APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, known to the in-crowd as ACV, is my second foundation drink, after the Crazy Hot Drink. I like to take about a tablespoon (or less if you are starting out) in a glass of appropriate water. The taste is slightly tangy, like a weak, refreshing wine. Who doesn’t want to pretend they are drinking wine all day?
I just find that drinking water can get a little monotonous. But when I add some ACV to it, all of a sudden it is a flashy beverage! It’s my diet coke.
I have tried lots of different varieties of ACV, hoping to find an organic local version that I like. But it turns out the Bragg Organic, Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with the “Mother” is my favorite.
WHEN AND WHY?
We’ve all heard that the best way to start your day is with a squeeze of lemon in a glass of water. Totally! But guess what? It gets kind of expensive to buy all these organic lemons and cut them up and sometimes forget about them. So while I love lemon in water, I save it for when I have leftover lemon kicking around, or when I am in a restaurant or traveling (let them spend the money on lemons!).
So instead I start the day with a glass of appropriate water and some ACV. This will restore your body’s pH balance, making it just slightly alkaline. Possibly this will give your kidneys a little breathing room. The ACV will also stimulate your stomach acid, which will help digestion. Since ACV is prebiotic, it will feed probiotics, which will strengthen your body’s immunity and gut health.
ACV should also be taken with a little water before meals, especially if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD. The idea is that the acetic and malic acids in ACV increase the acidity of the stomach, which signals the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) to tighten and strengthen to protect the esophagus. Raising the acid levels actually protects the esophagus and makes digestion more efficient. This higher acidity allows your body to better absorb essential minerals that are locked in foods. By contrast, taking antacids or acid-blockers lowers the stomach pH, which sends indifferent signals to the LES causing it to weaken and allowing stomach acid to slip up through it into the esophagus in a relentless cycle of pain, discomfort, malnutrition and eventual destruction of the esophageal lining.
As well as being full of enzymes, raw organic ACV is rich in potassium (11mg/TBS), which can help relieve symptoms of the common cold, allergies, mucus and sinus congestion. Tooth decay and brittle fingernails are another sign of potassium deficiency. ACV has also been used to treat headaches, depression, joint pain, kidney and bladder issues, depression and constipation. High levels of pectin in ACV, which act like high fiber, control blood sugar and make it an ideal supplement for diabetics. Taking ACV before meals has shown to lower blood glucose in both healthy people and diabetics, reducing the need for supplementary insulin. It is also known to cleanse the organs and blood by binding with toxins and breaking them down for elimination.
Not only did Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, prescribe ACV for everything, but the Egyptians were into it 3000 years ago, and there are indications it was being used to treat ailments at least 10,000 years ago. That’s a much better human record than a 6 month clinical trial.
Don’t drink ACV straight: too hard on the tooth enamel and linings of the mouth and esophagus. Don’t drink crazy amounts like a cup a day. Don’t get an ACV pill stuck in your throat. People did these things and it didn’t work out for them.
Almost finished your bottle of ACV? Still see a generous helping of “the mother”, that webby brown stuff, settled on the bottom? Then just top up your bottle with your favorite tasting raw, organic apple cider – cover the opening with a cloth and an elastic, and put it in the cupboard for 4 months. Look at what you just did! You made your own ACV, girl.