Google apple cider vinegar and you’ll be drowning in articles singing its praises, bloggers blogging about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and with good reason. Although let’s face it, it does not taste great. If you’re able to down it with water, cheers to you (and where did you get your secret powers?).
For those of us who need to disguise it a little, here are some delicious uses for that bottle of apple cider vinegar you’ve got already in your pantry or have been meaning to buy…
What is apple cider vinegar anyway?
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV to those in the know, is a type of vinegar made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the fermentation – a process that converts sugars to alcohol. Then some next level fermentation occurs where the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria. Now you have ACV!
Make sure that you are buying unpasturised apple cider vinegar, which contains the ‘mother of vinegar’ – a cloudy cobweb looking mass which sinks to the bottom of the bottle. It sounds a bit gross, but it’s fine, in fact it’s the best bit! Now drumroll please for 20 reasons on how and why to use apple cider vinegar.
It’s good for your mouth
Not keen on drinking apple cider vinegar? Try temporary ingestion instead. Gargling with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water can help with bad breath and coffee stains (or turmeric lattes). You can even swallow this form of mouthwash if you want some added digestive benefits. Just be sure to brush your teeth after to avoid acid wear.
ACV can help improve nutrient absorption
If your stomach isn’t producing enough acid, it impairs your absorption of nutrients. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help correct your acid levels. Adding vinegar to your salad dressing may help you absorb more nutrients from your leafy greens. Dressings are a dead way to get the benefits of apple cider into your life on the regular. We like this turmeric tahini dressing.
ACV has antioxidant properties
Yes, in addition to loads of other health benefits, apple cider vinegar contains many antioxidants which help keep your body healthy and running like Usain Bolt. These include catechin, gallic acid, caffeic and chlorogenic acids.
Not just for internal use, apple cider vinegar can be used topically too. If you’re stung by a bee, wasp, or even jelly fish, a few drops of undiluted apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball applied directly to the area can help soothe the pain and swelling. The natural acids in the vinegar will help neutralise the venom.
It reduces bloating
Got digestive issues? Apple cider vinegar increases the acidity in your stomach, which allows it to digest the food you’ve eaten and helps propel it into the small intestine. Try using ACV in this maple dressing.
DIY maple apple cider vinegar dressing
Put the maple syrup and vinegar in a mason jar. Shake well. Add remaining ingredients, and shake very well.
ACV can cancel out some of the carbs you eat
The acetic acid found in vinegar interferes with the enzymes in your stomach responsible for digesting starch, so you can’t absorb the calories from carbs you’ve eaten. Before you go buying donuts by the dozen and vinegar by the litre note, no one really knows exactly how many calories vinegar can block because no research has been done on the topic. But most theories support this idea, and it sounds good to us!
Apple cider vinegar helps level your blood sugar
Consuming vinegar before a sugary or carby meal can help slow the rush of sugar to your blood stream. Your blood sugar spike should resemble a small hill instead of Rangitoto Island, and you won’t crash quite as hard. Try this citrus ACV spritzer below.
1 sprig mint
1 sprig rosemary
1-inch piece fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
juice of 1 medium orange
1 tablespoon Ceres Organics Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
optional, 1 to 2 teaspoons aromatic bitters
In a glass, muddle the first five ingredients. Stir in the remaining ingredients until combined. Strain and serve over ice.
ACV is great for cleaning fruits and veggies
A superior way to clean produce is with diluted vinegar: its antibacterial properties can significantly reduce pathogens. Just fill an empty spray bottle with diluted vinegar and spritz your produce (salad stuff, fruits, etc.) then rinse with regular water before serving.
It deodorises smelly feet
Just wipe down your heels, sneakers or crocs (no judgment) with a paper towel dipped in diluted vinegar. The antibacterial properties of vinegar will kill the smelly stuff.
ACV could keep your bones healthy
Although vinegar is obviously acidic, it actually has a neutralising effect once it’s inside of you. Meaning: It makes your body’s pH more basic (i.e. alkaline). Studies show that people who eat more alkaline diets (more veggies and less meat) tend to have greater bone mineral density, meaning that vinegar could, in theory, strengthen your bones. (It’s a hypothesis that makes lots of sense of paper, even though no one has proven it yet).
It can help heartburn
ACV’s effectiveness depends on the source of your heartburn: if your heartburn stems from something you ate, adding acetic acid to your stomach can help neutralise the acid in there and help fix the problem, providing you with at least a little bit of comfort. Not to be confused with heartbreak, for that you’ll need Netflix, blankets and chocolate.
It can fend off pests
Are rabbits nibbling up your lettuce garden? Are mice ravaging your recycling bin? Ward off all sorts of pests by spraying undiluted apple cider vinegar around the perimeter of trees, flowerbeds, and trash bins. Hooray for no nasty chemicals around your home.
Get stronger, shinier hair
Summer approaching means spending more time in water. Save your hair from total dry-out by rinsing your locks in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. No need for expensive hair products.
ACV can help aid weight loss
Yep, apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. The acetic acid it contains helps to suppress your appetite, increase your metabolism and reduce water retention — a perfect combo if you’re wanting to lose a bit of winter weight… Give this apple cider elixir a go.
Promotes healthy cholesterol
More research is needed to definitively link apple cider vinegar and its capability to lower cholesterol in humans, but one 2006 study found that the acetic acid in the vinegar lowered bad cholesterol in rats. Also, a Japanese study found that 15ml of apple cider vinegar a day lowered cholesterol in people who participated in the panel.
If you abhor the idea of spraying your lawn or garden with noxious chemicals, fill a spray bottle with straight apple cider vinegar to banish weeds, from your lawn or vegetable patch.
Use it as a skin toner
Interestingly, apple cider vinegar makes a great natural toner that can act as a natural home remedy for acne, leaving your skin looking healthier. Its antibacterial properties help keep acne under control, and the malic and lactic acids found in ACV soften and exfoliate skin, reduce red spots, and balance the pH of your skin. Dilute ACV with two parts water, and spread over your face with a cotton ball to replace your current toner.
Upset stomach? Reach for ACV
For an upset stomach, sip some apple cider vinegar mixed with water. If a bacterial infection is at the root of your bowel issues, apple cider vinegar could help contain the problem, thanks to its antibiotic properties. What’s more, some folk remedy experts contend that apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which can help soothe intestinal spasms.
It can help acid reflux
It sounds odd but acid reflux can be the result of not having enough acid in your stomach. There is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by correcting low acid levels. Improve the acid content of your stomach with this blueberry ginger shrub below.
ACV berry ginger shrub
1 cup of wild blueberries, fresh or frozen (regular are okay too)
½ cup of water
½ cup Ceres Organics Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
⅓ cup of honey
½ tablespoon fresh grated ginger
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for a minute.
Pour into a glass jar and place in fridge for 1-2 days before serving. Over time the vinegar flavour will lessen.
Serve about 2 tablespoons with a cup of soda water. Use as much or as little shrub in your drink as you like.
Soothes sore throats
As soon as you feel the niggle of a sore throat, employ germ-busting apple cider vinegar. Turns out, most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. Just mix quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with a quarter cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.
So there you have it, 20 ways to use that bottle of ACV!