All about Apple Cider Vinegar

All about Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of vinegar made from fermented apples. It has a sour, tangy taste and is often used in cooking, salad dressings, and marinades. ACV is also a popular home remedy for a variety of health conditions. Here is all you need to know about Apple Cider Vinegar.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of vinegar made with crushed fermented apples, yeast, and sugar. It is produced through a two-step fermentation process.

Step 1: Fermentation of the Apple juice; Crushed apples are first combined with yeast to ferment the natural sugars in the apple juice. This fermentation process converts the sugars into alcohol.

Step 2: Conversion to Acetic Acid; after the alcohol fermentation in step 1, bacteria (specifically Acetobacter) are introduced into the solution. These bacteria convert the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives vinegar its characteristic sour taste and a strong odour

 

Types of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) comes in several different types, each with its characteristics and uses. Here are some of the common types of apple cider vinegar.

Filtered and pasteurized Apple cider Vinegar

Pasteurized, filtered apple cider vinegar has been heated to kill bacteria and yeast, and then filtered to remove the sediment. This process makes the vinegar clear and amber-coloured, has no particles and gives it a milder taste.

Filtered ACV is often used in cooking and for making salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. Some people believe that pasteurization and filtering remove some of the beneficial nutrients and probiotics from the vinegar.

Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother

Unfiltered ACV retains the cloudy, cobweb-like substance called the “mother.” It is made by fermenting apple juice and then leaving it unfiltered. This means that the sediment, or “mother,” is still present in the vinegar.

The mother is a stringy substance that contains beneficial bacteria and yeast. It gives the vinegar a cloudy appearance. This type of ACV is considered by many to be more nutritious due to the presence of the mother.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic ACV is made from organic apples, the apples used in its production are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. It can be filtered or unfiltered and may or may not contain the mother. Organic ACV is chosen by individuals who prefer organic products for culinary and health purposes.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw ACV is typically unfiltered and unpasteurized, meaning it hasn’t been heated or treated to kill the beneficial bacteria and enzymes. It often contains the mother. Raw ACV is believed to retain more of its natural health benefits compared to processed versions.

Flavored Apple Cider Vinegar

Flavoured ACV is infused with additional flavours, such as honey, berries, or herbs, to create a more palatable taste. These varieties may or may not be filtered or contain the mother. Flavored ACV can be a more appealing option for those who find the taste of regular ACV too strong. It can be used in dressings, marinades, and as a health tonic.

What are the Benefits of apple cider Vinegar?

Lowers cholesterol levels: ACV may help to lower cholesterol levels by increasing the breakdown of cholesterol in the liver. One study found that people who took ACV for 12 weeks had a significant reduction in their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Relieves bad breath: ACV can help to relieve bad breath by killing the bacteria that cause it. To use ACV for bad breath, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 cup of water and gargle for 30 seconds.

Prevents urinary tract infections (UTIs): ACV may help to prevent UTIs by killing the bacteria that cause them. To use ACV to prevent UTIs, mix 2 tablespoons of ACV with 1 glass of water and drink it twice a day.

Has anti-ageing properties: ACV may have anti-ageing properties because it contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to ageing.

Lowers risks for heart attacks: ACV may help to lower the risk of heart attacks by improving blood sugar control and reducing inflammation. One study found that people who took ACV for 12 weeks had a significant reduction in their blood sugar levels.

Restores stomach acid balance: ACV may help to restore stomach acid balance by increasing the production of stomach acid. This can be helpful for people with low stomach acid, which can lead to digestive problems such as bloating and indigestion.

Promotes action to gut-beneficial bacteria: ACV contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut. Probiotics are important for gut health and can help to improve digestion, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation.

Relieves heartburn: ACV may help to relieve heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid. To use ACV for heartburn, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 glass of water and drink it before eating.

Aids weight loss: ACV may help to aid weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing calorie intake. One study found that people who took ACV for 12 weeks lost significantly more weight than those who did not take ACV.

A remedy to nausea: ACV may help to remedy nausea by settling the stomach. To use ACV for nausea, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 glass of water and drink it slowly.

Remedy to bloating: ACV may help to remedy bloating by improving digestion and reducing inflammation. To use ACV for bloating, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 glass of water and drink it after eating.

Soothes sore throat: ACV may help to soothe a sore throat by killing the bacteria that cause it. To use ACV for a sore throat, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 cup of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds.

Promotes immune health: ACV may help to promote immune health by boosting the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infection. To use ACV to promote immune health, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 glass of water and drink it twice a day.

Clears blocked throat with mucus: ACV may help to clear a blocked throat with mucus by thinning the mucus and making it easier to cough up. To use ACV to clear a blocked throat, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 cup of warm water and drink it slowly.

Anti-cancer properties: ACV may have anti-cancer properties because it contains acetic acid, which can help to kill cancer cells. Some studies have shown that ACV may be effective against certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer and breast cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings

How to use apple cider vinegar in your home

Here are some ways to use apple cider vinegar:

1.  Cooking

Add it to salad dressings and marinades: ACV is a great way to add flavour and acidity to salad dressings and marinades. It can also be used to tenderize meat and seafood. Try adding a tablespoon or two of ACV to your favourite vinaigrette or marinade recipe.

Use it to make pickles: ACV is a key ingredient in pickling vegetables. It helps to preserve the vegetables and gives them a tangy flavour. To make pickles, simply combine equal parts ACV and water in a jar with your desired vegetables and spices. Let the pickles sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.

Add it to soups and stews: ACV can be added to soups and stews to add brightness and depth of flavour. It can also help to balance out the richness of other ingredients, such as cream or butter. Try adding a splash of ACV to your next pot of soup or stew.

Use it to deglaze a pan: When you’re cooking meat or vegetables in a pan, some of the fond (the browned bits of food on the bottom of the pan) can stick to the pan. To deglaze the pan, simply add a splash of ACV to the pan and scrape up the fond with a spatula. This will add flavour to your dish and prevent the fond from burning.

Use it to make a vinaigrette: A vinaigrette is a simple salad dressing made with vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. ACV is a popular choice for vinaigrettes because of its bright, tangy flavour. To make a vinaigrette, simply combine equal parts ACV and oil in a jar or bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken: This simple dish is made by marinating chicken breasts in ACV, olive oil, and spices, then grilling or baking them.

2.  Drinking

 ACV can be diluted in water and drunk before or after meals. This is said to help with digestion, sore throat, blood sugar control, and weight loss. A typical dose is 1-2 tablespoons of ACV mixed with 8 ounces of water.

3.  Cleaning

All-purpose cleaner: Mix equal parts ACV and water in a spray bottle. Use it to clean countertops, appliances, floors, and other surfaces.

Glass cleaner: Mix 1 cup ACV with 1 cup water in a spray bottle. Use it to clean windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces.

Toilet bowl cleaner: Pour 1 cup of ACV into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrub and flush.

Dishwasher cleaner: Add 1/2 cup of ACV to the dishwasher detergent dispenser. Run the dishwasher on a normal cycle.

Laundry detergent booster: Add 1/2 cup of ACV to the washing machine along with your regular laundry detergent. This will help to remove stains and brighten colours.

4.  Deodorant

Air freshener: Mix equal parts ACV and water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential oil, if desired. Spray the mixture into the air to freshen the scent of your home.

Garbage disposal: Pour 1/2 cup of ACV into the garbage disposal. Run the disposal for a few seconds to grind up the vinegar. This will help to remove food particles and odours.

5.  Disinfectant

Cutting boards: Mix 1/2 cup of ACV with 1/2 cup of water. Pour the mixture onto the cutting board and let it sit for 15 minutes. Scrub the cutting board with a clean sponge and rinse with water.

Doorknobs and light switches: Mix 1/4 cup of ACV with 1/4 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on doorknobs and light switches, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wipe with a clean cloth.

Sink Drain cleaner: Pour 1 cup of ACV down the drain, followed by 1 cup of boiling water. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then flush the drain with cold water.

Related: How to maintain kitchen sinks in Uganda

Risks associated with apple cider vinegar

These are the potential side effects of ACV:

Digestive problems: ACV can irritate the lining of the oesophagus and stomach, especially if consumed undiluted. This can cause symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.

Low potassium levels: ACV can interfere with potassium absorption from the diet. This can lead to low potassium levels, which can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue, and irregular heartbeat.

Drug interactions: ACV can interact with certain medications, such as insulin, diuretics, and blood thinners. If you are taking any medications, it is important to talk to your doctor before using ACV.

Tooth enamel erosion: ACV is acidic, so it can erode tooth enamel over time. It is essential to brush your teeth after consuming ACV and to avoid using it too frequently.

People with diabetes: ACV can interfere with potassium absorption from the diet, which can lead to low potassium levels. This can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes, who are already at risk for low potassium levels.

People with kidney disease: ACV can worsen kidney disease. It is important to talk to your doctor before using ACV if you have kidney disease.

People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): ACV can irritate the lining of the oesophagus and stomach, which can worsen GERD symptoms. It is important to avoid ACV if you have GERD.

How to use Apple Cider Vinegar safely
  • Dilute ACV before consuming it. A good rule of thumb is to mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV with 8 ounces of water.
  • Avoid consuming ACV on an empty stomach.
  • Brush your teeth after consuming ACV.

Also Read: health benefits of adopting a plant-based diet

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