Apple cider vinegar (ACV because I'm lazy) has been a favourite 'health hack' for many years now, and it's been an essential part of our diets and routines for even longer. Its many incarnations have included medicinal uses, disinfectant, household cleaner and much much more! But what exactly is it?
As if apples needed any more reasons to be our favourite fruit! Fermenting the sugars found in apples results in a raw, brownish liquid that contains strands of protein, known as 'the mother.' It looks gross, smells appalling, and tastes worse than it smells. So what's all the fuss?
Why Take ACV?
While there aren't direct causal studies that show the benefits of adding ACV to your diet, there are many correlational ones, not to mention the fact that people who take ACV swear by it. It's rumoured to have a host of health benefits:
Maintaining Healthy Weight Levels
ACV's threefold action helps to regulate and manage weight. It slows down gastric emptying so that you feel satiated faster and for longer, and it reduces the overall glycemic index of food. This helps to maintain blood glucose levels and prevent insulin spikes. ACV may also help to reduce overall body fat!
Regular ACV supplements help to balance the body's pH levels, making sure your internal environment is conducive to effective biological functions. This means your cells, proteins, hormones, mucous layers, barriers and nerves can perform to the best of their ability.
Watch Out, Bad Bacteria!
The acidic properties of ACV which help to balance our body pH, also enable ACV to kill pathogens, including harmful bacteria. This makes it a crucial ally to our probiotics in the constant struggle to maintain our gut in bacterial symbiosis.
Speaking of probiotics, the acetic acid in ACV is loaded with them! By helping to maintain our bacterial balance, ACV promotes your immunity, hormone regulation, digestion, weight management, and so much more.
ACV has also been shown to promote cardiovascular health, thanks chiefly to its ability to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and to break down fat deposits throughout the body. With this twofold action, it improves blood pressure and circulation.
Should You Drink It or Eat It? ACV Tonic VS ACV Capsules
Before we get further, I'll dispel the suspense by giving you the bottom line: both help you absorb the benefits of ACV. It really comes down to a matter of preference and habit.
ACV Tonic: the Good Bits
ACV tonic provides all of the benefits listed above in quantities that you can control and manage. It's delicious with salads and in sauces and could be fine in smoothies too. In liquid form, its anti-microbial properties are also more pronounced, and the many nutrients, proteins and bacteria are easier to absorb. What's not to love? A few things, as it turns out…
ACV Tonic: the Not-So-Good Bits
To start with the most obvious issue, ACV doesn't taste so good. While it's yummy in salads, it's barely passable with water and honey, and on its own, it's more punishment than self-love. But there's more to it than that.
Acetic acid, which gives ACV that intense flavour, is powerfully acidic. Ingested regularly, or in too large a dose, it can erode tooth enamel and burn through the mucous lining of your mouth, throat, oesophagus and stomach, particularly if you're not diluting it in enough water. Eroded tooth enamel increases your susceptibility to decay and cavities and can make your teeth hyper-sensitive.
There's a Pill for Everything These Days!
In come the pills! Taking your ACV as a capsule can mitigate the risks and unpleasantness mentioned above. While it's still recommended to drink plenty of water when taking the pills, the risk of enamel erosion and lining burning is much lower.
As a bonus, you get to enjoy all the benefits of ACV without the punishing taste!
If you struggle to swallow pills, they're easy to dissolve in water or tea or blend into smoothies.
Ultimately, it's up to you. How does ACV fit better into your routine? Let us know!