Apple Cider Vinegar - What is it Good For?
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a fermented product after apples have been crushed and distilled.
What are the benefits of taking ACV?
- Improves digestion, especially in people who have low stomach acid. Side fact: did you know that heartburn is usually a result of low, not high, stomach acid (along with food sensitivities, overeating etc.) and there are many ways to address it without prescription medications that suppress your stomach acid (which is quite terrible in the long run, especially for nutrient absorption).
- May support your weight loss efforts; however, the evidence isn't very strong (1). It probably helps alleviate bloating, indigestion, and water retention in many as well as slowing down starch breakdown, which delays your stomach from emptying and makes you feel full faster. Altogether, this can lead to weight loss :)
- Can help with blood sugar control but is not meant for type I diabetics (see point above)(2).
- Helps with total cholesterol reduction (3).
- Can be used to decrease Candida load in an anti-Candida protocol.
- Hippocrates, the modern father of medicine used to use to as an antiseptic/anti-microbial (but we have more effective agents now). You could use it in a DIY cleaner :)
- Has an alkalanizing effect in the body.
What are the downsides to taking ACV or should I take any precautions?
- Use a glass or stainless steel (not plastic!) straw to drink your ACV water to prevent enamel erosion
- Always dilute it in water. 1 tsp in 250mL of water works.
- It may exacerbate or cause low potassium so if you're on meds (like water pills/diuretics, diabetes or heart meds) or a low-potassium diet, please be aware of this. This usually occurs with the daily consumption of large amounts of ACV.
- In some people, it may cause digestive upset and/or nausea.
- It's not for those with type I diabetes.
How should one take ACV?
- Try to use organic, unfiltered ACV (like Bragg's).
- Always dilute it in water or make a dressing with it. 1tsp in 250mL once a day is probably adequate for most people.
- Please consult with a healthcare professional before taking this, especially long-term and avoid large doses.
What are my takeaways here?
ACV is pretty safe for most of the population when used moderately and appropriately (diluted!). It's quite versatile but maybe not the best choice for some individuals.