By Sharon Quercioli
Apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is a handy little kitchen staple that can benefit your health, your home, and your hygiene and beauty regimen. It has been used for many different household purposes for centuries. While some homeopathic and natural health remedies aren’t backed up by science, ACV isn’t one of those. There have been numerous studies done which have pointed to the health benefits of ACV.
Apple Cider Vinegar Kills Bacteria
This is the traditional use for ACV and the reason why it is also used as an all purpose cleaner (cut 1:1 with water). If you mix a tablespoon with a half of a glass of warm water, you can gargle it when you have a sore throat to help kill some of the bacteria that is making you sick.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
ACV can help control or fight diabetes by helping control your blood sugar levels. This is one of the most successful uses of ACV in a medical sense. People that have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have used ACV for decades. Just mix a tablespoon with a glass of warm water. Drink two of those a day. If you drink one of them before you go to bed, scientists have discovered that it can lower your fasting sugar levels by 4%. It can also improve your sensitivity to insulin during a meal that is high in carbohydrates.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help You Lose Weight
Since it goes a lot for your blood sugar levels and your insulin levels, it makes sense that it can help you lose weight as well. It can make you feel fuller faster during meals. Some studies have shown that participants were able to cut about 300 calories from their daily caloric intake when they started taking ACV on a regular basis. This can lead to a smaller waist circumference, a reduction in blood triglycerides, weight loss, and a reduction in belly fat.
The type of apple cider vinegar to seek out is a raw, organic variety. These usually come in glass bottles. Check the label for the words “unpasteurized,” “raw” and “mother.”
These indicate that the probiotic properties of the vinegar have been retained. Pasteurization removes all the living cultures, and the vinegar will not have as many benefits.
In a raw vinegar you will see strings or small chunks floating near the bottom — this is a good thing! Although it looks a bit gross, these helpful bacteria will make your skin bright and your digestive system and metabolism sing.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Cooking
There are so many different ACV recipes that it is hard to choose a good one. If you’re looking to receive health benefits, you don’t have to do much. Dilute a teaspoon in a glass of water and drink it down. Two a day is the most common dosage. However, if you’re looking to incorporate it into your diet on a regular basis (and drinking it doesn’t sound very appealing), I have several great recipes to share with you.
This healthy and easy salad is a great option for both the winter (when butternut squash is in season) but also in the summer when you might want something filling and refreshing. I like to make an extra batch of the ACV vinaigrette to keep in the refrigerator because it is one of my favorite homemade dressings.
If you find that you don’t like the texture of kale, let it sit in the vinaigrette for a few extra minutes to let it soften.
Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Blue Cheese and a Honey Cider Vinaigrette
What You Are Going to Need:
For the Vinaigrette:
- A couple tablespoons of olive oil
- A couple tablespoons of ACV
- A couple of teaspoons of red wine vinegar
- A teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- A teaspoon of honey
For the Salad:
- Three cups of kale, sliced thin with the ribs removed
- A cup of roasted butternut squash, cubed
- A fourth of a cup of blue cheese
- A fourth of a cup of pomegranate seeds
What You’re Going to Do With These Ingredients:
- First roast the butternut squash by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Cut, seed, peel, and cube the butternut squash. Coat it (lightly) in some olive oil and then lay then out on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Make sure that it is only one layer thick and then roast it in the oven for 10 minutes. Take it out to turn the cubes to the opposite side, then roast it again for 10 minutes. They should be golden brown and tender.
- Now make the vinaigrette by combining all of the ingredients in a mason jar or a jar that seals well. Shake it up and then set it aside.
- Next make the salad by tossing the squash, kale, and blue cheese in a large bowl. Then toss it with the vinaigrette. When you divide it into salad bowls, serve it and then sprinkle it with some of your pomegranate seeds.
Another great recipe that I have used and love it is:
Immune Boosting Recipe
If you are feeling under the weather, this is a great mixture that will kick your immune system into gear. This is a great preventative brew for cold and flu season, or can be consumed a few times daily when you are not feeling well.
- 1–2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger root
- 1–2 tablespoons raw honey
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Hot water
- Grate the ginger root, then squeeze the juice from the pulp into a glass. Discard the pulp.
Add the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey and cayenne pepper.
3. Add the hot water — ensure the water is at a drinkable temperature, not boiling, so that the living compounds in the vinegar and honey are preserved. Stir to dissolve, and drink.
4. Optionally add 1 finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic clove for a further immune boost (not for the faint of heart!).
Why not experiment with these recipes. Try incorporating a little apple cider vinegar into your diet each day and watch those positive changes happen effortlessly!
I have also attached an article written by Helen Nichols from Well-Being Secrets entitled 15 Science-Backed Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar that you should check out. http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/apple-cider-vinegar-health-benefits/