Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has become the most popular type of vinegar in the natural health community, and for good reason. Apple cider vinegar is claimed to deliver many benefits to people who use it, and there is significant scientific research to support and back up these claims. At Stellar Health & Wellness, we are strong advocates of using real foods to develop optimal health. Following are four benefits of adding apple cider vinegar to your diet. Really! We’ve seen this stuff work.
Before we get started, we need to note that these benefits only apply if you buy an apple cider vinegar with the mother. Going for the cheap stuff that is a nice clear amber color won’t do. You want your ACV to appear cloudy. The mother is a colony of good bacteria which takes the alcohol produced by fermenting apples and turns it into acetic acid (vinegar). This bacteria is the source of many of these unique benefits. Good apple cider vinegar is alive.
Improve Gastric Reflux
For anyone suffering from acid reflux, which is frequently caused by not having enough acid in the stomach (I know right!?), consuming 1-2 tablespoons of ACV with each meal can be a real help. It might sound counter intuitive to take something acidic to help with an acid problem. However, the root cause of acid reflux is usually not due to high quantities of acid, its due to acid not staying where it belongs, in the stomach. By adding more acid we stimulate that sphincter (say what!?) to close and prevent it from coming up where it doesn’t belong. We really shouldn’t be surprised that acid can help to treat problems with acid.
Improved Bowel Regularity
Some of our clients who suffer from constipation have benefited from apple cider vinegar. This may be for one of two reasons (or possibly both):
ACV contains large quantities of pectin, which is a soluble dietary fiber. A lack of fiber is one of the most common cause of constipation.
The acidity of the vinegar stimulates the movement of the gut as it enters the small intestine. The fancy term, peristalsis, ends with you pooping. Yay!
Improved Ability to Fight Illness
Organic, cold-compressed apple cider vinegar contains a mother, which we talked about earlier. It is a colony of good bacteria that helps to repopulate the good guys and crowd out the bad guys to improve your overall immune function. It is well-documented that over 70% of our immune function comes from healthy gut bugs. ACV also helps provide the proper pH in the gut for these good bugs to thrive and keep you healthy.
Many people drink ACV when they have a cold not just for their immune system, but for dealing with symptoms. The acid in the vinegar helps to thin out the mucus which builds up in your throat. As the mucus thins out, it makes it easier for the body to remove it from your respiratory system.
Increased Nutrient Absorption
Another benefit which ACV can deliver is the increased ability of your body to absorb proteins, minerals and other nutrients from your food. Your stomach is designed to create acid for this purpose. Over time, stressful lifestyles and poor diets down-regulate our body’s ability to make the stuff on its own.
Taking 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 mL) of apple cider vinegar per day can be extremely helpful toward your overall health. Think of all the things you could accomplish if your health were in a better place! It certainly makes sense to give it a try.