Whether you’ve been using this for awhile or keep seeing it brought up in health discussions apple cider vinegar, or ACV like us cool kids say, is something you’ll definitely want to check out. This podcast is all about how apple cider vinegar is made and the amazing health benefits that come from using it.
It’s a great addition to your nutrition approach and like me, it’s easy to use and cheap.
Let’s do this thing..
In This Episode On Apple Cider Vinegar You Will Learn:
- How it’s made
- The benefits of all kinds of vinegar
- Acetic acid and its importance
- What the ‘mother’ is and why it should be there
- How ACV can improve blood sugar levels
- The impact on cholesterol and heart disease
- The ability to fight off bacteria
- Why fermented foods are so healthy
- The importance of gut bacteria and how ACV serves as a pre-biotic
- Best ways to use apple cider vinegar
- What to look for when buying it
Apple Cider Vinegar
In today’s topic, we’ll be talking about what apple cider vinegar is, how it’s made, how it all comes together, and most importantly, a lot of crazy-good health benefits that come from it. If you’re using it, you’re probably very aware of them. If you’re not, you’ll learn a lot about how amazing the stuff really is.
So, apple cider vinegar or ACV, if you like, or even cider vinegar is a type of vinegar and it’s made from cider or what they call apple musk, just like fuller pieces of apple.
It has a pale medium amber-ish color to it. The health benefits that come with ACV, we’re looking at either unpasteurized or ideally organic apple cider vinegar. This contains what they call the mother of vinegar. It has a rather cobwebby-like appearance that sort of floats around. The vinegar here looks slightly congealed.
Mother of Vinegar
The mother of vinegar is an important concept that revolves around the entire health process of what makes this stuff so good. The mother of vinegar is composed of cellulose acetic acid bacteria. These bacteria develop on any sort of fermenting alcoholic liquid, such as a Kombucha.
A Kombucha is obviously different than ACV, but it’s along the same lines. So, when these bacteria are developed on the fermenting alcoholic liquid, it turns the alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen from the air. That is when the overall activation starts to take place, therefore it is then added to wine, ciders, and other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar.
How is Apple Cider Vinegar Made
The process of actually making apple cider vinegar is pretty simple. It is made by crushing the apples and squeezing out the liquid, to which the bacteria is later added to start the alcoholic fermentation process. This is similar to when you are making beer, spirits, or wine, as they all follow a similar path.
During the fermentation process, the sugars turn to alcohol, followed by a second fermentation process where the alcohol is further converted to vinegar when the acetic acid and acetic acid formed bacteria create another component known as malic acid.
This combination of acids gives vinegar its sour taste, whether its white vinegar or malt or ACV. Malic acid is the reason why any vinegar has that sharp, sour-y taste to it. Some people tend to like the taste, while others do not.
If you look at the French description of vinegar, “Omphalos” means sour wine, and that is actually kind of what you are drinking here. As opposed to the fermentation process that happens with grapes while making wine, there is actually a different aging and storing process that develops deeper concentrations of ACV. The process will determine the sugar content of the vinegar and how dry it might be.
With apple cider vinegar, the process of making it is very simple. Like making Kombucha and other fermented drinks at home, you can also make ACV at home, by just following tutorials found on YouTube.
Kombucha on the other hand takes quite a while to make. There are also different versions of them, and they are available everywhere. Similar to that, apple cider vinegar is cheap to buy everywhere as well.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Let us get right into its health benefits. Starting off, we’re talking about acetic acid and that’s part of what’s considered to have a lot of the biological effects.
Apple cider vinegar itself has little number of vitamins and minerals. It’s got a bit of potassium in it too. Really good quality apple cider vinegar will contain some amino acids and anti-oxidants.
ACV is also low in calorie, which is around three calories per tablespoon only. So, in short, ACV is not really a concoction of vitamins and minerals, but instead, it got its benefits down in that fermentation process which can really help your health.
Looking at one of the big things about ACV is that it can kill many types of bacteria, and that’s one of the things that’s amazing about vinegar. It’s incredible how fermentation and vinegar exist naturally, and that we can coax it along and also further develop it.
But it’s amazing how beneficial any fermented type things can be for our health, even alcohol.
When you think of a homemade cleaning solution or stuff like that, vinegar’s always in it because it’s good for cleaning and disinfecting things such as windows, tabletops, etc. You can also use vinegar to treat a lot of issues such as lice infestation, nail fungus, etc.
Vinegar’s been used all the way back to Hippocrates, who’s the father of modern medicine. At that age, people used vinegar for wound cleaning as well as a food preservative thousands of years ago.
That’s kind of how sushi came to be as well. There are lots of different stories about this, one stating that vinegar had accidentally come in contact with rice, and how that created a preservative effect to it. But then one day it came in contact with raw fish, and that happened to create an interesting flavor.
Now in this age, we use rice wine vinegar to make sushi and/or sashimi. Similarly, vinegar also inhibits bacterial growth such as E.Coli, especially from growing on food and spoiling it.
What Other Stuff You Can Do with Apple Cider Vinegar
So, in general, a lot of these ancient preservation techniques actually have some science behind them.
Whether by accident or intentionally, people have discovered how stuff like vinegar actually helped them to preserve their food and prevented it from going rancid or rotten and just barely touchable.
In this sense, if you’re looking for a way to naturally preserve your food, apple cider vinegar can be used as an alternative. It’s a good alternative as a cleaning solution as well, such as for berries and other fruits that tend get moldy really quick.
So, once you keep them in a closed-off container or such, it can actually contaminate the other food around it, just like how rotten food in the fridge tend to contaminate other fresh food as well.
When it comes to contamination inside the fridge, the main cause it spreads so fast is its cold air distribution, which works to circulate the mold all throughout the fridge and into other food.
Financially speaking, not consuming fresh food quickly after its bought can lead to wastage, and that adds up to 2 grand’s a year. So, you want to make sure you take out your fresh food as quickly as possible and clean it.
For this, you can make a sort of Preservative Solution, where you mix one-part vinegar and ten parts water. You then rinse out your food with this. This Preservative Solution is a mild preservative so it keeps the food a little fresher and keeps them from spoiling too soon.
In the case of apple cider vinegar, we can add it to all sorts of foods that we are cooking with. You can mix it into straight water as well. You probably wouldn’t do that with normal vinegar, it’ll throw you off a little bit.
Apple cider vinegar can have that little bit of a harsh flavor, but there’s still that little bit a touch of apple that can be helpful. You can use it in cooking and all sorts of stuff.
Curbing Blood Sugar Levels
The next biggest health benefit that comes from apple cider vinegar is its ability to lower blood sugar levels and fight diabetes.
So, looking at people with Type 2 diabetes, characterized by elevated blood sugars, insulin resistance, or the inability to produce insulin. High blood sugar is still a problem even for people who don’t have diabetes.
This happens when you’re eating a lot of potential sugars, refined carbohydrates. Due to that, you’re causing these blood sugar spikes and insulin releases. And then with the spike comes a crash that can lead to lethargy and irritability and then more cravings for more sugars and carbohydrates. Then you eat again, followed by another. It’s up and down.
And this affects a person’s mood and personality as well because you’ll be irritable or angry all the time. This is a blood sugar issue. For instance, if you see customer’s being rude at waiters in the restaurant, chances are their blood sugar levels spiked and that’s causing them to act up.
It’s not a reflection of who they really are as a person. So, when you see someone hungry and acting like that, you kind of have to take it with a grain of salt and deal with it.
Everyone has to deal with blood sugar issues, and even if you don’t have diabetes, that’s believed to also be a cause of various chronic diseases, inflammations, and premature aging and the whole deal. So, you want to keep those blood sugar levels as stable as possible.
This is why you want to focus on non-starchy vegetables, proteins, fats. So, it’s going to keep things a little more stable compared to the spikes that come from the sugars and the carbohydrates.
But you can’t always avoid those things, whether it’s a holiday season or some event. Avoiding sugars and carbs is not always possible and it’s not practical either.
This is where apple cider vinegar can have a super powerful effect. Apple cider vinegar is shown to have multiple benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels. Apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity during a high carb meal by 19 to 34 percent, which is huge. And it significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses as well. It just helps prevent those crazy spikes.
It also can reduce blood sugar by 34 percent when someone’s eating 50 grams of white bread. So that knocks it down quite a bit. White bread is essentially just like eating sugar.
It’s such a fast-acting carbohydrate in the body because it’s so refined with that pulverized bleached flour, which is essentially sugar, and it hits the body quickly.
So, if you take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime, it can reduce fasting blood sugars by four percent. There’s also a lot of studies on this, not just on humans but also on rats.
In humans, it shows how vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals. So, for those reasons, if you are diabetic, or have issues with blood sugar levels in general, having apple cider vinegar before or after bedtime can really help keep the blood sugar levels stable.
It’s not going to necessarily keep you off the hook where you think you can eat anything as long as you have ACV. You’re still going to get into massive problems for eating out of control.
But it’s just in those specific occasions where you want to keep your blood sugar levels down, a couple of tablespoons of ACV after or later in the day can be really helpful.
If you’re primarily on medications, you might want to check in with your doctor or physician first about apple cider vinegar and see what’s up. But ultimately, ACV shows great promise in improving insulin sensitivity, keeping blood sugar level responses moderate after meals, etc. It’s not going to make you feel good about yourself right then, but there are long term health benefits to it, as opposed to medication that keeps you going up and down on the health scale. The latter leads to burning your pancreas out, premature aging inflammation issues, whatnot. It’s a real mess.
Going along with another point here, apple cider vinegar can actually help you lose weight by making you feel full, in the sense that it lowers your blood sugar levels and insulin levels.
There have been human studies as well, that show ACV increasing the levels of feeling full, and therefore prompting you to eat fewer calories and potentially lose pounds overall.
So, if you’re having a heavy, full carb meal here, mixing some apple cider vinegar to it with water can really increase your feelings of fullness later on. It’s not like you’ll feel bloated, but just as if you aren’t hungry anymore.
Looking at this, it can make people eat 200 to 300 calories fewer during the rest of the day and that can help the long term.
There’s a study that shows some obese individuals consuming apple cider vinegar resulted in reduced belly fat, slimmer waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides, and weight loss itself.
So, people who were taking one tablespoon of ACV, which is around 15 milliliters, were losing around two and a half pounds of weight on average. On the other hand, people who were taking two tablespoons were losing around 3.7 pounds of weight on average. This is a study that went around for about 12 weeks.
This study also had other factors involved as well, so it doesn’t mean the more of the vinegar that you take will result in more fat being lost. In general, the cap off on this is around 2 tablespoons per day only. This amount helps prevent those excess sugar and carbohydrate cravings.
It makes you feel fuller, so you’re not thinking about food. It has to go hand in hand with other stuff as well, such as cleaner eating habits, exercising, good water consumption, etc. But it still does seem to have a range of positive benefits.
ACV for the Heart
Another massive health benefit here is with the issue of cholesterol and heart disease. Apple cider vinegar is seen to lower cholesterol and also reduce your risk of heart disease.
Heart and cholesterol issues are now one of the biggest causes of death right now. There are several measures against it, but there are way too many different biological factors that are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In this case, some of these risk factors have been shown to improve by the consumption of apple cider vinegar. The studies are all based on human trials as well as tests on rodents.
Studies have shown that rats and mice seem to have similar digestive systems to humans. They also share similar traits. In this case, the studies showed that not only was apple cider vinegar able to lower cholesterol, but it also lowers triglyceride levels.
It’s probably caused by the anti-oxidants and allergenic acids that are present in apple cider vinegar that’s been shown to protect your LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized.
This oxidation is actually one of the biggest things that cause heart diseases, as it kind of corrupts and alters the lipoproteins and changes the structure of it. This can potentially lead to heart diseases as a whole.
Another thing here is that apple cider vinegar is also potentially able to reduce blood pressure. As you probably know, blood pressure is one of the most major risks for heart diseases and any cardiovascular issues.
The theory doesn’t work the same for animals and humans here, but the thing is, we’re still mammals ourselves. To back that up, there’s one human observational study from Harvard that showed that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease.
So, I’ll just say that whenever you see observational studies, know that it is not the most ideal way of developing theories, researches, and conclusions about various medical and health-related issues.
You can either take it or leave it here. But what the study found is still something noticeable. The fact that the women who had vinegar as salad dressing had a reduced risk of heart diseases are a crucial observation.
Of course, there could be other things helping with that too, and it’s not necessarily tied to apple cider vinegar, but nothing bad came up either. The result was positive. It might just be an association, so it’s not exactly proven but the correlation and causation are two different things here.
When you’re looking at medical research and nutritional research, causation means there’s more of a direct connection and they’re looking at something specific and not causing a specific reaction or result.
Correlation just means they’re potentially associated. It’s not directly responsible for creating or not creating a certain effect on someone. So, if you see the word causation, you know it’s a little more of an effective approach and more of a meaningful observational study.
So, when winding it down here, you look at some of these things that we’ve used for millennia, in the case of fermented products or apple cider vinegar, you’ll see that we’ve only just started looking at the potential health benefit.
We’re seeing a lot of positive connections that can create a lot of health benefits as well. With apple cider vinegar, primary health benefits are its ability to maintain blood sugar levels, insulin response and how it can control everything else pretty well.
This seems to be straightforward, in terms of its benefits. It also seems pretty encouraging, but as I said, on the flip side it could cause detrimental or potential harm as well. But as of right now, it’s associated with positive health benefits.
So, in general, it’s very helpful and useful and something has no side effect noted to date.
But the fact that there aren’t side effects noted with normal consumption means there will be potentially more studies as time goes by. As previously stated, having it first thing in the morning can have positive effects on your body. You’ve basically been dehydrated through the entire night, so it’s going to kick off your hydration and your cleansing system as seeing what apple cider vinegar really can do. It’s going to help with your digestion as well.
Also, the fact that it serves as a prebiotic is really helpful. Prebiotic as you know, it’s not so different from probiotic, which is actually the healthy gut that helps with your digestive system, immune system functioning, mood improvement, etc.
Just like the brain, the small intestine is responsible for how you feel, your mood, and whatnot, so the probiotics here are the good gut bacteria and the prebiotics are what those bacteria feed on.
So, it’s not a probiotic per se, but it can help create that good environment. You want to have a wide spectrum and as many of these different strains of good gut bacteria as possible and having something like an apple cider vinegar is going to help set that stage to make them even healthier and better.
So that’s one of the other reasons apple cider vinegar is used for. As previously mentioned, a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar, where you can even throw in some freshly squeezed lemon, will be really helpful in creating that cleansing, detoxification, digestion ability. So that’s a good way to start off.
Apple Cider Vinegar in a Diet
It’s really easy to incorporate it into your diet just like that. Just drink it down the hatch. It might burn a little but you’ll get used to it. Apple cider vinegar is not too bad. It’s easy to use as well, as mentioned before, you can use it as salad dressings as well.
If you want to make homemade mayonnaise or marinade, throw in some apple cider vinegar as well. You can also use it to tenderize the meat a little better. However, don’t leave it on for too long as that can rot it right out. Don’t go for more than 24 hours with a marinade that has a vinegar base to it.
There’s no reason to buy a store-bought salad dressing. A lot of those things are filled with inferior vegetable oils or corn or seed oils, like canola oils and sunflower.
These are just stuff that can cause real inflammation in the body. However, you can make the best salad dressing in the world just with some extra virgin olive oil, throw some apple cider vinegar, maybe a bit of lemon, a little bit of sea salt, pepper, and whisk it up. That’s all. It’s also like half a cent per serving only.
You can use balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar as well, but apple cider vinegar seems to have just a bit more of health benefits compared to those. So, play around and make your own salad dressings at home. Try to use apple cider vinegar because that’s way better and healthier.
Which ACV Brand is Ideal?
If you’re looking for the best apple cider vinegar brand, you can go for Braggs Sprague. You can find them anywhere, or almost everywhere-depending on where you live. If you want to get the organic one, look for unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother in it. So that’s going to bring all those health benefits.
You can also find all sorts of locally grown veggies in various farmers’ markets. If you’re living in southern Ontario, there’s a chain store called Farm Boy, where they work with local farmers. So, you can get your stuff from there as well. So, if you can get yours produced locally from a farm, that’s even better.
If you’re looking for apple cider vinegar but cannot find Braggs, or any other local or organic brand, just look for three things: organic, unfiltered, and with the mother. That’ll probably cover you for everything. That brings us to the end of this article, hopefully, you enjoyed reading it and learned from it too.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode: