Apple cider vinegar, or ACV for short, is an inexpensive cure-all of sorts. For something that sells for a few dollars in the corner grocery store, ACV has a wealth of uses and health benefits.
Before we launch into all the ways this simple potion can improve your health, let’s be clear that I’m talking about raw, organic, unfiltered ACV. Raw ACV includes "the mother”—sediment that is filled with enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria. You can easily spot raw, unpasteurized ACV by its cloudy appearance.
Here are just a few of the ways you can use this useful liquid in your daily life. ACV also moonlights as a helpful beauty product, but we’ll save that topic for another day.
1. Tame tummy troubles
ACV has a high pectin content, which can help treat diarrhea by forming bulk fibrous matter in the gut. In layman's terms, let's just say it firms things up. The pectin also forms a protective coat in the gut that soothes the colon lining and relaxes intestinal spasms. Try mixing one or two tablespoons into water or clear juice like apple juice.
2. Hiccup help
ACV can be a great solution for hiccups. It restores the acid balance in the stomach and eases irritating spasms of the diaphragm. A 13-year-old even created an apple cider vinegar and sugar lollipop to stop hiccups.
3. Sore throat soothing
Turn to ACV at the first sign of a tickle in your throat. Most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. Gargle with equal parts ACV and warm water every hour, or try this Apple Pie Tonic Recipe.
4. Exhaustion relief
Exercise and extreme stress can cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that can relieve that tired feeling. Next time you’re feeling exhausted, try downing 1 to 2 tablespoons of the stuff diluted in juice or water.
5. Relaxes nighttime leg cramps
ACV taken diluted in water twice a day can dissolve acid crystals in the blood and provide potassium, calcium and other essential minerals that the body needs to ease leg cramps.
6. Banishes bad breath
If you suffer from halitosis, ACV might be the remedy for you. It's acidic properties will break down the bacteria causing your bad breath. Simply add 1/2 tablespoon of ACV into a cup of water and gargle the mixture in your mouth for 10 seconds at a time until the cup is empty.
7. Controls blood sugar
Apple cider vinegar has an anti-glycemic effect that improves insulin sensitivity, which is essential to maintaining healthy sugar levels in your blood. Mix one teaspoon of ACV in a glass of filtered water and take 3 times a day to steady your stomach’s rate of digestion, which in turn will keep blood sugar levels more consistent. Of course, if you are diabetic, consult your physician before trying any new remedies.
8. Boosts weight loss
Some people claim that ACV promotes weight loss by speeding up the metabolism. The acetic acid also suppresses your appetite, and reduces water retention. If you drink a glass of water with 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before your meals, the insoluble fiber could help you feel full with less food. The fiber will also decrease the likelihood of you binging on unhealthy foods between meals. One hormone that is particularly important for weight loss is growth hormone. Growth hormone is instrumental in the breakdown of fat cells. The acid in apple cider vinegar can help your body break down the protein you eat into amino acids. This will help increase the availability of amino acids to create more growth hormone. Mix 2 teaspoons of the vinegar into a glass of water and drink this before every meal or sip it slowly throughout the day.
9. Makes iron more bioavailable
The acid found in apple cider vinegar helps release iron from food so that your body can use it.
10. Lowers cholesterol
Some research has suggested that apple cider vinegar can improve the lipid profile of blood by decreasing the levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) or bad cholesterol and by increasing the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) or good cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, consult your physician before starting any new protocol.
11. Natural liver detox
ACV can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver.
12. Supports the lymphatic system
Apple Cider Vinegar helps break up mucous throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes.
13. Candida control
This vinegar is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida, yeasts that are attributed to thrush and a host of other ailments.
Who knew there could be many benefits to one simple product? An easy way to include apple cider vinegar in your daily diet is by using it in salad dressings, or even simply mixing a tablespoon or two in some water that you can use to take your daily supplements.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho