Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made through the fermentation process (The chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat). Adding microbes (bacteria and yeast) turn the sugars of the crushed apple juice into alcohol. Again by adding bacterias in the next fermentation process alcohol becomes acetic acid which is the vinegar. ACV contains 5-6% Acetic acid which provides the most benefits and also responsible for the sour taste and flavor.
There are many types of ACV but most health benefits come from the organic, raw, unfiltered version of vinegar. Organic ones don’t have pesticide residue and no chemicals have been added to the ACV. Raw ACV is rich in enzymes that alone can help you with digestion. Unfiltered ones come with the mother apples from which that vinegar is made out. The mother is basically the residue of the fiber pectin, bacteria, and yeast. Many believe that the mother in ACV provides the key benefits but actually, it’s the acetic acid.
Let’s have a look at the important health benefits of the ACV:
- Digestion: The acetic acid in ACV activates enzymes in the stomach, pancreas, and other places in the body that breaks down certain protein to help speeds up digestion.
- Controls the growth of pathogens: Consuming ACV lowers the pathogens (bacteria and microbes) in the body by preventing some bacterial growth. It also helps control the overgrowth of other microbes in the wrong place especially in a condition called SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) where the bacteria grows more in the small intestine instead of in the large intestines. Taking ACV prevents bad bacterias to thrive in the small intestines.
- Helps absorb vitamins and minerals: Calcium, magnesium, iron and many other minerals need certain PH (Power of Hydrogen) to be absorbed by the body. If the PH in the stomach is too high then the body becomes more alkaline and you also won’t be able to absorb vitamin C, B12, and K. High stress increases cortisol (stress hormone) and causes Alkalosis that makes the body lose acid and becomes more alkaline over time. Stress is one of the main reasons your body loses acid to alkalize the body. ACV increases the acid so that your body can absorb more minerals. Some of the conditions related to calcium deficiency such as a twitch in the left eye, cramps in the cuff muscle, arthritis pain that migrates from joints to joints improve by taking ACV. Your body also loses potassium when it is too alkaline. ACV helps the body retain more potassium. Most common potassium deficiencies such as high blood pressure, constipation, weakness, fatigue, irregular heartbeats can get relief by ACV.
- Decreases gas, bloating, and indigestion: One of the major reasons for gas is incomplete protein digestion. ACV breaks down the food properly to have complete digestion.
- Decreases Acid Reflux: We have to have the PH of stomach acid in between 1 and 3 which is very acidic to be able to close the valve and prevent acids to come back up onto your esophagus. When we lose stomach acid the valve doesn’t close and the acid can reflux up. ACV helps the valve close more to prevent acid reflux and GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease).
- Helps to release bile: The bile is made in the liver then released from the Gallbladder. To process and digest food, the stomach sends a certain signal to have a certain amount of bile. ACV helps release the bile that is congested. That’s why you have less bloating when you take it. Also, the enzymes from the pancreas are released to have more complete digestion by breaking down the proteins to turn into amino acids (which are the building blocks of protein).
- Blood sugar and weight loss: ACV can make you more sensitive to glucose. So you have less insulin resistance and thereby less insulin being produced that can directly cause more weight loss. It also helps you lower cholesterol because when you reduce insulin it lowers cholesterol which in turn may help with blood pressure or anything related to high levels of insulin may improve. Taking ACV three times a day before meals help lose weight because it stimulates the thyroid and acidifies the stomach.
- Immune system: ACV stimulates white blood cells to speed up and fight infections. For cold or viral infections people generally take synthetic vitamin C or Ascorbic acid which are not true vitamin C complex. The main reason people take Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is for the acid. You will feel much better taking acetic acid instead to fight cold, fever, and viral infections.
- Reduces soft tissue calcification: In an alkalized body calcium starts to build up in the soft tissues (soft tissue calcification) that cause stiffness, arthritis, neuritis, cataracts in the eyes, kidney stones, gallstones, and tarter in the teeth. ACV helps absorb calcium and transport them to the right places of the body so that they don’t end up in unwanted places and creates severe health problems. ACV is also a cleanser to the residue of too much protein in the liver and other parts of the body.
Take one or two teaspoons in a glass of water before or after meals. You can add lemon and ginger for a better taste.
Due to the acidity, exposure of teeth from consuming undiluted ACV may damage tooth enamel. It may be unsafe for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women and by children. Irritation and redness are common when the eyes come into contact with vinegar, and corneal injury can occur. Ingestion of apple cider vinegar in tablet form poses a risk of injury to soft tissues of the mouth, throat, stomach, and kidneys.