Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

It’s apple-pickin’ time in North America, and while all eyes are on apple pies and everything else apple-related, you may want to take a closer look at the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, A Great Gut Feeling suggests. From helping with satiety and weight loss to improving blood sugar levels and reducing triglycerides, apple cider vinegar has proven to be a great health booster.

The virtues of apple cider vinegar just go on and on, but before you rush out to buy a bottle, be sure that you know the difference between regular filtered apple cider vinegar and the unprocessed, unfiltered, raw, organic apple cider vinegar that offers you the best health benefit for your dollar.

What I’m talking about here is apple cider that comes with its distinguishing feature called “mother” — dark, strand-like chains of cloudy, enzyme-rich, probiotic bacteria found floating in the bottom of the bottle.

The good news is, if you’re not yet familiar with the many beneficial uses of this versatile and economical home remedy, besides helping with blood sugar and weight loss, apple cider vinegar (ACV) also helps with acid reflux and an upset stomach — and more.

From alleviating symptoms of sinusitis and sore throat to using it to address certain skin conditions, ACV is a versatile product with unending applications. It even is a great and safe, all-natural, cleaning product!

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the ACV with the “mother” and the filtered jug of clear vinegar beside it on the store shelf, ACV is made from fermented apples in a process similar to the one used for making other homemade fermented brews, such as kombucha.

In the first step of the process, sugar is dissolved in filtered water that is then poured over a variety of coarsely chopped apples. This mixture is allowed to set at room temperature until bubbles begin to appear as the sugar ferments into alcohol. (Because the sugars are digested through the fermentation process, apple cider vinegar contains very little sugar and carbohydrates, making it a very attractive food from a dietary standpoint.)

Next, the apples are strained out and the liquid is maintained, again at room temperature, for an additional three to four weeks. At this time, the alcohol is transforming into vinegar through the action of the acetic acid bacteria — this particular acid gives vinegar its distinctive sour tang.

As the bacteria do their job, a small amount of sediment will appear on the bottom of the container and the "mother" culture will form on top, which is a colony of beneficial bacteria. From this point, you can quickly recognize organic, raw, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar by the distinctive presence of the mother, which can only exist in vinegar that is not pasteurized or filtered.

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