I am a recent convert to apple cider vinegar. I took it on-and-off about six months ago, and had been using it occasionally as a salad dressing in the interim, but in the past two months, I got Serious-with-a-capital-S and have been taking it religiously. I have two tablespoons in a glass of water every morning (after the half litre of water I always drink when I wake up – I get so thirsty in the morningtime!) and another two tablespoons in water about half an hour before dinner.
And I love it.
Well, I don’t necessarily love the flavour, but I love how it makes me feel. And I LOVE what it has done for my skin. Seriously, my skin has noticeably increased in quality and decreased in pesky little breakouts since I’ve started the ACV (including the one or two cystic beauties I usually get at The Time of the Month when I am Reminded that I am a Lady). This past Lady-time? None. Not a one. Which is unheard of. And my man commented on my skin looking particularly lovely just the other day (which, as someone who had teenage acne, totally tickles my inner princess!)
And I put it all down to the ACV.
ACV is meant to massively help your digestion – it makes your stomach environment more acidic, which enhances your ability to break down and then absorb food. And as you know, it’s not ‘you are what you eat’, it’s ‘you are what you absorb from what you eat’, and having an optimal acidic environment is essential for proper digestion.
It also has an alkaline effect on the body, which is super beneficial. The toxins of our current modern lifestyle (like processed foods, sugar bombs, caffeine loaded goodies, lack of exercise, environmental toxins and chronic stress) all make our blood stream more acidic. Which ain’t what you want for bounce-out-of-bed-in-the-morning health.
ACV can help counteract this and alkalise the blood. This may seem really counter-intuitive, given that it itself is so acidic. However, a food’s acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For instance, citrus fruits are very acidic, however the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline, which is why lemons and limes are alkaline-forming in the body. So ACV’s acidity is awesome in your tum-tum to aid digestion, and then once it has actually been digested, it’s aftereffect ( or ‘ash’) is awesome for alkalising your blood.
ACV is also particularly awesome for heartburn. I have a work colleague who started taking it three years ago because she used to get dreadful heartburn after eating. Lots of people pop antacids when they feel that burn, thinking that they’re doing the right thing. But really, heartburn isn’t usually about having too much acid, it’s about having a lack of acid to properly digest what you’ve just eaten. So your stomach tries to kick it back out because it’s not coping, to get rid of it. Because the PH of your stomach is more acidic that the pipes that lead into it, we feel this as that awful burning sensation, and people drink milk or bicarb or antacids to neutralise this, not realising that the problem is that their stomach is not acidic enough, and if they actually increased the acid profile of their stomach (by drinking ACV or lemon juice etc) it would help to address the cause of the problem, not just the symptom. My colleague said she used to pop Quick-Eze like candy, but has not had to touch them for years, because ACV twice a day completely cleared up all her heartburn issues. Miracle juice!
What you need to know about AVC:
* It must be raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Preferably organic. If it’s not raw, then the benefits aren’t there, and it is just like drinking balsamic or white wine vinegar (both of which have an acidic affect on the body). Make sure that the bottle you buy says that it contains the ‘Mother’. This is the crusty ferment that makes the bottom of the bottle slightly murky (and is the reason why you should always shake the bottle well before pouring). The Mother is where all the goodness is at – bring on the murky sediment!
* Braggs is an ol’ fathful brand to try (although currently in short supply as they sold their apple farm!) and good Australian brands include Melrose and Mock Red Hill.
* You may need to get it from a health food store. Some grocery stores are now starting to stock raw ACV, but in the past, they’ve all been of the cooked variety. Which, as we’ve established, you don’t want.
* Protect your pearlers! ACV can be super harsh on your tooth enamel. I always drink mine through a straw. I try not to do it too close to brushing my teeth either, because that makes your teeth even more susceptible to wear-and-tear.
* To shot or not to shot? Some people like to ‘shot’ their ACV the same way that you might shot tequila. I am not a fan of this, as I can feel it burn on the way down and it feels really harsh in my belly. But some people don’t have a problem with it at all. So just listen to your body, and if it’s burning, drink more water. Taking some coconut oil afterwards can also make your tummy feel better if you’ve had too much.
ACV is also frequently used as a weight-loss tool. It definitely works as an appetite suppressant. Not that I’ve been using it for that purpose, but I can definitely see why some people swear by it.
There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that two tablespoons of ACV can lessen the impact of sugar and other junk on your blood stream. I’m yet to see this documented empirically, but as I love the stuff so much, I’m happy to go along with the suggestion. Two weekends ago I had a trip to Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island with my man, where we… ahem… diligently indulged in some-slash-lots of wine and food. Both nights, when we got back to the apartment, I took two tablespoons of ACV in some water. I can’t actually tell whether it made any difference, but I felt far better in the morning than I should have, so I’m going to keep trying it during moments of indiscretion!
I think that’s about all for my apple lovin’ today. There are literally hundreds of uses for the stuff, and the internet is filled with home remedies based on this elixir of goodness. (Wart healing anyone? Hair rinse? Do I have any takers for toilet cleaning?!) Do you use ACV? Tell me your tips below!
[Oh, and PS: this is my Super-Secret Salad Dressing recipe. It is DEE-lish-us and I have become the designated Dresser of Salads at family events (I have a plaque and everything) (Not really, but that would be cool. Sisterpants, if you could get on that stat?!)
Mix in a cup equal parts olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar and seeded mustard. Add crushed garlic – I like lots, but others (like that prissy Edward Cullen) probably prefer a subtle hint, so gauge your audience – and salt and pepper to taste. Add honey and fresh crushed chilli, tasting frequently so that you get the hot/sweet flavour-balance right for your taste. Stir it really well, then pour over your salad and toss well. If you’re vegan, you can exchange the honey for rapadura, brown or palm sugar.
This dressing is an awesome combination of sweet-salty-hot and pungent. It will make your green leaves sing. Hopefully something cool, like Ben Harper or Coldplay. Preferably not a medley of Michael Bolton ballads, but we shouldn’t judge!]