A- Z Health Tips - A - Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has been a well known health tonic for centuries. Hippocrates himself was a great believer often prescribing it for cleaning wounds and clearing coughs. It has had a recent upsurgance in popularity and its uses range from improving skin conditions such as acne to boosting gut health, but what is is??
What is it??
ACV is a type of vinegar made from apple cider that has undergone fermentation to form health promoting probiotics and enzymes. Unrefined vinegars have a murky, brownish appearance and typically still contain The Mother culture which is rich in these healthy bacteria, enzymes and acetic acid. Clear and pasteurized vinegars typically do not contain the mother culture and don’t carry the same benefits.
5 Potential Health Benefits
1. Lowering Blood Sugar Levels – one of the most researched benefits of ACV is its ability to help maintain blood sugar levels. Taking one or two tbsp of ACV in water before meals can reduce blood sugar spikes by up to 50 per cent. It may also increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the blood to the tissues where it can be used as fuel. Sustaining high levels of insulin can cause insulin resistance, which reduces its effectiveness and leads to high blood sugar and diabetes. Care should also be taken to moderate carbohydrate intake, increase fibre and protein and get plenty of exercise.
2. Lowering Cholesterol – Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that can build up in the arteries, causing them to narrow and harden. High blood cholesterol puts a strain on the heart forcing it to work harder and to push blood through the body. ACV can help keep cholesterol levels low, alongside minimizing sugar and refined carbohydrate in the diet. Take one or two tbsp ACV per day in a glass of water.
3. Aiding Weight Loss – the aceitic acid in ACV can help to stimulate metabolism and help the body use fat as its form of energy. It can also help the body feel fuller for longer and reduces craving of sugary foods as mentioned above in stabilising blood sugars. Take one or two tbsp ACV per day in a glass of water.
4. Relieving Symptoms of Acid Reflux – this is a condition characterised by the backflow from the stomach up into the esophagus, causing symptoms like heartburn, belching and nausea. It is often the result of having low levels of stomach acid and can be relieved by taking one or two tablespoons of ACV in water before meals.
5. It Boosts Gut Health – organic raw ACV with The Mother can add a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria into your diet. This bacteria can enhance the health of your digestive system and deliver a host of added gut bacteria benefits like increased immunity and improved ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Take one or two tbsp of ACV per day in a glass of water.
Other uses for ACV:
· Salad dressing - Use apple cider vinegar in homemade salad dressings instead of balsamic vinegar
· Facial toner - Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 to 4 parts water and use as a facial toner. Apply to skin with a cotton pad, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse. Repeat three times a day.
· All purpose cleaner - Mix apple cider vinegar in equal parts with water, then add a few drops of essential oil, like lemon oil, for an all-purpose cleaner.
· Banish bad breath - Mix 1/2 tablespoon with 1 cup of water and gargle 10 seconds, spit and repeat to banish bad breath
· Hair treatment - Briefly soak your hair with 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar after shampooing then rinse for shiny, detangled hair