Monday, April 3, 2017

Apple Cider Vinegar: Nature's Amazing Cure-All

The old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away definitely rings true for the apple’s cousin, namely Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). For a while when I had first taken up running I started suffering from painful Charlie Horses that would wake me up in the dead of night. When I told my mother about these awful leg craps, she suggested that I might be deficient in potassium and that I should consider taking ACV a few times a day mixed with water to boost my potassium levels and get rid of the cramps. It worked!

Not only did the ACV help me get rid of painful leg cramps, but I noticed that after a month of taking it I was starting to lose weight. I have never been a fan of dieting so I was pleasantly surprised that I was shedding some unwanted pounds before my upcoming trip to model in Japan. After doing further research about ACV I found out that it not only helps with muscle pain but is also a natural diuretic reducing water retention, increasing metabolic rates and aiding to break down fat from the foods we consume. The more I researched the more I knew that I wanted to keep ACV as a regular part of my diet.

The health benefits of adding ACV to your diet are seemingly endless. ACV has also been touted as a natural cure-all for centuries in Europe. It can be used to reduce the inflammation and infection in insect bites, eczema and acne when used as an astringent and applied with a cotton ball several times a day. When applied to the scalp it can eradicate embarrassing dandruff, and if you mix 50% water with 50% ACV and used as a foot soak it can kill the fungus associated with Athlete’s Foot.

I also discovered that ACV is not only useful as a remedy for skin problems, but when taken as a tonic before each meal can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The pectin fiber found in ACV helps bind excess fat in your body while flushing it out, it also contains high levels of potassium and magnesium which help relax blood vessel walls thus lower blood pressure. Amino acids in the ACV can also help lower dangerous LDL cholesterol.

While ACV can flush out harmful fat from your body, I found it interesting that it can actually aid in building bone mass therefore fighting the threat of osteoporosis. Since ACV is full of manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium it helps extract the calcium from the foods you eat which is perfect especially if you don’t always remember to take a calcium supplement. If constipation is ever an issue, ACV works wonders as it helps enhance your digestive enzymes making for less bloating and discomfort. It’s easy to see why ACV is considered a cure all!

When it comes to choosing the right type of Apple Cider Vinegar it is really important to make sure that you are buying it in its purest form. It is preferable to buy vinegar that comes from the double rather than single fermentation of the apple. It is essential that the vinegar also not be distilled or filtered because those processes destroy the nutrients that make the ACV so curative and beneficial. Look for a product that is brownish in color and cloudy. Clear versions are far too processed, and chances are that they won’t work as well as the purer forms of vinegar.

My mother suggested taking 2 teaspoons of the vinegar in a 6-8 oz. glass of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner, and that is what worked for me. Others suggest mixing the vinegar with honey to make it more palatable and also because honey has its own health benefits. Either way you choose to mix it, it is best to stick to 2-3 teaspoons in 6-8 ounces of water. Using too much ACV can lead to very loose stools and temporary acidic reflux. As goes for everything, moderation is key! You also want to make sure to rinse your mouth out after drinking this mixture because the acidity of the vinegar can deteriorate the enamel of your teeth just as lemon juice would.

If the smell and taste of apple cider vinegar is not at all appetizing to you, you can now find it in pill or tablet form in most health food stores and vitamin retailers. I still use ACV every day since high cholesterol, osteoporosis and high blood pressure run in my family and have recently started using it in tablet form. I find it a lot more “user friendly” since I’m not always in the mood to drink a glass of water with vinegar right before a meal, and it is easy to pack for traveling. I am convinced that ACV is what helped me lose all my baby weight after both of my pregnancies.

While I can’t say that I am glad to have suffered from leg cramps, I can say that I’m glad that because of them I found out about Apple Cider Vinegar and all of its amazing health benefits. It is cheap, healthy and one of nature’s great multitaskers. If you take a multivitamin every day, try taking some ACV to enhance your health. Your body will thank you!

Labels: Apple Cider Vinegar: Nature's Amazing Cure-All

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