Grounded Health Nutrition turns 1 this week and I am SO incredibly excited and proud of how far we’ve come in the past 12 months. 76 blog posts (now 77), a move to a new city (where we purchased our first home) and a brand new business (steep learning curve, but the support you guys have given me is amazing).
Before I get too sappy, let’s get to the real reason you clicked on this post – should you be drinking apple cider vinegar? Apple cider vinegar (ACV for short) has gotten quite a bit of attention in the natural health community over the past few years, and for good reason. This is something that I recommend fairly regularly in my practice and I will tell you why. It is important to note that many of the outlandish claims that ACV will cure all of your ailments are NOT supported by science but there are some great benefits that you will likely experience from consistent consumption.
First, if any of you have purchased the “Bragg” brand of ACV (which is available at most major grocery stores), you may appreciate having this question addressed:
What the heck is that cloud of goop in there?!
People often refer to this goop as “the mother” and some people believe that it is the mother that is key for all of the health benefits of ACV, however current research doesn’t necessarily support this. “The mother” is simply a combination of enzymes and bacteria that form a web-like structure. This stuff is definitely not going to hurt you, it will just give you a slimy feeling in your mouth – eek – not my favourite.
How is ACV beneficial?
The number one reason I recommend ACV in my practice if for assistance with blood sugar regulation. This concept was first brought to my attention when I attended the Nutrition and Health Conference at the University of Arizona in 2014.
There are two major ways that ACV can assist with blood sugar management:
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Decreased blood sugar response to a meal
I’ll simplify each of these concepts for better understanding:
When we consume foods that contain carbohydrates (think: bread, rice, pasta, cereal, crackers, quinoa, fruit, etc.), sugar is released from the food and then circulates in our bloodstream. In response to this sugar, our pancreas produces insulin to move the sugar from our blood and bring it into the cells in our body. Sometimes people need to produce MORE insulin in order for this process to happen smoothly and this can lead to an accumulation of fat in our midsection. SO – what ACV can do to help is it can decrease the amount of insulin our body needs to produce to move sugar in our bloodstream into our cells, and therefore can help us combat that midsection weight gain.
Like we just mentioned, when we consume foods that contain carbohydrates, the sugar from the carbohydrates are released into our bloodstream and that is what makes our blood sugar level rise. When we consume ACV with a meal, it can decrease the amount our blood sugar level increases after a carbohydrate-rich meal.
So you want to start incorporating ACV into your routine?
The TASTIEST way to incorporate ACV is one of the following ways:
- Use it as a salad dressing
Recipe (thanks to Detoxinista):
1 garlic clove, minced.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
1-2 tablespoons honey,
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil.
salt and pepper, to taste.
Whisk all ingredients together and serve over salad.
- Drink 1 cup of Bragg ACV Drink each day (typically before your largest meal). These drinks taste AMAZING but unfortunately I have yet to find them where I live in New Brunswick. If you have a Whole Foods near you, you should definitely be able to find them here!
- Mix 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of ACV with 8 ounces of water and drink daily (this is not my favourite… for those of you that enjoy this – I commend you). I do not recommend drinking ACV straight – it may burn your esophagus over time.
There is also research that suggests that consuming ACV before meals can reduce the total number of calories we consume at that meal. Are you feeling like your appetite is out of control? This is a cheap and fairly simple option to try that is going to cost FAR less than any diet pill on the market (p.s. these DON’T work).
As with anything we try that is diet and lifestyle related, we need to be consistent with our action in order to see the maximum results. I don’t recommend trying this for a few days before evaluating whether or not it worked for you. Incorporate this protocol into your routine consistently for at least 6 weeks before assessing its effectiveness. And as always, make sure you check with your personal health care provider before changing your current health routine.
Have you used ACV before? Do you use it for something other than what is listed above? Share in the comment section below!
Until next time,
Yours in Health,