August 16, 2010

Apple Cider What?

Apple Cider Vinegar is some fantastic stuff, let me tell you. And everyone who squirms at the thought of drinking some vinegar for health or even a weight loss aid, I like to remind you that if you are into any vinaigrette dressings, or cooking with balsamic vinegar, this isn’t far behind. Its really not that bad, I promise!


Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made by a fermentation process (remember the Kombucha blog?) similar to how alcohol is made.Sugars in food are broken down by yeast and bacteria (fermenting grapes into wine, rice into sake, grain into whisky, etc.), turning it into alcohol; if it ferments further, you get vinegar (ever had a bad bottle of wine? Tastes like vinegar). The word vinegar is from the French language, meaning “sour wine.” So in the case of apple cider vinegar, you take guess what, yes, apples, pulverize them, and then the sugar in the apples is broken down by yeast and bacteria (referred to as, “the mother”) producing the vinegar. ACV is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains beta-carotene (helps counteract against damage from free-radicals), pectin (helps reduced bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure and many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium (helps eliminate toxic waste from the body), calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine, all vital to health. ACV also contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting viral (lots of colds and flu’s lately?)fungal and bacterial infections (struggling with UTI’s pregnant gals?). Malic acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, and eliminates it, helping to relieve joint pains. ACV also contains acetic acids, which apparently slows the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals (weight loss after baby!). On top of everything, ACV seems to help clear skin conditions, especially blemishes! I have typically clear skin at all times. But last week I noticed a big old zit threatening to arise on my lower jaw. I hit the bottle (of ACV) ;) for a couple days, and that little dude never surfaced and is gone.

ACV is proving to have a positive effect on several areas in health, including diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure and heart health, cancer, and (drum roll) weight loss! ACV has the effect of making people feel full for longer periods of time. It also aids in digestion and elimination, easing constipation (Ladies, let’s not be shy, this can be a problem postpartum), and because of the good bacteria it can help prevent UTI’s and aid in strengthening the immune system overall. Other theories are that ACV helps to speed up metabolism, and decreases water retention (also a need in us pregnant and postpartum ladies; ACV was a huge help to me).
With diabetes, studies show that ACV may help lower glucose. One study showed that people with type 2 diabetes who took two tablespoons of ACB before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%.
As a personal testimony I can tell you that in all my years of drinking ACV I noticed the most beneficial results postpartum. It has helped alleviate water retention, ease my digestion, keep my skin clear throughout all the hormonal changes (that and my super-superfood diet). And on the rare day when I’m feeling, well, not so smooth, it fixes me right up. So if any of this hits home with you, give it a try! It certainly can’t hurt. Since I am breastfeeding, I make sure to drink it just after I’ve fed my little pumpkin, just in case she doesn’t like taste in her next meal. I asked my doctor about it, and she said, “do you eat a lot of food with balsamic vinegar?” and I told her I most certainly did, to which she replied that it shouldn’t be a problem breastfeeding or otherwise. But please, as I always say, ask your own doctor if you have any concerns. Here’s to your health!

Recipe: Apple Cider Vinegar Purple Elixir


2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (I prefer Bragg’s; you can increase amount as desired, occasionally)
8 oz Purified Water
2-4 oz Organic Concord Grape Juice (just the juice with no added sweetners, like R.W. Krudsons brand:
1-2 dropperfuls of Stevia OR 1-2 teaspoons of Raw Organic Honey.

Mix, drink, feel the health!

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