APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
What’s up!? I hope all is well.
Today, we’re talking about Apple Cider Vinegar 🍎 and why you should add it to your diet to boost your immune system and to improve your overall lifestyle.
WHAT IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
Apple cider vinegar (aka ACV) is the fermented product of the combination of microbes (yeast and bacteria) and the sugar from the apple. The yeast consumes the fruit sugar and converts it to alcohol. Then, the bacteria converts the alcohol to acetic acid, the main active ingredient of ACV. Apple cider vinegar has about 5-6% of acetic acid… you know, that strong sour smell that keeps a lot of people away from using, drinking, and getting all of its wonderful benefits… but we ain’t gon’ lie, it’s hella smelly 🤢!
What’s recommended to consume is an apple cider vinegar that is raw, organic, and with the mother. The mother contains pectin (enzymes), bacteria, and yeast. It needs to be raw because this means that it’s rich in enzymes and it has to be organic so it’s free from added pesticides and other funny chemicals.
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is a very popular brand and it checks ✔️ the criteria of a good quality ACV.
You can get apple cider vinegar pills. It does help with ingesting ACV but it seems like there’s very little research that shows that it does give equal results as the actual ACV. Also, the pills are way more expensive than the actual ACV! So let’s go, and let’s drink some ACV. BOTTOMS UP! 🍻
WHY IS ACV SO GOOD FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?
SHORT ANSWER… Because it boost your immune system!
What does apple cider vinegar do for your body?
To start, apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties. It can kill E.coli (a bacteria) and candida (a type of fungus). It destroys harmful gut bacteria by controlling bacteria growth.
You can read more about it in this research paper right HERE!
Apple cider vinegar stimulates white blood cells (the cells of the body’s immune system) and accelerates the attack of infected cells and pathogens (the bad guys) in the body by regulating and triggering the release of immune protein cytokines. The presence of cytokines helps decrease inflammation in the body. It also triggers phagocytosis. Phagocytes, other immune cells, eat and attacking the outer membrane of these pathogens to kill them.
ACV can destroy some viruses (i.e influenza due its probiotic content) but unfortunately, there’s no study that shows that it can kill Covid-19 🤷🏾♀️!!
WAIT!? SO APPLE CIDER VINEGAR HAS OTHER BENEFITS?
Yes, here are 8 more reasons to use Apple Cider Vinegar!!
1. SPEED UP FOOD DIGESTION
Apple cider vinegar activates enzymes responsible to speed up digestion. Our body produces hydrochloric acid (HCL) that is released after eating, to activates the digestive enzyme pepsin in your stomach to start breaking down proteins into amino acids. HCL (pH of 1-2) is similar to acetic acid (aka ACV with a pH of 3) as they are both acids and together will help activate more enzymes during digestion. So if you’re bloated or have gas as a result of “non digested proteins”, it will accelerate the breakdown of food and relieve your stomach discomfort.
The acidity of the apple cider vinegar triggers the release of bile which is secreted by the liver. The function of the bile is to emulsify (breakdown) fat particles which also reduce bloating and gas. The same thing happens with the pancreatic enzymes. ACV activates enzymes that further breakdown food particles in the small intestines and complete the whole digestive process.
2. ABSORPTION OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Because of the low pH of ACV, it helps with the absorption of minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium). If your stomach’s pH is high, you won’t be able to absorption minerals. The same thing for vitamins (vitamin K, B12, and C), they also need to be in an acidic environment to be absorbed by the body.
3. KILLS GUT BACTERIA
You know what, let’s have a quick pH lesson 👩🏾🔬 because it’s just so important to understand it. Lab coat on? Okay, let’s go! 🧪
The pH is the measurement of Hydrogen in an aqueous solution. The pH scale is between 0-14. When the concentration of H+ ions is high, the solution is said to be acidic (pH between 0-6). When the concentration of H+ ions is low, the solution is said to be alkaline (or basic; pH between 8-14). A pH of 7 is neutral (i.e. water).
Apple cider vinegar pH is approximately 3. (See figure above to assess different products and their pH)
How does apple cider vinegar improve gut health? Again with the low pH… it helps kill microbes (bacteria, fungi, viruses) and preventing the proliferation (growth) of microbes cells (maybe not all of them but definitely some in the stomach). Your stomach’s pH should be between 1-3. Junk food, for example, will make your stomach more alkaline. An alkaline stomach will not digest food properly which can lead to stomach irritation. I’m sure you can relate to that.
It is normal to have certain bacteria and yeast in our bodies. But when you eat, the sugar from the food feeds these bacteria and stimulates their cell growth. Apple cider vinegar controls their growth and brings about balance (homeostasis) to your microbiome (all the microbes in your body).
In addition, the mother in the apple cider vinegar contains probiotics and will feed the good gut bacteria in your stomach and promote their cell growth. Seriously, you can only WIN with ACV!
It is said that ACV keeps a bit of the nutrients from the apples, therefore it contains traces of vitamin C, B1. B2, B6, biotin, folic acid, some minerals, and plant-based antioxidants (polyphenols). But there’s really not a lot!
Fun Fact: Bacteria is the plural of bacterium 😉.
MY MORNING DRINK:
- 1 cup of water
- 15 ml of ACV
- 10 ml of a mixture of lemon, honey with star anise, cinnamon stick, and clove soak in it (this helps dilute the strong taste of ACV)
Create an ACV cleanse drink mixture that works for you. Don’t go too crazy with the honey because of its sugar content (glycemic index of 58… I will cover glyceric index another time).
Use a straw so the acidity of ACV doesn’t affect your teeth.
4. HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Does drinking ACV really help you lose weight? YES IT DOES!
Apple cider vinegar will help reduce blood sugar levels (in some cases diabetes too) resulting in a decrease in insulin production and insulin resistance which directly reduce fat storage. This occurs because it increases the intake of glucose (the energy sugar) in the cells.. in other words… you’re burning FAT by using glucose as energy instead of storing it as fat! YAY!😄
It also affects cholesterol. That’s because insulin and cholesterol have a linear relationship; as insulin increases, so does cholesterol, and vice versa.
Apple cider vinegar will basically give you a METABOLIC BOOST!
In my opinion, there’s no best way or best time to take ACV. It’s really up to you and what your body likes. You can take it in the morning, before a meal, after a meal or before bed. You have to try it and see what works for you.
Because it doesn’t increase your blood sugar levels, it’s great to drink ACV during a fast (i.e. intermittent fasting,). You can read more about intermittent fasting right HERE!
Quick Q: Have you try putting ACV in your homemade vinaigrette? It’s so delishhh!!
Neuropathy is the damage of a nerve or a dysfunctional nerve. This results in tingling sensation, numbness, weakness in the muscle, and pain (burning and stabbing) in the area affected. This serious condition can be caused by traumatic injuries and infections, exposure to toxins, and can even be caused by diabetes.
Apple cider vinegar is not the cure for neuropathy but it helps with relieving the symptoms.
Some benefits of the ACV soak for neuropathy are an increase in circulation, reduction in inflammation, detox and cleanse, and pain relief.
You can drink apple cider vinegar by diluting it in water or soaking your hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy), whichever area is affected.
Here’s how to do an ACV soak for neuropathy:
- Pour warm water in a tub (or a container to soak your hands or feet)
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup of Epson salt
- Few drop of lavender, frankincense, and eucalyptus essential oils
- Soak for 20-30 minutes
- Then, rinse the area
6. FACE AND SKIN CARE
As I mentioned above, apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and as a result, its acidic nature can kill some bacteria and viruses. That applies to acne-causing bacteria too. Apple cider vinegar will reduce the growth of these bacteria.
ACV also aids in reducing scars and skin discoloration.
Another great thing about apple cider vinegar is that it assists in restoring the natural pH balance of your skin which means your skin can naturally retain more moisture while reducing skin irritations.
To avoid burning your skin with apple cider vinegar, you must always dilute it before you apply it.
I personally use ACV in my Facial Toner:
- ACV – 15 ml
- Aloe vera (juice or gel) – 15 ml
- Witch hazel (reduce inflammation and irritation) – 15 ml
- Distilled water – 15 ml
- Few drop of tea tree & rosemary essential oils
Every time I stop or forget to apply this toner, I can see new pimples forming on my cheeks.
7. HAIR CARE
Apple cider vinegar is fantastic for your hair and more specifically your hair scalp. Strong hair can only grow from a healthy scalp. It also helps with reducing itchy scalp and dandruff.
ACV removes build-up from products on your scalp and hair, lowers their pH (lots of shampoos are alkaline), and restores strength and shine.
You’ve probably heard of ACV rinse for your hair. You dilute ACV; 3 parts water: 1 part vinegar. Apply it on the scalp first then your hair. Massage the mix after you’ve shampooed your hair. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes then rinse your hair and scalp with water to remove all the vinegar.
Another way to use apple cider vinegar on your hair is by mixing it with bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is an absorbent clay that removes impurities and toxins from your hair and also your skin. This mix can be used as a hair mask and a facial mask (and on your body too). It’s great for treating oily skin and acne.
8. BATH AND PEDICURE SOAK
Similar to neuropathy soak, you can also take advantage of apple cider vinegar by adding it to your bath and at home pedicure soak.
It’s great for the skin by reducing inflammation, pain, and relieving burns (sunburns also).
Prep your bath:
- Fill the tub with warm water
- Add 1-2 cups of ACV
- 1 cup of Epson salt
- Few drops of your favorite essential oils ( to relax, yes!)
- The book you’re currently reading 😉
- Soak your body for 20-30 minutes
- Rinse in the shower
For more bath soaking ideas, check out HelloGlow!
It is said that apple cider vinegar soak baths are good for relieving symptoms of UTI but it’s not a cure for it.
Oufffffff! OK we’re made it 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾
Now that you know how beneficial apple cider vinegar is, I hope you will slowly integrate into your daily routine. Trust me, the smell is horrible but the benefits outweigh the smell. You’ll get used to the smell & taste, and learn to appreciate its benefits.
In the comments, let me know if you ever tried ACV. If yes, how do you consume it? If no, are you willing to try it now!? Can’t wait to read your comments❣️❣️❣️
On this note Honeys, see you soon!
I hope the rest of your week is full of joy & blessing ✨✨✨
“Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed below are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission“