You’ve probably heard of apple cider (a delicious warm cup of it in the fall… or any time of year) and you’ve definitely heard of vinegar—but have you acquainted yourself with apple cider vinegar? This is a powerhouse superfood that you will definitely want to start including in your daily life, and we’re going to give you 10 reasons why you should start using it today!
First of all, what is apple cider vinegar? Well, just like apple cider, the liquid comes from crushed apples. This apple cider (the juice from crushed apples) is then exposed to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turns them into alcohol. Then, bacteria are added to this solution, which further ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid, which is the main active compound in vinegar. This creates apple cider vinegar.
Now, before we move on, you might notice that this wonderful vinegar originates from apples. It’s important, when consuming or using apple cider vinegar, to choose an organic product so that you know it came from organic apples. This helps eliminate the amount of pesticides, chemicals, and other harmful substances that would otherwise be used on conventional apples.
If you look at a bottle of apple cider vinegar, you might also see some murkiness or cobweb-like components in it—this is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it’s great if your apple cider vinegar has this! This is called the mother, and it is strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that are present in organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This is beneficial and adds nutrients to the liquid which you then take in.
Now that you know what apple cider vinegar is, why should you use it? We’re going to break down 10 reasons for you, which include some health benefits and some amazing at-home applications that you may not have thought a food could be used for. And at the bottom, we share some recipes that have apple cider vinegar – so you won’t want to miss those! Let’s dive in, shall we?
Digestive Aid: many people use apple cider vinegar to aid digestion, especially if they are going to be eating something that might not agree with them. You can mix a bit of apple cider vinegar in a small glass of water to help you settle your stomach and get your stomach acids ready to digest the oncoming meal. And speaking of stomach acids…
Alkalizing & pH Balancing: like we mentioned, apple cider vinegar helps acidify the digestion. We want acid in our stomach and not in our body. By putting more acid in the stomach, we improve digestion and therefore we end up with a better pH in the body.
Energizing and Rejuvenating: there are many people who use apple cider vinegar as a daily energizing and rejuvenating drink. This is because apple cider vinegar has things like potassium and enzymes that help to give you the boost in energy you need to keep tackling your to-do list. It’s so handy to add to a bottle of water to take with you throughout the day if you know you are going to need a little help keeping going, or if you are planning a workout for which you need an energy boost. You can put a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water, or try some of Bragg’s flavoured apple cider vinegar drinks like Cinnamon, Ginger, Grape, Grape Acai, Limeade, Original, and Stevia. The drinks make it easy and delicious to consume apple cider vinegar!
Detoxification Benefits: because apple cider vinegar helps regulate your body’s pH levels, it also helps to create a detoxifying atmosphere in your body. It is great for the liver, which is one of your main detoxification organs. Plus, it’s great for your lymphatic system. Apple cider vinegar helps to break up mucus throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. Research even suggests that apple cider vinegar can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucus and sinus congestion. At the same time, it might help prevent sinus infections and the unpleasant symptoms that come along with them, such as sore throats and headaches.
Blood Sugar Balance: Dr. Carol Johnston, Professor of nutrition and associate director of the school of nutrition and health promotion at Arizona State University, conducted a study on how apple cider vinegar affected blood sugar levels. The study lasted for 12 weeks with participants who were pre-diabetic with elevated fasting glucose levels. Half of the participants consumed a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar before lunch and dinner, and the other half used apple cider vinegar pills. The effect on fasting glucose was immediate. Those who drank the apple cider vinegar showed a 14% drop in fasting glucose levels, and this was maintained throughout the 12 week study. Those taking the pills showed only a 4% drop. Blood sugar balance is beneficial in so many things, especially energy, weight loss, and keeping your hormone systems working effectively.
Skin Cleanser & Toner: to open pores and loosen dirt and excessive oil from your face, turn off heat under a pan of steaming apple cider vinegar water (2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar to quart purified water). Steam face over pan and use towel draped over head to trap steam. Then pat apple cider vinegar on your face with a cotton ball to remove the loosened dirt. Repeat steaming and cleansing twice. Then pat or spray on chilled apple cider vinegar, diluted with equal amount water to close pores and tone skin.
Facial: wash skin in warm water. Apply a wrung out, hot water soaked cloth to face for 3-5 minutes, then remove. Soak cloth in apple cider vinegar water (1 tbsp per cup of water) and again apply to face. Cover the apple cider vinegar soaked cloth with a towel wrung out in hot water. Lie down for 10 minutes and enjoy.
Hair Rinse for Shine & Body: for a healthy after-shampoo rinse, add 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar to a quart of water. Pre-mix in handy plastic bottle and keep in the shower. This will boost your hair’s body and shine.
Odor Neutralizer: if you have any bad smells in your home, try putting a bowl of apple cider vinegar near it. It will neutralize the smell and you won’t notice it as much. In fact, this even works on feet that have an odor. Simply moisten a paper towel with apple cider vinegar and wipe your feet with it to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria and voila—good as new!
Natural Air Freshener & Cleaner: by now you might be thinking, what can apple cider vinegar NOT do? The answer is, not much! Just as it can cleanse and freshen your body, it can do the same for your home. For example, you can put some apple cider vinegar in your toilet, let it sit overnight, and then flush it in the morning—it will leave a pleasant apple scent. You can also use it as a substitute in your dishwashers, or to clean things like microwaves, kitchen counters, windows, glasses, and mirrors by mixing ½ cup apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water. It just might be the cheapest and most natural, beneficial cleaning product you have on hand!
As you can see, apple cider vinegar does everything from cleanse your internal system to make your hair shine to make your home look and smell nicer! It’s easy to get the health benefits of apple cider vinegar in your life, because it’s amazingly easy to include into your daily diet. You can dilute some in a glass of water to enjoy an energizing, detoxifying beverage. You can mix it into any number of salad dressing recipes, such as in our Bean & Broccoli Salad recipe or our Asparagus Spring Salad. You can add it to juices or smoothies, and even to soups as they are simmering along in the crockpot or soup pot. Even add it to homemade BBQ sauce to give it a nutritional boost—the choices are endless.
Try some of the uses of apple cider vinegar we’ve listed above, or let us know your favourite way to use it or your favourite recipe with it. We’d love to swap tips! And stay tuned to our blog for more great pieces of health content just like this one.
Katie has worked in the natural health & wellness industry for over 10 years and is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is passionate about eating #feelgood food and recognized that this might look different for each and every person. She truly believes that in a healthy lifestyle, you can have your cake and eat your kale, too! Follow her on Instagram @katielmitts