Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a healthy home remedy that’s been in use for decades. However, you can’t buy just any kind at any random place. You want the raw stuff – unfiltered with the “mother” probiotic strains floating around in it.
This elixir is not to be taken lightly (literally). ACV is very strong and acidic, so you should only consume it in small doses and mix it into a glass of water. You should also drink it with a straw since the acidity can damage your tooth enamel and erode your teeth. One TikToker takes hers with a straw designed to prevent you from tasting alcoholic shots – it’s honestly genius! You can drink 1-2 tablespoons of ACV in water per day.
Some people prefer to take ACV gummies to avoid the strong taste, but these are not as potent as the liquid form and also won’t contain the live probiotics the original form of apple cider vinegar does. You also have to be mindful of the sugar and carbohydrate count in vitamin gummies, and even though the ACV gummies might taste pleasant and maybe help with digestion, they should not be eaten like candy or taken as a vitamin substitute.
Need more convincing? Here are 10 incredible health benefits you'll get from taking a shot of apple cider vinegar daily.
1. Contains Nutrients
Apple cider vinegar contains significant amounts of several super important vitamins like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, as well as antioxidants (which support immunity). The antioxidants also make it a natural booster for hydration, similar to electrolytes and lemon water. My mom would drink ACV water after gardening outside for hours.
2. Contains Probiotics
ACV contains natural probiotics, which benefit good gut bacteria and help digestion and nutrition absorption. It’s especially the magnesium and probiotics that make ACV a digestive. Although the probiotic content is not high enough to make ACV a probiotic food like kefir and kombucha (and you can’t intake as much because of the high acid content), at the end of the day, it’s still a fermented liquid naturally containing live probiotics from the fermentation process, so it does still count!
3. Aids in Weight Loss
ACV helps boost metabolism and can aid in weight loss. A Japanese study showed that daily consumption of ACV helped shed several pounds quickly with no other lifestyle or diet changes. Another study showed that ACV increases satiety, which assists in appetite control and weight loss by increasing leptin levels (feeling full).
Combining ACV with metabolic-boosting foods like lemon juice, cinnamon, and raw honey can have an even stronger effect, and this combination is also good for a circulation and immunity boost. Lemon juice helps boost metabolism and induces increased lipolysis (fat breakdown). However, ACV is not a magic weight-loss drink that works alone; actually, the results from ACV alone are minimal, and it should just be a small component of a healthy lifestyle that supports weight loss and weight management.
4. Supports Immune System
Apple cider vinegar helps break up mucous in the body and supports lymphatic drainage. A study showed that ACV is a defense against bacterial infections, which can often be the cause of swollen lymph nodes and sinus infections. Another study showed vinegar supports increased blood flow, which assists in lymphatic detox.
5. Reduces Acid Reflux
ACV may help to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. A case study showed that an elderly woman suffering from chronic acid reflux and constipation had a 50% improvement when she consistently took apple cider vinegar, licorice, and a magnesium/probiotic supplement. As mentioned above, because ACV is a natural digestive and circulatory support, it could help reduce acid reflux because acid reflux is often a symptom of poor digestion.
6. Dissipates Kidney Stones
Apple cider vinegar has been a long-standing home remedy to help break up kidney stones, and it’s a natural diuretic, so it helps flush and detox the kidneys as well. A middle-aged relative of mine would take ACV with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil (which is a gentle laxative) to help break up and pass her kidney stones, and it did work!
7. Lowers Blood Glucose
In the United States, approximately 96 million adults – around one in three adults – are prediabetic. Studies show that apple cider vinegar helps to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, especially after meals. Although this is not a 1-for-1 substitute for diabetes medication, this could be a helpful addition to your diabetes prevention plan for a healthy lifestyle if you’re worried you may be showing signs of prediabetes.
8. Lowers Cholesterol
ACV can help lower high cholesterol. Medical figures indicate that ACV is actually able to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increase the beneficial HDL cholesterol. In addition to incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet, it’s important to maintain a healthy menu with good cholesterol foods like organic eggs and to avoid fried and highly processed foods like donuts and corndogs. ACV can only go so far and is not meant to be a one-man show.
9. Benefits Skin and Hair
Who would’ve known it, but apple cider vinegar can actually be an easy and inexpensive beauty boost for your skin and hair! ACV helps cleanse the hair and reduce oil buildup.
Since it’s a natural antibacterial agent and contains some amounts of lactic acid, ACV benefits the skin and treats acne by helping inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, the specific bacteria strain responsible for acne breakouts. A dermatology study showed that lactic acid also helps reduce acne scarring and that lactic acid helps lighten scars from acne breakouts, so using ACV can not only prevent acne but also lessen the scars and help repair your skin! Hallelujah.
10. Reduces Fine Lines
Last, but most definitely not least, apple cider vinegar helps you age more gracefully because the beta carotene, antioxidants, and other vitamins found in ACV help reduce the fine lines of aging. Studies show that antioxidants have notable anti-aging effects. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want a bit of a natural glow-up that softens the facial lines. Sign me up!
Growing up in my health-nerdy family, we had an ACV drink recipe we called “Firewater,” which my mom created and my brothers named. You can now buy a similar concoction at Whole Foods or other health food places labeled “immunity booster” at a ridiculous price. But why not make it at home for yourself for a fraction of the cost with fresher ingredients? Why not, indeed. That’s why I’m sharing our family Firewater recipe with you here (shh, don’t tell)! Bottoms up.
½ cup of water
1-2 cloves of fresh pressed garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root (grated or pressed)
Juice of ½-1 lemon
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
This tried-and-true recipe is an anti-inflammatory power kick to combat sinus infections, colds, and allergies, and it helps fight parasites during a cleanse. You can skip the garlic and add some raw honey to make this on the less “fiery” side and more like an ACV immunity cocktail, or you can chug the Firewater and just embrace the fire because it will burn (but it’ll burn the bad stuff out). You can use the shots straw to avoid savoring the very pungent taste. It’s very stimulating – you’ll feel more energized and pumped up more quickly than if you just drank a coffee. An ACV Firewater shot is essentially nature’s Red Bull to your circulatory and respiratory systems. You can also make a large recipe and divide the Firewater into shot-size portions for periodic consumption later (only one per day though).
Although it’s been rising in popularity again, apple cider vinegar is nothing new, and it’s not a random fad. It’s been a well-used remedy in the holistic health realm for centuries. Don’t let Big Pharma dumb it down to you – its benefits are real, and the risk is extremely minimal. Just don’t overconsume and make sure you drink it diluted and use a straw to protect your teeth.
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