For starters… What is apple cider vinegar and why does it taste so bad?
Apple cider vinegar is the by-product of fermented apples. To make apple cider vinegar, apples are crushed and the juice is extracted. In the first part of the fermentation process, yeast is added to the extracted apple juice – this converts the natural sugars contained within the apple juice to alcohol. The second fermentation process converts the alcohol into acetic acid, by means of the addition of acetic acid bacteria (AAB). This mixture then ferments for as long as 3 months, resulting in apple cider vinegar. During the fermentation process, a non-toxic goo, known as “the mother” made up of acetic acid bacteria and yeast forms in the mixture.
While some companies that make apple cider vinegar choose to pasteurize it by straining out “the mother”, this goo from the fermentation process is what gives apple cider vinegar all of its potential health benefits. As a result of the fermentation processes, apple cider vinegar is very low in sugar, but very acidic, giving it a very pungent smell and sour taste.
Why apple cider vinegar may be of benefit to your health:
Way back in the day, the Ancient Greeks often used apple cider vinegar to treat wounds. Today it is consumed for its many potential health benefits.
For those who are habitual consumers of apple cider vinegar, apple cider vinegar:
- May enhance gut health – as it is rich in enzymes and various strains of probiotics enabling it to kill harmful gut bacteria
- May help to boost immune function, increasing the bodies ability to fight various infections and pathogens
- May help reduce risk of acquiring Diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels
- May help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thus increase heart health
- May reduce risk of acquiring certain types of cancers by both slowing cancer cell growth and shrinking tumours
- May enhance weight loss, by slowing digestion and reducing visceral fat
- May help to clear acne when used as a natural toner – the antibacterial properties found in apple cider vinegar might help to reduce red spots, balance the pH of your skin, and help to exfoliate and soften the skin
- May help to boost energy
How should you consume apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar can be used in baking and cooking, and is frequently used in salad dressings, or for the brave by adding 1-2 tablespoons into a glass of water or tea. It is not recommended that you drink apple cider vinegar plain as the acidity it contains has potential to cause eroding of the enamel of your teeth. If you choose to add apple cider vinegar directly into a beverage and find it to be too acidic tasting, add a teaspoon of honey.
In short ….
Although not all the potential health claims for apple cider vinegar are backed up by scientific-based evidence or high-quality clinical trials, it is definitely worth a shot to try it out for its vast potential medicinal health benefits. Particularly for those with IBD diseases, apple cider vinegar is a rich source of probiotics that is a simple and cost effective treatment that may be of great benefit to your gut health!
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Sakr, H. (2016). Protective effect of Apple Cider Vinegar on Stress Induced Gastric Ulcer. Journal Of Medical Science And Clinical Research. doi: 10.18535/jmscr/v4i1.28
Saqib, A. (2017). Antimicrobial Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar. Mapana – Journal Of Sciences, 16(2), 11-15. doi: 10.12723/mjs.41.2