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  • Heather Woodruff

The Digestive Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (and How To Use It)

While ACV (what the cool kids are calling apple cider vinegar) seems to be another health trend, it’s actually been around for thousands of years. Hippocrates (known as the Father of Modern Medicine) would actually prescribe it mixed with honey to help with coughs and colds.

Why all the hype around this pungent golden liquid? While whole books have been devoted to the healing powers of ACV and the ridiculous number of natural remedies to cure everything from acne to diabetes, I am going to take you through the amazing digestive benefits of ACV that may be just what your temperamental tummy needs…

The Digestive Health Benefits…

1. Relieves Acid Reflux / heart burn

This may come as a surprise but the majority of acid reflux or heart burn is actually caused by your stomach acid being too low rather than to high. When this happens our stomach contents splash back past the esophageal sphincter (which is supposed to protect the esophagus from your stomach acid) causing heartburn and sometimes burping or even nausea).

ACV has been shown to increase the acidity of your stomach and therefore reducing the amount of acid backflow into the esophagus.

2. Fermented food

ACV falls under the incredibly health promoting fermented foods category. Especially digestive health promoting. By giving yourself a regular dose of ACV you are also giving yourself a consistent dose of more beneficial bacteria into the gut. Gut bacterial benefits include strengthening the immune system, digesting fiber, balancing hormones and improving your ability to digest and absorb nutrients.

3. Supports detoxification

Our bodies own natural detox system is important for our overall health and needs to happen constantly every day, not just when the latest fad cleanse hits the internet. Keeping this system running smoothly means more energy, less gas/bloating and clearer skin. ACV increases circulation and stimulates lymphatic drainage which makes it a superstar in promoting good detoxification!

How to buy it…

As with all food products we purchase from our grocery store; there are some amazing ones and some not so amazing ones. When it comes to ACV we want to look for words on the label like raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, organic, with mother. Pasteurizing ACV kills off the beneficial bacteria and enzymes found within it.

Ideally we also want to buy it in a glass bottle to avoid any chemicals from the plastic leaching into your liquid ACV goodness.

A word of caution…

If you do struggle with heartburn and you find that ACV actually aggravates your symptoms you may be one of the rare few where your stomach acid is actually too high. If this is the case ACV may not be for you and I would recommend consulting a functional or natural health practitioner who specializes in digestive health for some further guidance.

How to take it…

There’s nothing fancy or complicated about this… take 1-2 tablespoons before meals in a little water. Go slow if this is something new for you.

I also whipped up a yummy ACV Tonic in the Natural IBS Support Facebook group. You can get this recipe plus many others by joining the group here.

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