Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Uses
For centuries, raw apple cider vinegar has been enjoyed not just for its great flavour, but also for its health benefits.
Apple cider vinegar’s superpowers: Acetic acid and ‘The Mother’
Apple cider vinegar is made using a two-step fermentation process. During the initial fermentation, raw apple juice is converted into alcohol. During the second fermentation, the alcohol is converted into acetic acid. While we have apples to thank for apple cider vinegar’s crisp, sweet flavour profile, acetic acid is responsible for the tart, sour notes.
Importantly, acetic acid is also responsible for many of apple cider vinegar’s purported health benefits. Small-scale studies suggest that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and even aid weight loss.
But acetic acid isn’t apple cider vinegar’s only health superpower. The magic of fermentation also results in the formation of ‘The Mother’, a cloudy, stringy substance containing healthy bacteria, probiotics, and enzymes.
Consuming raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with ‘The Mother’ supports gut health by providing essential prebiotics and probiotics. The enzymes in unfiltered apple cider vinegar also improve digestion by helping your body break down food to access nutrients.
How to take apple cider vinegar for weight loss, cholesterol control, and blood sugar regulation
Consuming 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar daily is widely considered to be a safe and effective dosage for most people looking to reap apple cider vinegar’s health benefits.
There are endless delicious ways to get your daily shot of goodness.
Here are some of our favourites:
Simple apple cider vinegar drink
The simplest apple cider vinegar drink is made by diluting 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar in a glass of cold or warm (not boiling) water.
Apple cider vinegar turmeric tonic
Make your own quick and easy health tonic by combining the following:
- 1 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
- Juice of ½ lemon1
- tsp honey (or maple syrup)
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- Dash of freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup warm (not boiling) water
Shake or stir, and enjoy.
Apple cider vinegar salad dressing
Apple cider vinegar adds a sweet, tangy flavour to dressings and sauces. For a versatile vinaigrette, shake or blitz together the following:
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh herbs
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ clove crushed garlic
- pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
Apple cider vinegar shrubs
A shrub, or ‘drinking vinegar’, is a concentrate made using a 1:1:1 ratio of fruit, vinegar, and sugar. Add a splash to sparkling water or your favourite alcoholic tipple for a refreshing, fruity zing.
Apple cider vinegar quick pickle
Quick pickles, or ‘refrigerator pickles’, are an easy way to preserve almost any type of veggie found in your fridge. Dissolve salt (and, if you like, sugar) in a 1:1 mix of apple cider vinegar and water over medium heat to make a quick pickle brine. Add herbs and spices to a jar, pack in your sliced vegetables, and cover with the brine. Store in the fridge, giving the pickle a couple of days for the flavours to develop before digging in.
Apple cider vinegar for skin
Apple cider vinegar does as much good on the outside as it does on the inside. Many users report that applying diluted apple cider vinegar soothes and improves acne, rashes, and sunburn. For a natural everyday toner, use a cotton wool ball to gently apply diluted apple cider vinegar (try one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water) after cleansing.
Apple cider vinegar household cleaner
Use a 1:1 mix of apple cider vinegar and water as a natural household cleaner. Use it to clean hard surfaces, kitchens, bathrooms, and to remove mildew.
Are there any apple cider vinegar side effects?
Always use your common sense when using apple cider vinegar. Consuming excessive amounts of apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel, burn the oesophagus, and lower potassium levels. Do not apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to skin. Please consult your doctor before using apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy.