The thought of apple cider vinegar often will make people cringe as the sour flavor and pungent odor can be challenging for some. If you are able to get past those things, apple cider vinegar has many uses. It is known to have a plethora of medicinal benefits as well. Apple cider vinegar is fermented juice derived from crushed apples. It goes by other some other names as well, such as Malus Sylvestris, Vinigare de Manzana, and Vinaigre de Cidre.
Due to its tremendous health benefits, I use ACV every day in my tea elixir and always in my water. I have found it has a wide variety of other uses as well, ranging from fighting warts to marinating meat! The proper ACV will include some strand-like material that drops to the bottom of the container. This substance is called the “mother,” which holds the raw enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria that encourage healing, well-being and even aid in weight loss! Let’s look at some more reasons why you should keep ACV in your pantry.
ACV Contains B vitamins B1, B2, B6, Biotin, Folic Acid and Niacin. Vitamin B can be found in apple cider vinegar and is commonly known as thiamin. The Vitamin B complex has 11 components. Vitamin B is responsible for metabolizing carbohydrates into the daily energy we need. It also is important for nervous system and muscle functions. Vitamin B in the appropriate amounts has been seen to alleviate stress, treat anxiety and depression, help memory, relieve PMS and reduce heart disease risk!
The biotin found in apple cider vinegar can help the body break down fat and carbohydrates, metabolizing them to increase energy.
Apple cider vinegar also contains folic acid, a member of the B family of vitamins that has been touted for reducing the risk of birth defects. Some research has shown that if taken enough, it can reduce the threat of certain types of cancer as well.
Niacin is a B vitamin found in ACV. Much information out there indicates Niacin helps boost HDL, or “good,” cholesterol while decreasing the LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol in the blood stream. This makes it beneficial to the body because the more HDL in the body, the more bad cholesterol gets picked up and sent back to the liver for discarding. This equates to a healthier you!
ACV Contains Vitamin C
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting your skin cells from free radical damage caused by exposure to air pollution, the sun’s ultraviolet light, first- and second-hand cigarette smoke and more. Vitamin C is the principal water-soluble antioxidant in the body, which deactivates free radicals and prevents damage in the environments both inside and outside the cells. Free radical damage to cellular structures and other molecules can result in excruciating inflammation. Vitamin C strives to prevent the free radical damage that triggers the onset of inflammation and swelling. Therefore, it may be associated with relief from inflammatory conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Regular consumption of vitamin C delays the development of hardening of the arteries and also boosts the production of two of the skin’s most important proteins, collagen and elastin.
ACV is Rich in Potassium
Potassium is a crucial mineral necessary for the heart, kidneys and other organs to work properly. It helps cell growth and muscle building. Research has shown that a low level of potassium intake is linked with a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive orders and infertility. The good news is potassium can be derived naturally from our diet when we include apple cider vinegar! Potassium also can be found in foods such as radishes, bananas, avocados, nuts, leafy green veggies, milk and potatoes, among others.
ACV Contains Much Needed Calcium
Calcium is the most familiar mineral in the body but it also can be lost every day via urine and feces. The body replenishes the lost calcium easily from the diet, so use lots of ACV instead of dressing on your salad for a good source of this nutrient. Calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones and is essential for blood clotting, muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission.
ACV Contains Essential Mineral Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that keeps the body healthy. It accounts for about 300 biochemical reactions in the body, if not more, and it helps the body absorb phosphorous. Magnesium’s benefits are endless and include proper transmission of nerve impulses, regulation of body temperature, detoxification and energy production. Magnesium also is necessary for the healthy formation of bones and teeth. Magnesium intake relieves symptoms of PMS and aids in the body’s assimilation of calcium. Other health benefits include protein synthesis, boosting the bio-availability of B6 and improving muscle functions. Magnesium also works to prevent a myriad of modern health ailments, such as osteoporosis, insomnia, constipation, heart attacks, hypertension, migraines, kidney stones and gallstones. Getting some magnesium into your system only will benefit you by helping to reduce the risks of these ailments. Go for it! Start using ACV today!
ACV Contains Antiviral, Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
A key component of apple cider vinegar is the malic acid, which gives it the power against viruses, bacteria and fungi. I even have heard of it being used as a deodorant because of its proven effects in fighting bacteria and absorbing and neutralizing odors. I understand the pungent odor dissipates once it dries.
ACV May be Used to Trigger Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar increases the body’s metabolism and stimulates fat burning when consumed every day before meals. It generally makes you feel fuller and eat less. A study noted on Mercola.com involved 29 people who were given two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before consuming a meal. These individuals were found to lose approximately two to four pounds during a four-week period.
ACV Can Help People with Diabetes or Those at Risk of It
A 2004 study published in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care found that found taking apple cider vinegar before meals helped decrease insulin and glucose spikes that typically occurred after meals. Another study published by WebMD in 2007 involved several people with Type 2 diabetes taking two tablespoons of ACV before bedtime. In the morning, their glucose levels had been reduced by four to six percent. The research definitely looks promising in this area. However, many more studies are necessary to accurately determine the full extent of insulin stabilization that may occur by adding apple cider vinegar to the diet.
Hair and Skin Care
Due to its alkaline properties, ACV can be used as a rinse to soften and shine your hair, making it feel smooth and silky. This substance will clear up and remove dirty residue and oils. Due to its alkalinity, ACV also can balance the pH in your hair. Just dilute one part ACV to three parts water and rinse. This same dilution can be used if using ACV for skincare. ACV can be used as an astringent, firming up and toning the skin while reducing the presence of wrinkles.
Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into Your Diet with Recipes from Mimi’s Organic Corner
I love organic food and pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle. So I suggest using certified organic ingredients to maximize flavors and nutrition while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives. In the case of ACV, it’s best to use the raw, organic and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
Mimi’s favorite herbal infused tea — Steep mint leaves, lavender flowers, two sticks of cinnamon and a slice of raw ginger in water. Then add a tablespoon full of raw honey and a tablespoon of ACV.
ACV Tonic — Mix two teaspoons of ACV in two cups of water everyday. Drink it before or during meals. To sweeten this up, use stevia, maple syrup or molasses. A pinch of cinnamon may help you get it down.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Salad Dressing — Mix ACV, Italian herbs and your favorite oil, I suggest sesame, hemp or avocado. Then add honey, crushed garlic, sea salt, black pepper and some feta cheese and drizzle over your favorite green salad.
ACV Marinade — Drizzle ACV over your favorite meats or poultry, then spice and cook as usual. Marinades will make your meats more tender.
Substitute ACV — Substitute ACV for lemon on your steamed vegetables when a recipe calls for lemon. Mix it with crushed garlic, fresh ground pepper, salt, cumin and oil.
Pickling — Pickled veggies are a fantastic side to serve with drinks or as a crudité. This is a great use for ACV. To prepare, combine ACV, water, salt, chili powder and boil. Add cloves, garlic and your favorite veggies. Boil. Then remove from heat and cool for a while before refrigerating. Serve cold.
Tomato Sauce — Prepare your sauce as usual and add a tablespoon of ACV to give it a tangy flavor.