A bottle of high quality apple cider vinegar is as useful in the kitchen cabinet as it is in the medicine cabinet. So much more than an ingredient in salad dressing, apple cider vinegar is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. With a high concentration of acetic acid it improves the body’s ability to absorb minerals from the foods we eat.
But don’t be fooled. Not all vinegars are created equal. In order to get the benefits of apple cider vinegar you need to use one that is raw and organic.
The uglier the apple cider vinegar the better, it should be cloudy and murky with brown stuff at the bottom of the bottle. Those brown bits are called the “mother” of the vinegar and contain the raw enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria that promote healing. Clear vinegar is processed and doesn’t have any of the benefits of raw apple cider vinegar.
Here are just a few ways to use apple cider vinegar:
1. Balance your digestive system: to reduce gas, dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and drink before a meal. This will also combat constipation, since the vinegar stimulates the digestive juices that help your body break down food and the pectin forms a protective coating on the colon. You can also take a dose for heartburn symptoms.
2. Aid in weight loss: studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can increase the feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories. In a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, it was found that after 12 weeks people had significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat and waist circumference. For daily weight management add 2 teaspoons to 16 ounces of water and sip throughout the day.
3. Control blood sugar: the anti-glycemic effects of apple cider vinegar helps to improve insulin sensitivity and help to lower blood sugar responses after meals. One teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water 3 times a day can steady your stomach’s rate of digestion which helps keep blood sugar levels more constant. It is helpful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes or anyone who wants to reduce blood sugar spikes. **If you have a blood sugar issue seek the advice of your health care provider before using.
4. Boost your energy: the next time you are suffering from low energy don’t reach for the coffee or soda, instead go for the apple cider vinegar. It is a quick and effective energy boost full of potassium and enzymes to help relieve that tired feeling. Try this flavorful drink:
• 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 2 cups water
• ¼ teaspoon fresh grated gingerroot or a pinch of dry ground ginger
Combine and stir until the honey dissolves. Serve cold as a sweet-tangy summertime drink.
5. Beautiful skin: used as a natural astringent, apple cider vinegar regulates the pH of your skin and helps it feel smoother, less oily and reduces fine lines. Dilute the apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water and apply with a cotton ball in place of your current toner. A dab of this solution left overnight on age spots, pimples or acne scars will help reduce their appearance.
This is just a small sampling of the many uses of apple cider vinegar. It can also help with sore throats, balance your pH, make your hair shine, soothe a sunburn, whiten your teeth, help you detox, freshen a room and yes dress up your salad! So don’t be afraid of that murky looking bottle….make it a part of your daily self care routine!