• Megan Benzik

The Truth About Apple Cider Vinegar

An apple a day isn't the only thing that keeps the doctor away.


Drinking its vinegar may help too!

While Austin and I personally drink apple cider vinegar every morning to start our day, some people are advised to take a quick shot before or after meals. Consuming ACV has grown in popularity among the health and wellness community, which has left many people wondering if it's really worth that extremely hard-to-get-used-to taste. Through experience, Austin and I both feel that it is well worth it! We have noticed an improvement in our digestion overall, but you don't have to take it from us. Let us dive deeper into the facts!


What is ACV?

Apple cider vinegar is made in a two-step process similar to how alcohol is made. The first step exposes crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol. In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid — the main active compound in vinegar.


Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg's) also contain the"mother". The "mother" consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria. It's the stuff that sits at the bottom of the bottle until it's shaken up to give the vinegar a murky appearance.


Some people believe that the "mother" is responsible for most of the health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this. The "mother" DOES, however, contain prebiotics, which help with digestive health! Prebiotics are essentially food for the probiotics (good bacteria) in your gut that help promotes a healthy digestive system.


So what are the benefits of ACV?


  1. Improved digestion - It contains prebiotics that help feed the probiotics in your gut, which help in digesting food and maintaining a normal gut biome.

  2. Lowers blood sugar levels - It has been shown to help in the treatment of type 2 diabetes by significantly lowering blood sugar and insulin responses. It has also been shown to help in improving overnight fasting blood sugar levels when taken before bed.

  3. Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels - This leads to an overall increase in heart health. There have been studies done that show it can lead to a decrease in blood pressure as well.

  4. Detoxifies your liver- The acetic acid in ACV binds to toxins, which assists in the removal of toxins from your body. This helps everything in your body, from your gut to your liver!

  5. ACV has anticarcinogenic agent properties - Due to it's antioxidant properties, it can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and keep tumors from growing. HOWEVER, this has only been demonstrated in isolated cell test tube studies and in rats. More research needs to be done on humans.

  6. Helps with the absorption of calcium- It helps keep your bones strong!

  7. Helps with weight loss- Yep! You read that right! While ACV has been shown to decrease appetite, all of the benefits listed above also contribute to overall weight loss.


Are you convinced yet?!

Alright, so we said we would dive deep into the truth. The truth is, Apple Cider Vinegar does have multiple health benefits. The biggest downfall is the harm it can do to your teeth. In order to avoid this, you can drink it out of a straw or take it like a shot chased with water. Overall, more research needs to be done to support some of these claims, but a majority of them have had substantial research done. (see references below)


So how do we recommend taking it?

Well, it depends! Remember, everyone is different. We always look at the big picture of a client's life when prescribing something like ACV. For example, due to the substantial research done on its help with type 2 diabetes, someone with type 2 diabetes may want to consider taking smaller amounts throughout the day. Others may opt to take a shot only with higher carb meals and when they experience digestive issues. As I said before, we simply throw it into our morning routine. While ACV does have many benefits, figuring out the best way to take it is very person dependent.


Don't Worry, We won't leave you hanging!


This is how we take our daily ACV:

We make a special morning drink that we take first thing in the morning, or 10min before we eat breakfast to help get our digestive systems primed for food. We also mix our daily electrolytes in it to make sure we get those in as well!


Live ATOP Morning Drink:

*If the taste is too intense, try adding a small amount of local, natural honey.




Important Notes:


  1. Try to drink it on an empty stomach 10min before a meal. This helps prime your gut to break down food more efficiently.

  2. Always buy the ACV with the "mother" in it. The "mother" has strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give it a cloudy look when you shake the bottle. The “mother” is responsible for most of the health benefits.

  3. Not all of these claims are scientifically supported, but those who drink it consistently every day swear by it.

  4. You will eventually get used to the taste. We crave it now. =P

  5. Always consult a physician before trying anything new.


References:

https://www.bulletproof.com/supplements/dietary-supplements/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703

https://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar-and-your-health#1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar#section1

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