You may have heard of the many health benefits of apple cider vinegar. While claims are sometimes extrapolated and slightly misleading there are definitely medicinal properties internally and externally. This wellness Wednesday we are setting the record straight!
- First, not all apple cider vinegar is created equal. If purchasing, choose unfiltered and unpasteurized brands such as Bragg’s or Trader Joe’s. Being unfiltered, the vinegar still contains pre-biotic fiber and without pasteurization it contains beneficial bacteria and maintains a higher nutrient content.
- Next let’s talk about internal health benefits. Apple cider vinegar has the ability to improve gut health with it’s prebiotic fiber and helpful bacteria. This can improve pH level in the stomach to combat heartburn and bloating. It can also balance intestinal bacteria which research is finding promotes not only gut health but also immunity and mental health. A healthier gut is correlated with a healthier body weight which is where some of the weight loss claims from cider vinegar stem. Mixing a tablespoon with a glass of water should do the trick for the above.
- Another area of internal benefits is in mouth, throat and sinus health. This may be more helpful during the winter months but if you feel a sore throat coming on, gargling with apple cider vinegar can keep this discomfort from moving to an infection. Want to kick it up a notch? Try Fire Cider (http://firecider.com), found locally at Organnon’s (http://www.organnons.com), which also contains lemon, garlic, honey, horseradish, habanero and turmeric, all major immune boosters. It may not be proven yet to increase energy levels but in my personal experience, it definitely gets blood pumping and makes me more alert!
- Finally, there are some external benefits. Many claims state a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water can calm down the scalp and provide relief from itchy feelings and dandruff. Some will use apple cider vinegar as a natural toner after they cleanse their face and before applying moisturizer. Some claim it improves acne since it can dry out blemishes, kill bacteria and potentially reduce inflammation. More importantly in the summer, if your prone to getting excessive mosquito bites like me, apple cider vinegar is a great topical solution to reduce itchiness.
Natural remedies always trump medication or feeling lousy, so give it a try!
-NAC RD Kelly Jones