I’ve mentioned before when curing a sore throat in one day that I love apple cider vinegar. It really helps me feel better faster. After my last sore throat, I kept drinking it, realizing that it made me just feel good, so I decided to look more into it.
What is apple cider vinegar (ACV)?
ACV is made by first juicing apples and fermenting them to become apple cider. Then it is fermented again with acid-forming bacteria to create vinegar.
Why should you drink ACV?
If you’re sick. I’ve touched on this before, but ACV helps break up mucus. If your tissue contents is thick, yellow or green (ew, I know), you’ll notice it turn thinner and more clear after drinking ACV. It’s best to start taking it at the first sign of a cold.
If you have allergies. Besides thinning mucus, which can help with allergies, it has also been said that ACV is able to stop or slow a histamine response if taken immediately after exposure to the allergen. I’m NOT suggesting to ditch your epi pen, but I look forward to experimenting with this when my spring allergies hit.
To control blood sugar levels. I like this one. I eat often to manage my blood sugar because if I go too long, I get light headed, dizzy and downright ill feeling. A 2004 study ( source ) found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals.
For weight loss. A follow up study ( source ) to the 2004 study listed above showed that participants that took 2 Tbsp of ACV vinegar before 2 meals each day lost an average of 2 pounds over the four week period. Some participants lost up to four. Researchers said that results were comparable to the drug metformin, a drug given to help manage diabetes. ( source )
It has also been suggested that ACV consumption can aid in clearing up acne, treating diarrhea, curing dandruff and fighting cancer cells.
Are there any cautions to adhere to with apple cider vinegar?
Don’t overdose. If you are one of those people that can chug a bottle (EW) because if a little is good, then a lot is better, please stop yourself. Excessive consumption can result in lower bone mineral density and lower potassium levels. ( source )
Always dilute. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can burn the tissues in your mouth and throat. Always dilute it to a 10-1 (water to ACV) ratio.
Rinse your mouth afterwards. ACV is potent and can damage the enamel to your teeth. To avoid this, always dilute ACV and rinse your mouth with water after drinking.
What kind of apple cider vinegar should I buy?
To reap the benefits, you need to buy raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, preferably organic. The raw and unfiltered ACV contains the mother, a natural sediment with pectin, trace minerals, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, which will make it appear cloudy, not clear. Similar to kombucha, you’ll see the mother floating at the bottom of the bottle. It’s good for you and yes, you can drink it.
How do you drink it?
In full disclosure, the taste gets some getting used to, even when diluted. I prefer 1 Tbsp of ACV and 1/2-1 Tbsp honey mixed together in 8-10 ounces of hot water.
Much of the enthusiasm behind apple cider vinegar comes from anecdotal evidence. There have only been a few, small studies done on its benefits. I am not a doctor and have only gathered this information through extensive magazine reading, googling and drinking it myself. As always, please check with your doctor before proceeding with caution and common sense.