A shot of apple cider vinegar a day keeps the doctor away…
Well, that’s the idea behind the latest health fad dominating our Facebook feeds.
The ancient amber nectar of the health world, apple cider vinegar has earned itself the occasional shout out here on Kings and Greens, prompting a deluge of (OK, three) demands for us to cover the topic in more detail.
Good news, fellow fadders, we are your humble servants of the blogosphere so we’ve delved a little deeper into the world of ACV to tell you everything you need to know in one place.
So what the flip is it?
Apple cider vinegar is the diva of vinegars, with good reason. The word vinegar apparently comes from the French for “sour wine”, a fact which somehow escaped my attention throughout 11 years of studying the language, which included a year actually spent in France, imbibing gallons of actual wine. One for you pub quizzers.
Hippocrates gave it to his patients thousands of years ago, and while I’m no medical expert, I hear he was kind of a big deal.
Why should I use it?
ACV kills 98% of all germs. NINETY EIGHT PERCENT! How do you like those apples?? (sorry).
In fact, the only superior germ buster is bleach, so unless you’re going to start shotting that (NOT K&G-recommended), you better hop on the ACV wagon.
Full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, ACV is a true health hero with a myriad of health and beauty-related benefits.
1. It aids weight loss
Not only does it boost energy, apple cider vinegar actually helps you lose weight. Acid is a natural appetite suppressant and fat burner, so a pre-lunch shot may stop you reaching for that post-lunch cupcake as you’ll feel fuller for longer.
A splash of ACV reduces water retention (bye bye bloating!), while its amino acids get busy on your metabolism. Some say it even messes with your body’s ability to digest starch, which stops some of the cals making their way into your bloodstream.
2. It stops you getting sick
A lofty claim, but one which is apparently backed up by science. Most major diseases are caused by inflammation. So, as a natural anti-inflammatory, apple cider vinegar can lower your risk of catching the really serious stuff, like heart disease.
It’s been said that ACV’s alkalising properties can help prevent the spread of cancer cells and even shrink tumours, according to some studies.
Just a tablespoon a day keeps cholesterol at bay – studies have shown it comes up trumps for increasing bile production and supporting your liver.
What’s more, it’s been said to keep blood sugar levels low, so can help fight diabetes.
3. It’s a natural skin saviour
Beating acne, curing dandruff, soothing sunburn and fading bruises are just a few of the ways apple cider V could rock your world.
4. It’s a cure for basically everything
Coughs, tummy troubles, sore throats, indigestion, blocked noses, cramp, even hiccups (!) – there is seemingly no minor health complaint that can’t be remedied with a slurp of your new best friend, ACV.
Apple cider vinegar has been extolled for its medicinal benefits for 12,000 years. Take that, Beechams!
7 ways to get your apple cider vinegar fix
1. Drink it
7am shots! Why not? The taste may not set your world on fire, but hey, I’m sure you’ve shotted worse (Aftershock, anyone?) and it’s guaranteed to wake you up.
If you can’t handle that, add a couple of tablespoons to your morning lemon water to kickstart your metabolism, or to a large glass of water an hour before bed to reduce your body’s glucose levels overnight.
DISCLAIMER – don’t get too excited, the cider part doesn’t mean it can get you tipsy. Good news for the school run.
2. Eat it
Splash a little onto your salad as you would squeeze a little lemon or lime, for a zesty dressing. If a salad dressing recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, switch it for ACV to boost the health benefits.
Add it to soups, stir fry sauces and dips for a touch of acidity – it helps to bring out other flavours, too.
You can also add a dash to water when boiling or poaching eggs.
3. Gargle it
Get gargling in the morning and a little ACV can whiten teeth, eliminate bad breath and zap bacteria in your mouth and gums. Brush after.
4. Apply it
Many health buffs use it as a natural toner to replace chemical-packed products, as it has astringent properties that help tighten your skin and prevent wrinkles. Mix with equal parts water and smooth over your face and neck with a cotton pad for that ACV glow.
5. Bathe in it
Add a drop or two of ACV to your Sunday night bath, along with some essential oils and Epsom salts, to detoxify your body for the week ahead.
6. Clean with it
Mix apple cider vinegar with equal parts water and a few drops of essential oils and you have yourself a nifty little natural cleaner you can use all over your home.
7. Rinse it
Apple cider vinegar is your one-stop wonder product when it comes to natural haircare. It’s been said to make your hair shinier, prevent split ends, detangle, cleanse, banish frizz and promote hair growth. Natural Living Ideas tells us how:
- Blend one cup of water with two to four tablespoons of vinegar
- After shampooing and rinsing, slowly pour the mixture over your entire scalp, allowing it to run down the length of your hair (avoiding eye area – ouch)
- Massage the mixture into your scalp, which will also serve to stimulate circulation and hair growth
- After one to two minutes, rinse out the vinegar and make like you’ve just stepped out of the salon.
Where can I score some?
ACV doesn’t come for free, but as wonder products go, it’s pretty damn close.
It’s widely available in supermarkets and health food stores – I’ve just ordered a 750ml Biona bottle for £2.89 from Ocado and there are cheaper brands available too (#sorrynotsorry for buying the one that looks best on my kitchen shelf).
Go for the unfiltered kind, with the “mother” – that doesn’t mean you have to take your mum shopping with you (though we recommend you do, because ours pays. Thanks Sand!).
The mother is actually the gross-looking strands of friendly bacteria, enzymes and proteins – i.e. the good stuff.
So… anyone for a shot?