Apple cider vinegar has been around for centuries, and with all the things it can do it has been viewed as a kind of miracle tonic. This product has been attributed to providing many health benefits that include curing certain skin ailments, high cholesterol, diabetes, digestive and heart problems, and trouble with your immune system.
But this is not the case with all vinegar. You will find organic, raw, and unfiltered vinegar as well as heated, non-organic, and processed vinegar. Add to that unpasteurized and pasteurized and you have a broad range of vinegar to choose from. And choosing the best apple cider vinegar is important as some may not contain the nutrition that you're looking for.
How is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
When you crush an apple with the stem, skin, and seeds intact you create what is called apple must. The must is what ultimately turns into the vinegar. The must has to go through oxygenation and fermentation which turns the sugar in the apples into alcohol. The alcohol is turned into acetic acid from the oxygenation which gives the vinegar the health benefits it has to its name for centuries. It is important that the cider vinegar is processed correctly and is ultimately regarded as the "mother" of vinegar.
How to Choose the Best Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Always Check the Label
You don't want pretty vinegar; you want it organic and raw. You don't want your apple cider vinegar pasteurized and definitely not an imitation.
Here's a recount of one of the user who inadvertently purchased a fake one:
"Last fall we grabbed two gallons of Apple Cider Vinegar at the store. I didn't read the label. All winter I couldn't figure out why the ACV didn't work. We kept ending up on antibiotics for things we never had before. Well, I figured it out. We got mild food poisoning yesterday. I was fixing the vinegar solution when I read the label & saw "imitation" in fine print! I drove to town & got the real stuff. This time it took 15 minutes & my son was feeling better. Be sure to read the label!"
2. Avoid Plastic Bottles
It has been found that plastic bottles might be made up of a toxic material so anything that is packaged in them could be harmful. This is true of vinegar as well. It is not likely you will find anything packaged in a plastic bottle that will list that they are BPA free so stick with glass bottles.
3. Try Organic
With so many things showing up in our foods every day that can harm us, going organic is the way to go. You also need to watch out for GMO food. Make sure that the vinegar you purchase is labeled "certified organic."
4. Look for Raw Vinegar
Besides being organic, look for vinegar that is raw, which means it hasn't gone through any filtration or chemical process that would make it clear. It also will not have any artificial flavors or chemicals to make it taste better. Any unnecessary process to make this vinegar look better is robbing it of the nutrients that you are buying it for.
5. Look for the "Mother" in It
When you are shopping for apple cider vinegar, look at the bottle at the very bottom. If you find brown stuff floating around that is called the mother. While it may look yucky it is actually the best part. It is from the fermentation and has all of the live bacteria and enzymes that make this product so powerful.
6. Go for Unpasteurized
Lastly, make sure that your vinegar is not pasteurized. When a product is pasteurized, it is heated which is what destroys harmful bacteria but it also kills the good bacteria.
Some Recommended Best Apple Cider Vinegar to Try
1. BRAGG Apple Cider Vinegar
The company stands behind their quality noting that 100% of the apples used in this vinegar come from the United States. The apples are completely organic and free of pesticides and arsenic. The large wooden barrels that they use help to encourage a more natural fermentation.
2. Vitacost Apple Cider Vinegar
This brand is a little less expensive than Bragg but has all the qualities that you look for in a good apple cider vinegar. It uses 100% organic apples, in unpasteurized, and it has the "mother" included in every bottle. When you pick up the bottle you will see the stringy sediment at the bottom so you know you are getting all the nutrients from this vinegar. There are no artificial colors or flavorings and no sugar added. Besides being kosher, it is compatible for vegetarians.
3. Fleischmann’s Apple Cider Vinegar
Making vinegar since the 1920s, this company started making vinegar when they used the alcohol that was created from the growth of the yeast. Ultimately this cut down on the production of alcohol so they began creating specialty vinegars.
4. Dynamic Health Apple Cider Vinegar
Besides making quality cider vinegar, this company has been putting out a variety of health products and supplements since 1994. All of their items are halal-certified, organic and kosher. Their apple cider vinegar is priced competitively and is priced right for the quality they provide.
Some of the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
If you know how to choose the best apple cider vinegar, there're loads of benefits that you can enjoy. Here're just some of them:
1. As an Acetic Acid, It Has Strong Biological Effects
Vinegar is created similarly to alcohol and goes through a fermentation process. After the sugar is fermented and turns into alcohol, the addition of bacteria creates the main compound in vinegar which is acetic acid. With the strands of protein from the "mother," this vinegar has potassium, antioxidants, and some amino acids.
2. It Can Kill Many Kinds of Bacteria
Because of its ability to kill some types of bacteria, it has been used to kill nail fungus, treat ear infections, and has been used for cleaning and disinfecting areas around the house. Back in the day, Hippocrates, who is considered to be "the father of modern medicine," applied vinegar to wounds to help the healing process. Vinegar has also been found to be an effective preservative as it inhibits the growth of bacteria.
3. Diabetics Find It Helps to Lower Their Blood Sugar Levels
Patients who have type 2 diabetes have found that apple cider vinegar has many characteristics that help to normalize glucose levels in people with diabetes and even with those who do not have it. It has been found to improve insulin sensitivity as well as lower fasting blood sugar numbers when taken before bedtime. Two tablespoons at night will lower your numbers in the morning.
4. It May Help You Lose Weight
With its effectiveness in lowering blood sugar levels, it is no surprise that it could help you lose weight. But a tablespoon or two each day could actually help you feel fuller and help you to consume less calories resulting in a weight loss of up to 4 pounds over a 12-week period.
5. It May Promote Heart Health
While tests have only been conducted on rats so far, the results have shown that apple cider vinegar was able to lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. It was also shown to lower blood pressure numbers. Until it is tested on humans, it can't be proven but a small Harvard study showed that women who used vinegar in their salad dressings had a lower risk of heart problems.
6. It May Protect Against Cancer
While this is another case of undocumented proof based on testing done on rats and test tubes, there may be some chance that apple cider vinegar is effective in keeping cancer at bay. The testing that was done in the labs showed that it was able to shrink tumors and slow down the growth of the cancer cells. Some testing in China showed that taking vinegar cut down on the number of esophageal cancer cases.
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Source: New Health Advisor
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