Sure, You're Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar. But Is It Actually Good For You?

“I’m a big believer that a healthier gut is linked to the health of your skin, but one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar three times a day with a glass of water is not going to help what your dermis is doing, sadly,” says Daly. “A lot of gut issues are caused because of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is when the stomach acid is not strong enough. This is because you have an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine that feed on undigested food particles. Apple cider vinegar alone can’t help with that, and so you need to deal with that first in order to then see benefits in the skin and elsewhere.”

What actually is apple cider vinegar?

Yep, you’re right in thinking it’s the stuff that you might already have in the kitchen cupboard, ready to drizzle on a fairly dull salad.

Apple cider vinegar is made through a simple fermenting process and it’s by no means a new thing, even if TikTok and Gwyneth Paltrow only discovered it in the past five years. It’s actually been around for a long time, being used in ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and the Roman Empire, while Hippocrates, the founding father of Greek medicine, recommended his patients drink it for quicker healing.

The fermentation process essentially turns apple juice, using yeast and bacteria, into acetic acid (a byproduct of fermentation, which gives apple cider vinegar its signature sharp scent). And that’s the stuff that people are downing in shot glasses each and every morning.

Which apple cider vinegar should you be using?

“When looking to buy an apple cider vinegar, you need to get one that has ‘the mother’ in it,” says Daly, by which she refers to the build-up of bacteria and yeast you’ll see floating in some apple cider vinegars. “It’s very important if you want the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Then you know that you’re getting the fermented goodness, like Bragg’s.”

How should people consume apple cider vinegar?

“You don’t want to down it like a shot straight from the bottle on a regular basis,” Daly says “It’s extremely acidic and over time this will actually do damage to the enamel on your teeth.” Instead, as Daly has done for many years, you should dilute concentrated vinegar from the bottle with half a cup of water and drink it that way. “It’s actually a lot more palatable that way too, as let’s face it: drinking vinegar isn’t nice.”

“I take raw, organic apple cider vinegar, pretty much daily and have done for years,” says Stephenson. “I also use it for dressings and salsas; it’s a nice way to include a functional food with proven health benefits to everyday meal prep.”

Who does it work for?

“I tend to recommend it for people who are struggling to get a hold of blood sugar and appetite, as well as individuals who suffer from bloating with meals,” says Stephenson.

“It’s also a common biohacking tool when you know you’ll be eating something that’s higher in starch or sugar; combining a pre-meal dose of apple cider vinegar with a post-meal walk can make an enormous difference in postprandial glucose levels. We include it in our nutrition plans, like The Metabolic Reset, and as a functional food in many of the dressings in our program recipes.”

Who should avoid using apple cider vinegar?

“Some people say it could interact with some medications, especially those used to treat diabetes. The medicine Metformin, which is used to treat type two diabetes, in particular,” Daly says. “If somebody was to come to me, I always want to know what medications they’re on. And then I look at drug-nutrient interactions. So if anyone is on medication, I would suggest they consult an official health practitioner before starting to take apple cider vinegar.

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