Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
An amazing super-liquid that has tons of benefits, and has been used for well over 2,000 years. Food is thy medicine! Fun fact: Hippocrates (the ancient Greek “father of medicine”) gave apple cider vinegar to his patients to support and heal their bodies. There are dozens medically proven benefits of the vinegar. To name a few:
- Regulates blood sugar
- Enhances weight loss
- Reduces cholesterol levels
- Improves skin health
- Balances the body’s pH levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Relieves symptoms of acid reflux
- Boosts gut health
- Soothes sunburns
- Fights fungus
- Whitens teeth
- Acts as a household cleaner
- And so many more!
What’s the difference between apple cider/juice, and apple cider vinegar?
The difference is a process called fermentation, where the sugar in apple juice or apple cider is fermented and converted into organic acids, changing the pH and creating enzymes & probiotics, which are essential for gut health! And it only takes 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to receive the benefits of this super liquid. This is absolutely a MUST-have item in your home.
A recent study published in the British Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that if you do just 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the morning, you will naturally lower your LDL cholesterol. This is because ACV will naturally promote bile production, which is really important for your liver to process, create, and break down cholesterol, and will naturally help lower that bad cholesterol that we see show up in blood tests.
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
ACV has medically been proven to reduce blood sugar levels and improve the treatment of diabetes. Studies have shown that 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar + water before every meal decreased blood sugar levels by 6%! One added bonus is that if your blood sugar levels don’t spike after a meal, it will naturally increase your energy levels.
Increases Metabolism & Supports Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar naturally produces an acid called acetic acid, which has been medically shown to improve the metabolism, thus supporting weight-loss. One study showed that consuming just 2 tablespoons per day of ACV over 12 weeks resulted in nearly 4 lbs. of weight loss with no other modifications to diet or lifestyle!
Improves Skin Health
Along with being taken internally, apple cider vinegar can be used topically as a skin “toner.” Research has shown that it treats acne due to its antibacterial properties, and it also has been shown to reduce overall scarring by improving skin texture and pigmentation. Just combine equal parts water + ACV for a natural, daily skin toner.
Reduces Heartburn & Acid Reflux
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is at a very acidic pH level of 2.5 (that is almost the level of stomach acid pH). Heartburn is a condition where the stomach is too alkaline, and the valve on top of your stomach will not close. This is why taking calcium carbonate (Tums, Alka-Seltzer, etc.) is only going to temporarily reduce the burning sensation, but cause more alkalinity in the long run, and later more intense heartburn. Take some ACV and see how much better you feel, instantly! The valve in your stomach will close, and the acid will stop regurgitating up.
Shocking news: your body is likely too alkaline
Everyone says that having a body that’s on the acidic side is bad, but that’s actually not true. Look up symptoms of acidosis (too acidic) vs. alkalosis (too alkaline). Most of us will fall into the category of alkalosis.
If you’re an American, or even live on this planet, you likely experience high stress pretty often. High stress causes cortisol levels (the stress hormone) to rise, which then causes alkalosis — it makes your body too alkaline! The worst thing you could do is drink alkaline water (any pH of 8 or more) because it makes your body worse, plus you’re setting yourself up for some more heartburn. Under stress, your adrenal glands cause the body to lose acid through the urine. A body that is too alkaline now stops absorbing and using calcium – so you’ll experience symptoms like eye twitching, cramping in the calves, nerve pain, and arthritis pains.
High stress levels also cause the body to lose potassium. Potassium deficiencies will cause a chain reaction of symptoms like high blood pressure, constipation, fatigue, weakness, and irregular heartbeat.
Drinking apple cider vinegar will help get your body back to being more acidic, as it should be!
Take the Daily Challenge!
I challenge you to start doing at least 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day going forward. It’s a simple and easy way to correct your body back to where it needs to be. Watch how much better you feel, and you might even start losing some weight along with it! But just as a disclaimer, apple cider vinegar is not meant to be a quick fix for weight loss on its own. You absolutely need to combine it with a healthy diet and lifestyle in order to really see results. This also applies to all of the benefits of ACV, and not just weight loss.
Apple cider vinegar is an important staple in all of my clients’ meal plans. You can find out more about my customized nutrition plans at www.bodyrebuiltfitness.com/nutrition
I would like to credit some of my sources of knowledge to Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. Eric Berg.