It’s interesting the conversations that occur in the dry sauna steam room at the gym. A bunch of men and women of different backgrounds and different ages, sitting around in close proximity, sweating, half naked, talking about anything and everything – the political environment in Morocco, how to stream video to your television to save money on cable, and apple cider vinegar were among the recent topics.
So of course that inspired my post today about apple cider vinegar (ACV):). What I found interesting is that the men in the sauna knew just as much about ACV as did the women. Of course, there were those who never heard of ACV and their ears perked up with interest in hearing about whether it was right for them. Here is some info about the uses of ACV and potential health benefits so that you can decide if ACV is right for you.
What is apple cider vinegar?
It is essentially fermented from pulverized apples and aged in wooden barrels.
How is it different from white vinegar and other commercial vinegars?
ACV, specifically organic apple cider vinegar, is in it’s purest form and not processed or distilled like white vinegar. ACV is dark brown with sediments at the bottom. You can see a cobweb-like formation at the bottom which is called the “mother.” It is ACV in it’s most natural state. Commercial ACV is not as pure. Go with the organic ACV, such as Dr. Bragg’s brand. The Bragg website is quite… interesting to say the least . You can buy raw organic apple cider vinegar at The Vitamin Shoppe for around $5 or buy in bulk at Amazon.com for cheaper here
What are the potential health benefits of ACV?
Most people take ACV for weight loss, diabetes, fatigue, and for overall pH rebalancing of their internal system. It can also be a more holistic way to treat heartburn and to help with regular bowel movements. Externally, ACV has been used to effectively treat hair loss, dandruff, sunburns, and muscle soreness.
One tablespoon of ACV mixed with about 4 ounces of water is often the common daily dosage. My neighbor, Amy, just takes the tablespoon alone! If that is too much for you, you can also use it as a salad dressing to get your daily dose.
Apple cider vinegar, again, specifically the raw organic kind, is loaded with vitamin and minerals. Raw organic ACV has potassium, which is important for strong bones and teeth. It contains pectin, a fiber that helps to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and regulates blood pressure. ACV also contains malic acid, which is responsible for fighting infections and bacteria and helps to dissolve the uric acid surrounding joints causing joint pain.
Despite all its health benefits, it should be used with adequate care, especially while using as a home remedy. It is highly acidic and can damage the tooth enamel, interact with certain medications like laxatives, diuretics, and drugs used for heart disease and diabetes, and lower the level of potassium in the body. It contains chromium, which can affect the level of insulin in the body for diabetics.
Occasional use of raw apple cider vinegar for cleansing/detoxing, for treating external ailments or to use as a salad dressing or for marinating, is quite safe. However, using ACV regularly to lose weight can pose certain health risks. The best way to lose weight is through exercise and a proper, long-term nutritional diet. If you decide to use apple cider vinegar, always consult your doctor before you start any home remedy self treatment.