Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is—not surprisingly—made from apple cider. First the apples are crushed and their liquid is squeezed out. Bacteria and yeast are added to start the fermentation process. The sugars in the liquid are turned into alcohol, then a second fermentation process turns the alcohol into vinegar.
When looking for ACV, it’s important to buy one that’s raw, organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered, and contains the “mother,” a cobweb-like component you’ll see floating in the bottle that’s composed of strands of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria.
While ACV has demonstrated numerous health benefits, here are five great uses of this awesome elixir.
Drinking ACV in a glass of water before your meals can help improve your digestion naturally. It helps to stimulate your digestive juices so you’re better able to break down your food. Over time, your digestion should improve and you’ll assimilate more of your food. Additionally, ACV soothes the entire GI tract and helps prevent gas and bloating. It also stimulates peristalsis, which can help relieve occasional constipation.
Low stomach acid can often lead to issues such as heartburn, reflux, and GERD. While supplementing with betaine hydrochloride (betaine HCl) is usually the go-to for this issue (especially if you have very low levels), drinking ACV in water can also help improve low stomach acid. If you do drink ACV, be sure to dilute it with water, as it’s very strong and can irritate the lining of your esophagus. Simply add between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of ACV to 10-12 ounces of water.