By now I am sure you have heard about apple cider vinegar and its reputation as an amazing health supplement, but what exactly is the deal with this age-old superfood? Which one is best to buy and how to use it?
What exactly is apple cider vinegar?
It’s a two-step process – first, chunks of fresh apples are exposed to yeast to start the primary fermentation process. Then good bacteria are added to further ferment and produce acetic acid. While there are almost no vitamins or minerals in it, apple cider vinegar is rich in beneficial probiotics, enzymes and antioxidants. It’s also very low in calories – only around about three calories per tablespoon.
How to choose the healthiest apple cider vinegar?
You’ll find a large variety of apple cider vinegar brands in health stores. However, not all of these confer health and beauty benefits. Which one is the best to buy? Here are three easy tips to choose the healthiest:
Choose it raw (unpasteurized) and with the mother
The uglier the better! tIf you’ve got a good bottle of apple cider vinegar, you should see some strand-like sediment floating at the bottom. No, your vinegar hasn’t gone bad — that scary stuff at the bottom is the most important part! It’s “the mother,” and it contains raw enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria that promote healing.
No Plastic Bottles
Choose an apple cider vinegar that comes in amber glass to protect its flavor, bouquet and nutritional integrity.
Look for certified
Good apple cider vinegar is made from selected organic apples, slowly pressed and lightly filtered, using no ‘press aids’ or enzymes, then slowly transformed into the finest Apple Cider Vinegar.
How to use apple cider vinegar?
Got a bottle of apple cider vinegar and not sure what to do with it? If you only use apple cider vinegar on your salad, you’re seriously underestimating its potential. Here are some great uses from hair and skin care, household cleaning to healing and cooking:
Your morning detox
Taking a tablespoon or two of raw, organic ACV in a glass of water daily can help your body’s detoxification. It’s best to take it in the early morning and in if you don’t like the taste of straight apple cider vinegar, try mixing 2 tablespoons with 1 cup of grapefruit juice, or 1 teaspoon of honey and a cup of water.
Add a punch of flavor to soups
Why should salads get all the love? Apple cider vinegar can also add just the right punch of flavor to soups. Try adding it in a creamy veggie or lentil soup.
Clean your fruits & Vegetables
Apple cider vinegar is a safe and effective way to clean fruits and vegetables: just soak them in water with a splash of vinegar.
Boost your baking treats & replace eggs
Vinegar in general can help give batters a little lift. And because its mild flavor is undetectable and may even enhance the flavor of other ingredients in sweets, it’s an especially good option for those homemade treats. A combination of soy milk, apple cider vinegar and baking soda will work perfectly to replace eggs in your favorite muffin recipe.
Enjoy a detox bath
Use ACV in your bath. Add ½- 1 cup to your bath water along with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil for a relaxing and detoxifying bath. In a hurry? Take a quick foot bath. This will sting on any open sores or wounds, so beware!
Fix tangled hair
Get shiny, untangled hair by adding 1/3 cup ACV to 4 cups of water and pour over your hair after shampooing. Leave on for a few seconds and rinse with cold water.
DIY facial toner
Make your own skin toner with a ratio of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water, and use a cotton ball to daub your face with it after cleansing. It’ll tighten up pores, and help fight acne breakouts as well as helping to heal any acne that has already popped up. Rinse your face with plain water 10 minutes or so after swabbing.
Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup of water. Swish it around in your mouth for 15 to 20 seconds and then spit out. You can swallow it if you want to receive the other health benefits that apple cider vinegar has. The important thing to note is that you will need to brush your teeth after each use of the apple cider vinegar mouthwash as its high acidity might damage tooth enamel.
Keep your kitchen clean
Mix 1 part ACV and 9 parts water to clean just about any surface. You can use this in a spray bottle. This is an excellent option if you are sensitive to chemicals or have kids and pets around the house: ACV is non-toxic, odor-absorbing, antibacterial alternative to harsh chemicals.
What Apple Cider Vinegar Can (and Can’t) Do For You
While there’s little scientific research around the benefits, it’s easy to read countless testimonies of people who swear apple cider vinegar is the miracle supplement. From weight loss to protective action against diabetes. Just remember, making vinegar a daily habit won’t cancel out the effects of overeating and having a bad life-style. Think of it as one piece of your wellness puzzle, and not a panacea.