Yeah you know me!
Most people who know me (and probably even some strangers) are aware that I have a slight (read: borderline stalker) obsession with apple cider vinegar. I admittedly talk about it a little more than I probably should – but I just love it so much I CAN’T HELP IT.
When people come to me with health issues my first blanket recommendation, before diving into more specific suggestions, is almost always to incorporate more ACV into their diet. Why? Because no matter what’s going on in your body, ACV will no doubt help increase your overall well-being.
The most important tip when selecting a bottle of ACV at the store is to make sure it’s raw, organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered. The words “with the mother” are important, too. I know, the term “mother” is a little odd/creepy in the context of food – but it’s the most magical part of the whole concoction – made up of strands of enzymes, proteins, and probiotics (good bacteria). It makes me want to get one of those I HEART MOM tattoos on my upper arm. It’s that good.
My favorite way to take it? Shots! Shot glasses: they’re not just for sloppy bars anymore.
I choose to shoot my ACV for a few reasons: 1. The taste (which I actually like) is strong and sour, 2. Shooting it takes seconds, so there’s no excuse to skip it, 3. It makes it super easy to eyeball the right amount without dealing with/dirtying more tools than necessary. I’m all about efficiency, people!
Every morning after my mug of warm lemon water I shoot down a combo 1 tbsp ACV and filtered water (as much water as it takes to fill it to the top of the shot glass). I also repeat this every night before I go to bed. Feel free to chase it down with some water to dilute the taste if it’s too strong for you at first – a little extra hydration never hurt anyone. Also, go ahead and add a little raw, organic honey to your shot if you need some sweetness.
Now, why should you care about ACV? FOR SO MANY REASONS. People have been using it forever (it’s been traced back to 3000 B.C.) and Hippocrates, the “father of modern medicine”, used to prescribe ACV mixed with honey to many of his patients because he was super impressed with it’s cleansing, healing, antibiotic and antiseptic properties.
After taking a read through this list I guarantee you’re going to want to hop on down to the grocery store to get your paws on a bottle. Here’s a snapshot of what ACV can do for you:
1. Aid digestion
Due to its high enzyme and probiotic (good bacteria) content, ACV is your gut’s best friend. Once ingested, it gets to work replacing gut flora – which are majorly damaged by a poor diet. These amazing little gut flora help your body break down foods, and subsequently absorb nutrients – and ACV helps them do that even more effectively.
2. Alkalize your body
Alkalinity is one of the most important components of a healthy body. In an alkaline environment, most illnesses are unable to thrive (including cancer). By balancing your pH levels with ACV, you create the optimal environment for your body to do its job.
3. Improve appearance of skin
ACV is amazing for balancing the pH levels in your skin, which helps protect you from environmental damage, bacteria growth/blemishes, and dehydration by keeping your natural barriers (aka acid mantle) intact. Just make sure to dilute it with water before applying – a 1 part AVC, 4 parts water combo is great.
4. Eliminate candida
ACV helps to control candida (a fungal infection caused by yeasts) growth in your intestines with it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. It seems like everyone these days is suffering from a candida overgrowth, which can cause yeast infections, lack of energy, and memory problems among other things. Rich in natural enzymes, ACV helps restore the good bacteria in your gut, while keeping candida overgrowth at bay.
5. Promote weight loss
By stimulating metabolism, reducing the body’s ability to absorb fat, suppressing your appetite and helping shed water weight, ACV can help you lose excess lbs and reduce cellulite, especially around the abdomen.
6. Soothe heartburn
I know, I know – the last thing you think will help heartburn is vinegar, because it tastes so acidic, but the natural state of your stomach is acidic – and heartburn is typically caused by a deficiency of acid, causing it to work overtime. Giving your stomach a quick dose of healthy acid in the form of ACV creates internal balance and a happy belly. ACV turns from acidic to alkaline once it reaches the intestines, so you don’t need to worry about throwing your gut off balance.
7. Cleanse your lymphatic system + improve immune system
Your lymphatic system is responsible for ridding your cells of toxins and waste and improving immune response – it’s a pretty great thing. ACV cuts through mucus in the body, which facilitates efficient lymph circulation. It’s also rich in essential enzymes, minerals, and vitamins which helps optimize detoxification in a big way. And the acids it contains actually bind to toxins, making them easier to eliminate.
8. Whiten teeth
Brushing your teeth with ACV before brushing as normal with toothpaste on a consistent basis boots whiteness and removes stains.
9. Nourish and clean hair and scalp
ACV diluted with water is a great alternative to scalp-clarifying shampoo. It’s rich in alpha hydroxy acids and nutrients which assist in removing product build up, balancing your scalp’s pH, killing bacteria and fungus that cause itching and dryness, and helping to exfoliate and heal.
10. Remove warts
Just soak a cotton ball in ACV, put it directly on the wart and secure with a band-aid overnight. Repeat until the wart falls off – a great way to avoid that scary freezing machine at the dermatologist!
11. Reduce allergy symptoms
ACV is not a fan of mucus, and takes pleasure in ridding it from the body. The A, E and B vitamins that it contains along with potassium, magnesium and calcium are great for clearing out your sinuses, while also reducing headaches and scratchy throats.
12. Soothe sunburned skin
By either applying it directly to your skin, or adding a cup or so to a warm bath, ACV will help you find some relief when you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun.
13. Clean your home
ACV is an amazing tool for cleaning your home in a 100% non-toxic way. Use in place of glass and counter cleaner by mixing 1 cup water and 1/2 cup ACV in a spray bottle, or even pour 1 cup into your toilet bowl and let it sit for a few hours. Squeaky clean!
14. Repel fleas
Now that you’ve already got your ACV and water mixture in a spray bottle, you can coat your pet’s fur in it and massage it into their skin every day for a couple of weeks to get rid of those gross, itchy fleas.
15. Regulate blood sugar
The acetic acid in ACV has shown to slow the rise of blood sugar levels after a meal. Its effects are similar to commonly used insulin-controlling meds.