Have you been hearing about all of the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar, but have no idea where to start or whether it's worth the hype?
Every health blogger, Instagrammer, and probably your grandma, think apple cider vinegar (ACV) is just the bee's knees. I remember my grandfather told my dad to drink it when I was younger to help combat arthritis. At the time, I thought it was downright weird (and disgusting). But little did I know, my grandfather was onto something.
First, we're going to start with why ACV can play a big role in your digestive system.
Your stomach is made up of Hydrochloric Acid (HCL), which actually breaks the protein down in your stomach. But a lot of things can actually reduce the amount of HCL in your stomach, like stress and aging.
And when you don't have enough HCL in your stomach to break down your food properly, you can end up with issues like bloating, heart burn, gas, and even food intolerances. These all lead to other issues like decreased energy throughout your day.
When your energy is low, and your digestive system is a little sluggish, it can lead to weight gain, and chronic stomach issues.
How to use ACV to help digestion:
- Have 1 tbsp. ACV in one big glass of warm(ish) water first thing in the morning to boost HCL levels. *Note: if this causes excessive discomfort, speak to a health care professional.
- Add ACV to salad dressings give your body a little extra support in breaking it all down.
Have a cold? ACV can help you with that!
ACV has been shown to have some antimicrobial properties. When you have a sore throat, you may think that ACV will cause uncomfortable burning... and honestly, it kind of does. But in the long run, it can help to loosen built-up phlegm, kill off bacteria in the throat, and actually coats and soothes it.
As well, drinking ACV (as discussed above), can help you breakdown nutrient dense food that you're eating. Making it more easily available for your body to absorb and use to boost your immune system.
How to use ACV to boost your immune system:
- Gargle with a 1 part ACV to 2 parts water mix. If you're feeling adventurous, add some salt.
- Have 1 tbsp. ACV in one big glass of warm(ish) water first thing in the morning to boost HCL levels.
ACV is widely used for skin issues.
People use apple cider vinegar for a variety of skin issues, including acne, eczema, and dandruff.
ACV is known to balance the pH levels of your skin. This is especially true for those battling dandruff. ACV can help tackle bacteria and yeast overgrowth on your scalp, which can contribute to dandruff and itchiness, as well as balance the pH levels that can lead to the overproduction of oils.
For your skin, it's not totally proven, but that also means it's not disproven. And if you're looking for a natural way to combat skin issues like eczema or acne, this won't make it any worse.
How to use ACV for your skin and hair:
- For general use mix 1-2 tbsp. of ACV in a cup of water and use as a rinse in the shower
- For really stubborn dandruff use 1/4 cup of ACV with 1/4 cup water and massage into scalp. Leave it on for an hour, then rinse.
- Spot treat pimples by applying directly to the affected area using a Q-Tip.
- Use as a toner by mixing 2 tbsp. in a class of water. If you're not a fan of the smell, you can rinse it off afterward.