With ACV, terms like “organic” and “raw” are tossed around pretty loosely, making it hard to decipher what you’re actually getting when you grab a bottle from the store.
To maximize the apple cider vinegar benefits, you should pick organic, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar whenever possible. It should also be murky with a web-like appearance and the mother still intact to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.
Here’s what those terms actually mean and why you should pick organic, raw and unfiltered ACV whenever possible:
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
If your ACV is labeled as certified organic, it means that it’s free of genetically modified organisms and synthetic additives that can actually do more harm than good in terms of your health.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar is unheated and unprocessed. This means that it still has the “mother” intact, which is a cluster of proteins, enzymes and beneficial bacteria often removed during processing.
Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
For most apple cider vinegar uses, you’ll also want to go for unfiltered apple cider vinegar. When ACV is filtered, it removes the mother as well as any sediment, leaving behind a clear, amber vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits vs. Apple Cider Benefits
So what distinguishes apple cider from apple cider vinegar, and can they be used interchangeably?
Apple cider is made from fresh pressed apples. It’s similar to apple juice but it’s not filtered or processed in the same way.
ACV, on the other hand, is actually made from apple cider that has been fermented by yeast and bacteria, which turns the sugars into alcohol. It then undergoes a second fermentation process in which the alcohol is converted into acetic acid.
This fermentation process accounts for the many health benefits of apple cider vinegar and is the reason why ACV is able to lower cholesterol, keep blood sugar levels stable and relieve acid reflux. Apple cider, on the other hand, may taste great but doesn’t provide the same wealth of benefits.
History: Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
ACV has been consumed for thousands of years. In fact, records show that we’ve been fermenting apple juice into vinegar since well before 5,000 B.C.
Historically, ACV has been used for a variety of different purposes, such as helping to detoxify the liver, purifying blood, cleansing the lymph nodes and boosting immunity. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates even prescribed it mixed with a bit of honey to help cure coughs and colds.
In the 17th century, Europeans began using vinegar medicinally. They started preparing it in syrups and antiseptics and even used it as a gargle to kill off germs.
Today, ACV has re-entered the spotlight and is beginning to gain some well-deserved recognition for its potent health-promoting properties. Not only can it be used as a natural remedy to treat a variety of ailments, but it even makes an effective all-natural household cleaner and disinfectant.
Precautions: How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should You Take?
Although apple cider vinegar consumption is healthy and safe for most people, consuming large amounts can lead to some negative effects on health. Apple cider vinegar side effects include erosion of tooth enamel, burning of the throat or skin and decreased levels of potassium.
Be sure to always dilute apple cider vinegar in water instead of drinking it straight to prevent negative side effects. You should also start with a low dose and work your way up to assess your tolerance.
If you’re taking blood sugar medications, talk to your doctor before using apple cider vinegar. Because ACV may help reduce blood sugar levels, you may need to modify your dosage of diabetes medications to prevent hypoglycemia symptoms.
Finally, while there are a wide range of apple cider vinegar uses, it shouldn’t be viewed as a quick fix or cure when it comes to your health. Instead, it should be paired with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle to really see results.
Final Thoughts on Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
- ACV is made from apple cider that has been fermented, producing healthy probiotics and enzymes and significantly slashing sugar and calories — and those aren’t the only apple cider vinegar benefits.
- Apple cider vinegar benefits include improving weight loss, dropping blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stabilizing blood sugar, enhancing skin health, and relieving acid reflux symptoms.
- What is organic apple cider vinegar good for? There are a wide range of apple cider vinegar uses, from making all-natural household cleaners and bug sprays to whitening teeth and aiding in detoxification.
- Opt for raw, unfiltered and organic ACV with the mother still intact as this type of ACV provides the most apple cider vinegar benefits.
- Remember to dilute apple cider vinegar in water, use it in moderation, and pair it with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle to maximize your results. It even fits in seamlessly to the popular keto diet.