Apple cider vinegar, the super food?

Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for ages. 

Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Let’s take a look.

 

Recent health claims of Apple Cider Vinegar  

1) Secretes digestive enzymes when taken before each meal

2) Acts as a natural probiotic *see side note below

3) Aides in reducing heartburn

4) Soothes sore throats

5) Improves allergies

6) Aides weight loss

7) Natural teeth whitener

8) Improves candida

9) Lowers blood sugar

10) Removes fleas from your pet

 

Health remedies often seem controversial.

When I was doing research on apple cider vinegar (ACV), I came across this article from arthritis.org which claims that using ACV for the treatment of arthritis is a myth. One article I read said there have never been any studies done on ACV’s effects on the body so one cannot claim any benefits. While many other articles I read were about people hailing its healing powers. I see how we can get so overwhelmed with web-based health information.

There actually have been studies completed on apple cider vinegar in the last few years.

1. Jan 2016: This study showed the benefits of applying apple cider vinegar externally to aid pain and improve quality of life in patients with Varicose veins. The authors of this study do well in explaining the effects of vinegar on the body.

“Vinegar has many proven positive effects on health such as an antibacterial effect, reduction in blood pressure, an antioxidant effect, an antidiabetic effect, an antitumor effect, reduction and prevention of obesity, an antihypertensive and cholesterol decreasing effect, a healing effect on injuries, and a positive effect on brain and cognitive functions.”

 

2.   May 2015: This study found that ACV has a glucose lowering effect on the body.  The study is in relation to Diabetes, but it is common knowledge there is a direct relationship between inflammation and elevated levels of blood sugar (glucose).  If ACV helps to lower one’s blood sugar, then it stands to reason that apple cider vinegar may be a beneficial aid for inflammation.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar, the health remedy

In the 1950’s, a man named, Dr Jarvis hailed it’s uses as an important health remedy. He wrote about it in his book, Folk Medicine.  He claimed it could cure colds, ailments, arthritis, and digestive problems.

When there is chronic and/or systemic inflammation in the body, one must first look for the source of inflammation and often times it is found in the gut.  Our gut ecosystem is out of order when bombarded by stress, poor sleep, antibiotics, medication, and a diet high in processed foods and sugar.

ACV has many natural healing properties like enzymes, B vitamins, folic acid, acetic acid, pectin and potassium that all promote cleansing the gut, decreasing inflammation, encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, and improving a healthy immune system.

Unpasteurized, raw apple cider vinegar is made from fresh, crushed, organically grown apples and allowed to ferment in tanks.  This process boosts its nutritional qualities because it allows for the natural bacterias to form.  “The Mother” is the floaty stuff at the bottom of the bottle and it contains the live enzymes where all the healing properties are stored.   Don’t be grossed out, by the Mother. Instead, before you use ACV, make sure you shake it to distribute the Mother so you can reap the best benefits. 

Unfortunately, in America we have been duped into believing that pasteurized products are better because they protect bacteria from growing in the liquids. However, the pasteurization process also removes quite a bit of the nutrient value and renders the food or beverage much less of a health food.  (i.e. Pasteurized Milk is more of a processed food these days than a health food.) 

 

How to use Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’ve ever ingested a tablespoon full of the powerful potion known as apple cider vinegar, you know it packs a punch.

Personally, I take a tablespoon any time I start to feel a sore throat creeping in and honestly my sore throat usually vanishes. I also may gag and make a sour puss face, but HEY it works.  For a fun trick, you can do what I did when I offered my ill husband a tablespoon without telling him what it was. HA, well only do that if you want ACV spit all over your counter tops.

Whether you ingest it by itself (be prepared to pucker), add it to a smoothie or warm tea, cook with it, or bake with it remember that not all ACV’s are created equal. The healthiest kind is the organic, raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized ACV like this one from, Braggs.

For maximum benefits, ACV needs to be ingested daily to notice any effects, most recommendations are for ingesting 1 tablespoon a day.  Remember to consult your doctor before using it if you are nursing, pregnant or taking certain medications as it may cause adverse reactions.

 

Healing with Superfoods 

ACV, like any super food should be consumed with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Like most superfoods, one and done does not cure all.  Too often we inhabit a “We want it NOW” philosophy and clamor for a quick remedy as a cure. 

Healing is not built on quick fixes.  Healing takes time, thought, preparation, help, and as Corrie Ten Boom  has explained, healing sometimes takes forgiveness.   

Apple cider vinegar may just be the missing ingredient you need. If it’s not, continue on your path of healing, don’t give up!

I have created this  ACV tropical smoothie  just for you. It makes for a great kickstart for your morning with plenty of healthy fat and a good dose of prebiotics.

*side note Prebiotics help feed the beneficial gut bacteria and probiotics are the actual beneficial gut bacteria. ACV is more of a prebiotic.

 

Clean Eating with ACV

When I first started getting serious about the ingredients going into my home cooked meals, I noticed how often I was having to use apple cider vinegar. It wasn’t a staple item in my pantry before. I was curious why these healthier recipes included ACV. So here are some tips for more acv benefits and some great recipes from around the web that include ACV in their ingredient lists.  They are all clean eating recipes packed with great nutrient dense foods. Give them a try!

1. Baking

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ACV in baking enhances flavor and improves the leavening process like in this banana bread recipe from fast Paleo. Recipe HERE

 

2. Salad Dressing

dressing

ACV adds gut friendly enzymes and better nutritional quality. Detoxinista has a delicious Raw Apple Cider Vinaigrette recipe HERE

 

3. BBQ sauce

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If you like vinegar based BBQ sauces (I do) then try adding ACV as it improves tenderness and flavor to the sauce. Fed&Fit provides spicy, sweet, tangy and regular versions of  her BBQ sauces and they all include ACV. Get the Recipe HERE

 

4.  Smoothie

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ACV helps to provide the gut with a healthy prebiotic boost and is a great anti-inflammatory.  Get my tasty smoothie recipe HERE.

After researching for this post, I am more of a believer in apple cider vinegar as a health remedy than I was before.

So here’s to healing, drink up!

Enjoy Life,

Melanie Connell, MPT, MTC, CHC

 

Sources:

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._C._Jarvis,

2)http://thechalkboardmag.com/simplest-health-tip-ever-drink-apple-cider-vinegar,

3)https://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar-FAQ.html#acv_faq2

4) http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/07/26/11990.aspx

5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26064976

6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4735895/