut. This essentially helps good bacteria grow while eliminating those harmful foods that feed detrimental yeasts like candida.
Soothes Sore Throats
When you feel the niggle of a sore throat coming on, employ germ-busting apple cider vinegar. Most germs cannot survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates, so mix a quarter of a cup of ACV with a quarter of a cup of warm water and gargle every hour until symptoms begin to alleviate.
Can Help to Prevent Osteoporosis
ACV aids in the nutrient absorption of calcium, an essential mineral for preventing osteoporosis, it’s one of the best tools you can use to reduce your risk. By drinking it along with each meal, it will help to ensure proper calcium absorption to strengthen your bones.
Be aware that apple cider vinegar should not be consumed undiluted, as it can burn the oesophagus. Instead, mix one tablespoon with 8 ounces of warm (boiled and cooled) water. A little lemon juice or raw honey can be added to improve taste if desired!