Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Health
There are several types of vinegar and one of the most common and popular is made from apples.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from a process that includes adding yeast to apple cider to ferment it. The yeast ferments the sugars in the apple juice and turns them into alcohol. Bacteria are then added to the alcohol to turn it into acetic acid, which is the main active compound in vinegar and gives it a strong sour flavor and smell.
Cider vinegars are about 5-6% acetic acid, which researchers believe is responsible for the health benefits it provides.
Apple cider vinegar has various healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. What’s more, evidence suggests it may offer health benefits, such as aiding weight loss, reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels, and improving the symptoms of diabetes.
Many commercially produced vinegars are filtered and pasteurized for a longer shelf life, but the processing removes the naturally occurring enzymes. As a result, the health benefits of the product are also removed and the body also does not tolerate it as well. In order to receive the maximum benefits of vinegar, the best product is unpasteurized, unfiltered, and organic.
Unfiltered ACV also contains a substance called mother, which consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a cloudy appearance. Some people believe that the mother is responsible for most of its health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this.
While apple cider vinegar does not contain many vitamins or minerals, it offers a small amount of potassium. Good quality brands also contain some amino acids and antioxidants.
Antimicrobial: One of the benefits derived from ACV is the ability to kill harmful bacteria and other pathogens like viruses and other microorganisms that cause disease. That is why people have traditionally used vinegar for cleaning and disinfecting, and treating lice, warts, nail fungus, and ear infections. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds more than 2,000 years ago.
Vinegar is also a food preservative, and studies show that it inhibits bacteria like E. coli from growing in and spoiling food. For example, we wrap various cheeses in a paper towel soaked in white vinegar and it doesn’t get moldy. Also, while there is no strong research to support this, anecdotal reports suggest that diluted apple cider vinegar could help with acne when applied to the skin.
Blood Sugar Stabilizer: One of the most intriguing applications of vinegar is in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, which is caused by the inability to produce insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Since vinegar can help to keep blood sugar in a normal range it is also beneficial for those without diabetes because a high level of blood sugar is a major cause of several chronic diseases and aging. Another way to keep your blood sugars in a healthy range is to avoid processed carbs and sugar.
If you’re currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medications, check with your healthcare provider before increasing your intake of any type of vinegar.
Promote Weight Loss: Among the many potential health benefits of ACV is the potential to lose weight. Several human studies show that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness. This can lead you to eat fewer calories and lose weight.
In one study, taking vinegar along with a high carb meal led to increased feelings of fullness, causing participants to eat 200–275 fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
Another study in 175 people with obesity showed that daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat and weight loss, though the study was done over 3 months, so these results are fairly modest and long term weight loss is more impacted by overall diet and lifestyle.
Improved Digestion and Protein Absorption: ACV stimulates the production of stomach acid, which is necessary for digestion and aids in the absorption of animal proteins. It can also reduce the potential for heartburn, which can be caused by too little stomach acid in the digestive process, resulting in the food fermenting and creating gas that pushes back up into the esophagus. Since ACV increases stomach acid, it can stop the fermentation that causes heartburn.
Liquid or capsule? Because most people are not comfortable drinking ACV straight, even in small doses or diluted in water, we’ve got a supplement for that–check out our organic ACV!
One of things I used to promote was eating 5-6 small meals a day–that’s right, you just kept that jaw chewing and your body in digestive mode pretty much all day.
Well guess what?
It doesn’t work!
As a matter of fact, it’s ruinous to your health and will keep your blood sugar levels perpetually up (that means your pancreas is exhausted from constantly pumping insulin–and that eventually leads to diabetes type 2, folks).
Snacking also increases the risk of bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract. This is because the digestive waves need time to reset and to move things along. If you’re a snacker, there’s constantly food in there and there’s no time for the reset to happen. Food stays in the system too long and you end up with SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).
NOT everyone ends up with SIBO of course, but it does put you more at risk.
Snacking all day (yes, even healthy snacks!) also puts you at higher risk for acid reflux, especially if you’re a nighttime snacker.
Or how about constipation? That’s a fun one! Snackers are more likely to be constipated because of the lack of peristalsis; larger meals will trigger the nervous system’s reflex, but constant snacking will not.
And finally, it messes up your hormones–leptin and ghrelin are the hunger hormones. Proper leptin levels help you stay in control while ghrelin is the gremlin making you want to strap on the feedbag!
You are constantly stimulating that gremlin and suppressing your leptin if you’re always eating throwing everything out of whack, turning yourself into a food beast!
Eat three good meals a day–better, eat TWO good meals a day.
And start your day with a collagen rich smoothie like one of my favorites:
Green Garden Chocolate Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 celery stick, chopped
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 apple, peeled
1/2 cup fresh kale, chopped
1 tablespoon flax seeds
2 scoops Perfect Paleo Protein 2.0
1 scoop FiberMender 3.0
In a blender, add unsweetened coconut milk, celery, cucumber, apple, kale, flax seeds, PPP and Fibermender 3.0; blend until smooth and enjoy! It’s ok to add a tad more milk or water, if a thinner smoothie is preferred.
Here’s the deal–we were sold a bill of goods a few years back when it came to eating 5-6 small meals a day.
Yes eating like this means you won’t ever feel hungry, but you need to know what hunger feels like so you know when it’s time to eat!
AND you need to give your poor body a break!
2 tasty, healthy meals a day, one amazing, nutrient dense, keep you full smoothie each day is the ticket to holding on to your health AND holding on to a healthy weight.
If you have weight to lose, this formula works well too!
Do your own research–you’ll be surprised at this all-you-can-eat small meal deal has become a relic of the past, it just plain doesn’t work and it keeps your body in a state of stress as well.
And speaking of research, check this out:
In one study, a high protein breakfast smoothie (at least 20 grams of protein) helps you eat less calories (but still get the nutrients you need when you make them our way!).
In another study, high protein breakfasts help cut cravings by 60% and late night snacking in half!
Three more studies–one shows that increasing your protein especially with a breakfast smoothie, helps you to eat up to 441 calories less per day without actively trying to limit your portions.
Love this study–smoothies containing at least 20 grams of protein, decreased hunger by 50-65%! WOO HOO!!
AND, by the end of a 12 week study, participants lost an average of 11 pounds!!
Now THAT is great news!
Making sure your protein rich smoothies are nutrient rich is the key!
PS–We’ll help you dial this smoothie thing in–we’ll send you a FREE smoothie recipe ebook with each order of our Perfect Paleo Protein! (YES, that includes the Kits!)
One of the top health tips you can do right now and hack your own biology to obtain optimal health is…are you ready?
Eating at home.
Now stop—don’t leave. Don’t roll your eyes or say I can’t cook, I don’t want to cook or you can get the same quality food at a restaurant.
Know this: you CAN cook, you can even learn to want to cook. And I hate to say it, but, no you cannot get the same quality food at a restaurant.
There might be one or two restaurants out there whose ingredients are as stellar as those you’d pick out–maybe.
But there’s also a whole host of other restaurants that seemingly have great stuff on their menus only to use super crappy oil in the preparation of those healthy, tasty meals.
The point is the ingredients—each and every single one of them from the olive oil in the salad dressing to the salt and pepper used in the making of your meal, have to be of top quality in order to get the most nutrition out of each meal.
We need to remember that each ingredient is a building block for a cell—it’s how we feed our mitochondria, the mighty energy centers of each cell. Given lousy fuel, our mitochondria perform in a subpar way, hindering health and paving the way for disease.
Given great fuel, our mitochondria respond positively, giving us the energy and joie de vivre we all desire.
But beyond ingredients that are above reproach, is the sheer joy of creating something beautiful, delicious and that feeds your soul as well as your tummy.
And listen—I get it.
Not every meal can be like that, but pretty much nearly every one of them can be when you take on the family cooking as a family, and not a one-woman show.
The Europeans have it right—they eat a wide variety of wonderful foods. They shop the open-air markets for the freshest ingredients; they bring it home and create magic in their kitchens.
And it’s not like Europeans have it easy, either. They work like we do too—they don’t have time to fool around and act like a celebrity chef—they have to get down to business and get food on the table just like we do—a simple meal with amazing ingredients, is the secret to making dinner time happen.
So when it’s time to sit down for the family meal, they open a bottle of wine, enjoy each other’s company, teach the little ones table manners and polite conversation and talk about everything from Artificial Intelligence to Zanzibar.
The reason is they have a different relationship with food then we do. They see food as a proper gateway to relationship. They understand by the way they procure and cook their food that it is an important element of their day—not just another thing to check off the to do list.
And while it may seem a little romantic and out of touch (yes I know that not all Europeans are alike in this daily pursuit) it’s a lesson to be grasped by all of us—food, the art of acquiring it, preparing and enjoying food with family and friends around the table gives rich meaning to our lives as people, families and communities.
The bottom line is that every meal counts. We need to get out of the habit of just getting something to fill the empty hole that is our collective tummy. At the end of the day, we are feeding souls.
It all boils down to a relationship.
In particular, our relationship to food—we need it several times daily so it really needs to be a good one.
Connecting with the right kinds of foods and understanding that food is more than mere fuel, but actual data our bodies collect to decide what to do. Given the right nutrients, we turn on the right hormones and signals for our bodies to repair and correct. Given the wrong data (anti-nutrients), our bodies go into emergency mode, starting fires (inflammation) and neglecting the necessary repair.
Eating great meals always begins with great ingredients—the easily recognizable, one-word ingredients that we all know and not the stuff in bags and boxes with words we can’t pronounce or identify.
It’s a simple thing, yet it’s not easy. It takes work and a sustained effort to have this kind of relationship with food.
And yet it’s doable—so doable.
For many of us that means we need to turn one thing off to turn another thing on—maybe instead of vegging out in front of the TV, you veg out with your partner in the kitchen preparing a meal that will not only give your bodies something to work with to help you live your best lives, but give you an opportunity to connect, breathe and become more conscientious of the life you really DO want to live.
This isn’t a lecture, nor is it shaming of any type that’s meant to make you feel guilty or bad about your current state of the dinner table.
It’s truly food for thought—drilling down to who you are and who you want to become. Understanding that the connection to your community comes with the simple basics of life, not the big hoorahs like holidays, weddings and such that merely decorate a well-lived life.
Let’s live each day in the present, giving each moment it’s due—even when it’s something as simple as feeding the family their nightly meal.
It’s high time we relish the little things—these are the things that illustrate our lives, each and every single one of us.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Tis the Season! We are getting ready to start the Holiday Hustle for 2016!
Here’s the calendar…
If you do not already have your Holiday Hustle guide with all the recipes then grab yours here!
Hello again (Caroline here)!
It’s been farrrrrrrr too long since I wrote out pt. I – but between being in and out of service and constantly being on the road, we’ve been simply having too much fun!
The last time I posted, we were driving through Kansas – the never ending state. So there’s a bunch to catch you all up on!
Once we finally reached Colorado, we headed straight for Rocky Mountain National Park. We managed to snag a camping spot to park in, and enjoyed the very last of the blazing yellow birch trees weaving through it’s neighboring evergreens. Every few minutes we were serenaded by persistently bugling elk, and we also caught a glimpse of a few mule deer stags! The second day we were there, we drove up as far as we could, and found an incredible overlook with a 180 view of the majestic Rockies. We decided to have our afternoon tea nestled right there, and were lucky enough to get a small flurry of snow (to really make the atmosphere)!
Another discovery whilst camping here: hashbrowns are best made in a skillet with loads of butter and onion!
After we left Rocky Mountain National Park, we drove down the state a bit and continued west towards Utah. We did have a quick lunch break in Boulder, where I had the best Chinese food I’ve ever tried in my 26 years. After experiencing that glorious bowl of dan dan noodles, I’m convinced all previously visited Chinese restaurants were great lies. If you’re ever in Boulder make it a point to eat at: Flower Pepper Chinese (pictured below!).
Way too late at night, we FINALLY pulled into Utah and parked right outside of Canyonlands National Park. We’re not particularly fond of the desert (and neither are our husky pups, as you can imagine) so we didn’t spend tons of time in this area. We saw incredible views and what seemed like eternal layers of canyons, thendrove down and stopped to make lunch a little general store before quickly driving through Arches National Park. This also happened to be our 3rd anniversary, and an anniversary miracle happened: the general store had public showers. Sure, it cost us $20 for each of us to shower, but oh mama, that was probably the best anniversary gift we’ve ever given each other. Just so you have an idea: we hadn’t showered since leaving North Carolina, to say it was overdue is a severe understatement. Baby wipes and dry shampoo can only do so much…
We quickly drove through Arches, beautiful to see but we were ready to see some plant life again, so after driving up to a few overlooks, we got back on the road and headed south for Zion National Park!
I’m going to leave off here, even though we’ve been to several more places not listed (we’re currently in California!) but since I haven’t had a chance to post part two till now, I don’t want to dump all of our adventures in one post, so I’m going to save our other remarkable stops for future parts in this series! We’ll pick up on Zion 😉