My Grandma lived to the ripe old age of 99.9, and for 99 of those years she was in good health. One thing she swore by, and attributed her good health to, was starting each day with a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I have been doing this since I was 13 and it has become a morning ritual I enjoy. Mostly I put 1-2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a mug of hot water and drink it like a tea, but when I’m on the run, a quick shot is the way to go.
They encourage this practise at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat to stimulate your digestive enzymes. The shot of vinegar is usually followed by fruit, as many fruits contain digestive enzymes too. This is then followed by breakfast.
Lemon juice in water has a similar effect, and a great alternative if the vinegar is a bit too sour for you. Just thinking about the ACV has my salivary glands working!
Health benefits of ACV
The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, used ACV around 400 BC for its health giving qualities. It is said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and undergo a stringent process to create the final product. The vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron, and fluorine.
Pectin (a fibre) in the vinegar helps reduce bad cholesterol and plays a role in regulating blood pressure. The vinegar also helps extract calcium from the fruits, vegetables and meat it is mixed with, which is beneficial in maintaining strong bones.
Apple cider vinegar is loaded with potassium. The potassium in this vinegar also helps in eliminating toxic waste from the body. The beta-carotene also helps mop up free radicals assisting the detox process.
It is said to maintain firmer skin and give you a youthful appearance. Hey, I’m not one to argue with the science. If they say that’s what it can do… I am going to believe it with every swig I take.
Apple cider vinegar helps break down fat, which helps in natural weight reduction.
It also contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, helping relieve joint pains. The dissolved uric acid is gradually eliminated from the body.
It is an acquired taste, and once your through the cleanse and you need to soften the blow, add some honey. Alternatively, start on a lower dose and work your way up to 2 tablespoons. Seriously, it is worth it and a super way to start your day.
Although you may be tempted to buy the crystal clear looking apple cider vinegar, however the one that contains all of the health benefits is the organic and unfiltered vinegar. It has a brownish tinge and looks as though it has a cobweb-like substance floating in it. That’s the one to buy, the clear one has been steamed and distilled, this process may make it look more appetising, but removes most of the good bits.
Some purists encourage you to drink the vinegar through a straw to minimise the vinegar’s contact with the enamel of your teeth. Throwing your shot to the back of your throat has the same effect. Grandma sipped it (for nearly 100 years), and for the most part, her teeth were fine.