Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV) is a vinegar mixed with cider and apples (obviously!) and it’s said to help with everything from hair loss to acne. Peruse Pinterest and you will find 1,643 ways that apple cider vinegar can help you clean your bathroom or treat your pup’s itchy skin, but mostly you will hear about the many health benefits. Since it seems to be a miracle cure for a whole list of things, I had to try it out.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Some of the many things that apple cider vinegar is purported to do are kill bacteria and fight infection, fight diabetes by lowering blood sugar, improve heart health by lowering cholesterol and even protect against cancer. With the cost of pharmaceuticals rising, as well as the negative side effects of some drugs, natural causes to help some of these common diseases can be very attractive.
After doing some research, I found a variety of brands, but you want to be sure your ACV has something called the “mother” (No, not Norman Bates’s mother). The mother is found at the bottom of the bottle and it looks kind of murky. It is filled with bacteria, protein and enzymes and is supposed to be the most beneficial part of apple cider vinegar.
IS IT SAFE?
This was my biggest question. When I looked closer at the bottle, I noticed words like ‘raw’, ‘unfiltered’ and ‘unpasteurized’. Now, I’m a safety girl and I’m going to be honest…..those words made me nervous. So I did a little research into what unpasteurized means. Pasteurization is the process where, through heat, bacteria is removed from food and juices and it’s used to keep food safe. So why don’t they pasteurize apple cider vinegar? Because they don’t want to get rid of the mother, since that’s where those health benefits we talked about come from.
According to the FDA, unpasteurized juices should be refrigerated, so I keep mine in the fridge. They also say that most healthy people are able to fight off any effects of foodborne illness. So it’s really a matter of weighing the benefits versus the risks and that is a personal decision that YOU get to make for yourself. For me, I decided that, given that the daily dose I was going to use was only 1 tablespoon and since I’m healthy, I felt that the benefits would be worth any potential risk.
HOW I USE IT
Now that I felt like ACV was safe to use, I headed to the store. I found that Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar was the most popular brand and it has the mother. Make sure you shake the bottle before you use it, to ensure that you get a little bit of the mother each time. I opened the bottle, took a sniff and thought ‘WHAT AM I DOING? THIS SMELLS VILE!’. I mean, I know it has apples in it, but it is vinegar. I did not see any way that I could drink a tablespoon of this stuff every day, so I mixed it with a small glass of water. And it still tasted vile. I tried a bigger glass of water. And it was a little less vile, but still bad. I spent about a week playing with different ways to make it taste better and I finally found the perfect concoction that goes down easier:
1 tablespoons of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 packet of Splenda
Small squirt of honey
Fill a tall glass with ice
Stir with a spoon and enjoy!
DOES IT WORK?
I started drinking this recipe every morning and after a day or two, I noticed a few things.
FIRST, I wasn’t as hungry. Maybe it’s because it kept my blood sugar levels stable, so I didn’t get sugar cravings or maybe it’s because it made me feel full. Either way, I found that I didn’t eat as much, especially in the afternoons, when I usually get the munchies.
SECOND, I had a little more pep in my step. When I consistently drink ACV, I definitely feel like I have more energy.
THIRD, I know it seems crazy, but I don’t get sick as often. Two of my kids got colds and I didn’t. Now, that could have been a total coincidence. But I think that consistently drinking my apple cider vinegar concoction helped.
FOURTH: My hair looked shinier and I didn’t have to buy a $90 bottle of Moroccan oil. I’ve even heard of people putting ACV in their shampoo!
Drinking my daily glass of apple cider vinegar has now become a part of my daily routine. It’s an inexpensive, all-natural way for me to do something good for myself every morning. So do your own research and see what you think! And if you enjoy some benefits from it, let me know!
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