An apple a day keeps the doctor away so would consuming apple cider vinegar (ACV) daily also keep the doctor at bay? Well we’ll burst your bubble to say hang on - there are actually correct and incorrect ways to consume ACV, where incorrect consumption can potentially land you in the arms of that pesky doctor.
In order to avoid doing more harm than good, read on to learn how to properly consume ACV to make it work for you. But before detailing what to do and what to avoid, here is some brief information on ACV. Considered a natural medicine, ACV has been used for thousands of years in a myriad of ways, from being topically applied onto wounds to being used during cooking and for mocktails. The main benefits of ACV are: decreased risk of heart disease, improved blood sugar levels, relief from indigestion, weight loss, and more!
As apples used to make ACV are fermented, the sugar is converted into alcohol. However, its alcoholic properties don’t equate into intoxication as the alcohol is converted into acetic acid. If you’re familiar with kombucha or kefir, it’s basically ‘same same but different’ as the saying goes. And yes, ACV is very much considered Halal.
What Not To Do & What To Do Instead
1. Drinking it straight vs. diluting it
Speaking of alcohol, if you were tempted to drink ACV straight then know that the acidic nature of the drink can cause damage to the esophagus and stomach. Of course, this damage would only occur if you drink a large amount of ACV without diluting it. So do yourself (and your throat and stomach) a huge favour and always dilute ACV!
2. Overconsumption vs. small dosages
As with any new craze, the tendency to go overboard is real so a gentle reminder: avoid overconsuming ACV. Even after dilution, ACV remains an acidic substance so avoid adding more than two tablespoons worth at a time. Plus, if you add more than the recommended dose of ACV you’ll probably dislike the taste, too, so start with a small amount and work your way up to two tablespoons.
3. Consuming it after a meal vs. before eating
The most common mistake made during the consumption of ACV would be consuming ACV after eating, a misconception that probably arose due to its weight loss benefits. Yet, drinking ACV before a meal is more effective as it can decrease bloating and indigestion. This is due to the fact that ACV can act as a substitute for the gastric juices that break down food - the edlerly especially tend to underproduce these gastric juices. So have it on an empty stomach.
Pro Tip: if you were wondering how ACV can be used during cooking, it can be made into a yummy salad dressing!
4. Drinking before sleeping vs. drinking it upright
The reason drinking ACV before sleeping is not advised is because of its potential to creep back up the esophagus because of the slanted position of our body. Granted, the chances of this occurring are low but this article is based around full disclosure after all so try to remain upright for at least 30 minutes post ACV.
5. Direct application onto skin vs diluting
As previously mentioned, ACV has a myriad of benefits so to add more onto the list: it can help acne, cure dandruff, and even relief sunburn. But remember the first point of what not to do? Well, it applies in this situation, too - so no direct exposure to the skin. Instead, dilute! Prolonged exposure to the acidic substance can actually kill skin cells and not in the way you want so if using topically, add eight to ten parts water to one part vinegar.
If you’re new to ACV, remember that the taste can be intense. If you find that your tastebuds, or body, doesn’t agree with the taste of ACV, know that there are many other ancient remedies to choose from, with another easy option being Pegaga by PurelyB which has a myriad of benefits, some of which are similar to that of ACV. Of course, always do your research and find what works best for you - as everybody is different!