Apple cider vinegar has several health benefits that include helping with digestion, acid reflux, heartburn, weight loss, cravings, diabetes, and detoxing. Here are the health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar and how to use it.
1. Detox Your Body and Balance Acidity
Apple cider vinegar detoxifies the body because it helps with lymphatic drainage and excreting waste (aka, having bowel movements). Despite feeling and tasting acidic, it actually makes your body more alkaline. The body’s pH should be roughly around 7.35. Too much soda, sugar, processed foods, animal proteins, coffee, alcohol and not enough fruits and vegetables promote body acidity. This has been linked to overgrowth of bacteria, yeast, and fungus, as well as other conditions like diabetes, cancers, and chronic fatigue. When too acidic, your body will draw important minerals like calcium and magnesium from the bones to neutralize the acid, leading to mineral deficiencies and bone thinning. Raw apple cider vinegar consumed on regular basis helps lower the damage of acid-promoting foods.
2. Reduce Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Apple cider vinegar can help reduce acid reflux and heartburn. One of the theories why people develop heartburn is the lack of stomach acid, not its excess. I talked about this previously in this post on heartburn. In general, when you don’t have enough acid, you can’t digest food properly. Food remains stuck in the stomach longer, gets fermented by stomach bacteria, causing distention and pushing the the stomach content up where it can irritate the esophagus. Raw apple cider vinegar’s ability to improve digestion will prevent some of the fermentation that happens in the stomach.
Acid reflux and heartburn can also be a result of bacteria overgrowth that went unchecked. Raw apple cider vinegar is a natural antimicrobial that helps fight pathogens in the gut.
3. Improve Digestion
Adequate stomach acid is necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. This is particularly true for amino acids, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, chromium, selenium, and boron. Without stomach acid, these nutrients may become deficient. Improper digestion, due to inadequate stomach acid, can cause gas, bloating, and constipation.
Drinking 3-4 ounces of water mixed with a 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar 15-20 minutes prior to meals stimulates digestive juices. This improves nutrient absorption and reduces digestive complaints.
4. Balances Blood Sugar and Improves Diabetes
Research showed that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can balance blood sugar and improve diabetes. Acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, inhibits the activity of several carbohydrate digesting-enzymes. When apple cider vinegar is present in the intestines, some sugars and starches temporarily pass through without being digested, therefore having less effect on blood sugar.
5. Supports Weight Loss and Boosts Metabolism
Apple cider vinegar also aids in weight loss because it reduces sugar cravings and improves detoxification. The acetic acid helps suppress appetite, boosts metabolism, and reduces water retention. It helps with protein digestion, and protein is an important component in any weight loss plan. Since apple cider vinegar interferes with the body’s digestion of starch, fewer calories from carbs are available to the body.
Watch this video for a summary of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and how to use it!
Which Apple Cider Vinegar to Buy?
Make sure that the apple cider vinegar you purchase is organic, raw, unpasteurized, and with the “mother.” This is the cloudy substance at the bottom of the bottle. These are strands of proteins, enzymes, and good bacteria beneficial to gut health, so make sure you don’t buy the filtered ones!
There many different brands. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is a popular one, but others can do the job just as well.
How to use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Because apple cider vinegar feels acidic, avoid ingesting it concentrated. Mix 1-2 teaspoons with 3-4 ounces of water in the morning, before meals, or in the afternoon. If you can’t drink it with water, mix with 3-4 ounces of juice.
Here are some ways to incorporate it in your meals.
- Add to salads. Make your own detox-boosting anti-inflammatory salad dressing with raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, black pepper, and some sea salt.
- Add apple cider vinegar to meats to tenderize them.
- Add a few drops to raw carrots and broccoli. Place them in a Tupperware and have them later for a snack. This is a great option if you can’t tolerate raw vegetables.
- Substitute for dry white wine when cooking. Use a 50-50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water.