Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and How to Use It
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Apple Cider Vinegar (also known as ACV) packs one heck of a punch! Not only in flavor and ways to use it, but in its powerful health benefits, including weight loss and fat metabolism, lowering of blood sugar levels, heart health, and much more.
So… it’s time to pull out that strange murky bottle from the back of your cupboard and find out what you’ve been missing.
How apple cider vinegar is made:
ACV is made in two steps:
- Crushed apples are combined with yeast and fermented to turn their sugar into alcohol.
- Bacteria is added, turning the alcohol into acetic acid (the main active compound in ACV).
Apple cider vinegar science-backed benefits:
- Assists weight loss and fat metabolism, by increasing fat metabolism (breakdown) and suppressing appetite — great for high-fat diets such as keto.
- Supports heart health. Studies show it can increase the HDL (“good’) cholesterol and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, in addition to lowering triglycerides and blood pressure.
There are many other touted health benefits of ACV including improved digestion, hair, skin, and nails, as well as increasing overall energy; Unfortunately, many of these claims have yet to be supported by science. However, keep in mind that lack of research doesn’t necessarily determine untruth. Moderate amounts of ACV appear to support weight loss and good health so don’t be afraid to try it for yourself.
What to look for when buying Apple Cider Vinegar:
Top quality is the gold standard when purchasing ACV. Keywords to look for on a food label are “organic”, “unfiltered”, “raw”, and “unpasteurized”. Look for ACV that comes with “the mother”, which is the cobweb-like structure that gives the murky appearance in the liquid. “The mother” consists of living nutrients and good bacteria supporting immune function and gut health… aim for murky, avoid the clear.
Brands we love:
- BRAGG Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- Vitacost Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother
- EDEN Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Trader Joe’s Organic Pasteurized Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
How to incorporate ACV into your diet:
- Do not take ACV directly, as it is very acidic. Dilute with 8-12 ounces of water before meals and try adding lemon juice and stevia to help balance the flavor.
- Start with small doses of just one teaspoon at a time to determine tolerance and avoid potential side-effects of indigestion and throat burn. For weight loss benefits, aim for one to two tablespoons per day if tolerated.
- Incorporate ACV into foods, such as dressings and homemade mayonnaise. You can also use it for pickling vegetables.
The takeaway on apple cider vinegar:
Incorporating moderate doses of ACV into your diet appears to offer multiple health benefits including weight loss and health. Don’t be afraid of the murky liquid… it packs quite a healthy punch!