From savoury spices to fiber-filled vegetables, everyday ingredients include the vitamins, minerals and nutrients to build a strong body. One food you might be missing from your daily routine is apple cider vinegar, a food that can help with controlling blood sugar, improving digestion and even killing bacteria living in your sink.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is produced during the fermentation of apple cider. The sugar in an apple is fermented by yeast or bacteria that turns it into alcohol. It is then further fermented to turn the alcohol into acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar contains around four to five percent of acetic acid, to which many of the health benefits can be contributed.
Although, not all apple cider vinegar is created equally. Be sure to look for organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “mother,” meaning it contains prebiotics.
Benefits of Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar
Aids in Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar can suppress your appetite and help control blood sugar. For appetite suppression, vinegar has been known to increase satiety in small studies. Though research is ongoing, there are promising findings that apple cider vinegar can be used to control blood sugar; this is because acetic acid lowers carbohydrate metabolism. This is what also leads to that feeling of fullness.
That gunk at the bottom of apple cider vinegar bottle is a special form of fiber called prebiotics. It is what friendly probiotics feed on in your gut to flourish, so be sure to shake the bottle prior to each use to get that goodness.
In addition, apple cider vinegar has been shown to moderately lower the growth of bacterial colonies that are higher in bacterial endotoxins called lipopolysaccharide (LPS). High levels of LPS are connected to inflammatory issues or leaky gut.
Lastly, heartburn is sometimes believed to be caused by too much acid in the stomach—but that’s not strictly true. Heartburn is due to low gastric acid. Using apple cider vinegar as dressing or as a flavor booster in water can increase the acidity in your stomach temporarily, which helps prime your gut for better digestion.
Benefits of Using Apple Cider Vinegar
Cleans Dishes and Sinks
A natural way to clean your sink after washing the dishes is to use diluted apple cider vinegar on a sponge. It kills bacteria, gives your sink a nice shine and smells great. For dishes, add a splash to your dishwasher to reduce spots on your drinking glasses.
If you use a bunch of hair products or deal with dandruff, apple cider vinegar can help. Put a 1:10 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle to freshen up oily hair from product use or having gone a couple days without washing it. Most shampoos and conditioners have a pH of 7 or higher, which is neutral to alkaline. Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3 or less, which is acidic. You can improve your scalp health with apple cider vinegar because the acidity counteracts the alkaline pH of your scalp (and the products you use on it).
Though there are several benefits, you should watch out for a handful of things as signs of overusing apple cider vinegar.
Exposing your teeth to the acidity in apple cider vinegar may erode tooth enamel and lead to damage like cavities. Be sure to dilute it in water or drink water after taking a teaspoon to protect your teeth.
As discussed, apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and can lead to irritation or worse if too much is consumed at once. Additionally, for the same reason it can help control blood sugar, it can also slow gastric emptying, which is why you might feel full longer. This can be uncomfortable and lead to bloating and nausea, so it is always best to talk with your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
Low Potassium Levels
A case study found that excessive apple cider vinegar consumption can lead to low blood potassium levels, known as hypokalemia. Though apple cider vinegar contains some potassium, there are dozens of foods like zucchini, potatoes and spinach that have more potassium. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience these common symptoms of low potassium.
Apple cider vinegar is not a miracle liquid, but there is enough research to include it as part of a healthy diet. The best way to incorporate it into your diet is by adding it to your daily meals. Try putting a tablespoon in your favorite carbonated beverage, drizzling some on salads or introducing it to your favourite sauces.
In other news – Everything you need to know about Stretching
Love it or hate it, stretching is an essential component of any fitness program. But how many of us actually reserve time in our workout to give our muscles the TLC they really need? If you’re like a lot of people, getting in one more set of burpees or squeezing in five more minutes on the treadmill often takes priority overstretching.
What if we told you that carving out five minutes at the end of your routine can help you recover faster and set you up to have a better workout next time? Would you give it a try? We asked three experts to give us the scoop on everything you need to know about stretching. Learn more