UPDATE 10/2018: I actually no longer take shots of apple cider vinegar in the monring but instead mix it in with 8oz of warm water. Taking straight shots of ACV can actually ruin the lining of your esophagus is done every day due to its high acidity. I still love all the benefits, I just consume in a different way!
If you haven’t realized by now, we are all about the natural remedies and making sure our bodies are functioning the best they can be. Which is why we drink Golden Milk, a Morning Detox Drink, and Bulletproof Coffee. Apple cider vinegar is another one of those staples in our diets.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is nature’s greatest gift. It is so versatile that it can be used for nutrition, weight loss, home remedies, diabetes, hair care, cleaning products, infections….should I continue? The first thing I go to every morning is my 20 oz water bottle with about a tablespoon of organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in it (sometimes I like to add a scoop of collagen). If you are like my sister and just want to get it over with, pour it in a shot glass and take it like a champ.
Where Does Apple Cider Vinegar Come From?
Apple cider vinegar is produced by aged, crushed apples. The fruit sugar in the apple is converted into alcohol through a process called yeast fermentation. From there, the alcohol is then converted into acetic acid, which is the substance that is given the credit for providing all of the health benefits that are associated with apple cider vinegar. (source)
Do NOT use a non-organic brand of apple cider vinegar, here’s why:
Non-organic apple cider vinegar is vinegar that has undergone pasteurization. It is a bright color that is free from cloudiness, which is meant to be more visually appealing to the consumer. One of the main concerns surrounding non-organic apple cider vinegar is that the heating of the pasteurization destroys the health-enhancing properties of the vinegar. Because of this, the vinegar is said to no longer contain intact enzymes and is not as easy to tolerate by the body. (source)
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best ways to start my morning off. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, copper and iron. ACV wakes me up, gets my metabolism started, and gets my digestive system moving! There are so many benefits to apple cider vinegar, but here are my favorites.
7 Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains about 5% of organic acetic acid. This acid plays a major role in giving ACV its antiseptic property, which helps get rid of unwanted bacteria and yeast in the digestive track. If you can manage to take ACV on an empty stomach before a meal (or first thing in the morning) you will be able to increase your stomach acidity and improve digestion and nutrient intake. The increase in acidity will also shift your urine pH levels to a healthy acidic pH. Research has shown us that when our urine’s pH is slightly acidic we are able to bypass colds and help recover from ones that are currently slowing us down.
**If you have acid reflux, you may actually be LOW on stomach acid, not high. Stop using acid blockers which decrease acid production and try this out!
2. Aids In Weight Loss
Much research has been done over if apple cider vinegar actually helps people lose weight. The result was that ACV helps weight loss, but cannot drastically change your body like a healthy diet can. This means that if you eat McDonald’s once a day and add in a tablespoon of ACV to your diet, you may not see much of a difference. It is believed that ACV aides the fat burning process by acting as an appetite suppressant. ACV has been proven to increase your body’s metabolic rate, reduce water retention, and help keep toxins out of your body that may be slowing you down.
3. Faster Growing & Healthier Hair
By improving our digestive system, and ridding our body of unwanted bacteria, we are opening our bodies up to increased nutrient consumption from our food. When our bodies are correctly utilizing the nutrients we consume, they do their job! Specific vitamins and nutrients that stimulate hair growth are Magnesium and Iron, both of which enter your body by drinking ACV.
You can also use apple cider vinegar as a hair treatment to stimulate growth. Your hair is slightly acidic, about the same acidity as apple cider vinegar. The products we use in our hair, like shampoo, hair colors, and bleaches all have very basic pH’s. In order to balance our hair’s pH back out, it is important to rinse your hair with ACV once a week. On top of balancing out the pH, ACV is also good for getting rid of all the build up in your hair that’s left over from hair products and cheap shampoos. Once all the build up is removed, rinsing with cold water will close the cuticle scales leaving your hair smooth and shiny.
4. Makes Your Skin Glow
Like I mentioned above apple cider vinegar balances your natural PH levels, gets rid of unwanted bacteria, improves digestion, and improves nutrient consumption. When your body is not balanced, it shows on your face in the form of acne, dark spots, and irregular coloring. When your body IS balanced and running properly, it again shows on your face, but positive results this time!
You can also use apple cider vinegar topically. It is a FAVORITE toner for my skin. The vinegar helps draw out toxins and cleanse pores leaving your skin fresh and glowing. It also helps balance the pH in your skin by producing sebum. This balance helps keep your skin from being too oily or too dry. Best of all, the acid in ACV has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help with acne and can even prevents blemishes from forming. My daily routing involves rinsing my face with my Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Oil Face Wash, using a cotton ball to spread the ACV evenly across my face, then use Bontanic’s Organic Facial Oil with Rose Hips to moisturize. The combination instantly wakes me up and leaves my skin clean and blemish-free.
5. Increase Heart Health
It may surprise you that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is not surprising, however, that the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) is one of the leading causes of issues with the heart. Much of the food Americans eat is high in cholesterol and salt. Sometimes those foods are simply unavoidable, and sometimes you just really want a couple slices of pizza….either way, LIFE HAPPENS. A great way to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure is to incorporate a shot of ACV into your diet. There has been numerous studies done on people that proves that those who incorporate, even small amounts, of ACV in their diet have much smaller chances of developing heart disease.
6. Beats Muscle Exhaustion
Most of the time we associate muscle cramps with muscle exhaustion. However, most of the time that ‘muscle exhaustion’ is just a result of a deficiency in potassium, calcium, or magnesium which can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. Without properly functioning electrolytes in your body, you are putting heavy stress on your muscles which result in quick muscle exhaustion. ACV can act like an organic sports drink (minus the TONS of sugar found in most top brand name drinks) by replenishing your body’s electrolytes. ACV is also great for maintaining energy throughout a workout. The malic acid in ACV dissolves toxins that lead to weakness and fatigue. By taking a tablespoon of ACV before a workout, you can go harder in your workout and last longer than you ever would have with a name brand sports drink.
7. Boosts Your Immune System
ACV’s mixture of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals make it the perfect elixir for breaking up colds and preventing illness. ACV helps your lymphatic system by cleansing the lymph nodes and breaking up mucus in the body. This helps ward off sinus infections, allergies, and head colds. The malic acid in ACV also has strong antiviral properties and is full of antioxidants which helps fight illnesses and kick start your immune system. So when everyone in school or work starts getting sick–we all know this feeling– try increasing your ACV intake. You may not be immune to the sickness, but you are supplying your body with the tools it needs to fight off the virus and maintain your well state of being.
So how much ACV should you be taking?
Dr D. C. Jarvis, M.D., author of Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, argues that everyone should take one to two tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water before each meal. Others—like my sister– chooses to take a shot of ACV every morning shortly after she wakes up. MY recommendation? Start SLOW. I began with drinking a tablespoon of ACV in my 20 oz water bottle once a day, usually during my morning classes. After about two weeks, something weird happened, I began to REALLY like the taste of ACV in my water. Now I drink Dr. Jarvis’ recommended amount of one glass with one to two tablespoons before each meal (sometimes I even add raw honey recommended by Patricia Bragg, owner of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar) And for those of you who simply refuse to drink ACV, try incorporating it in a recipe. Make salad dressing with ACV, use it in your morning smoothie, or make a mixed drink like cranberry juice and ACV! There’s no excuse to start incorporating ACV and the amazing benefits that follow into your everyday routine.
Here is an awesome info graphic recapping so many of the amazing benefits!