It seems like the internet raves over a new “superfood” every week. But this is one superfood I stand by...Apple cider vinegar! You'll want to have this superfood stocked in your kitchen cabinet (if you don't already!) because of its science-backed benefits on your health. ACV can improve digestion, help lower blood sugar, and even aid in weight loss.
And the perk is that it’s not a crazy expensive superfood like many others can be. You probably have it in your kitchen already!
As a functional health provider, I recommend apple cider vinegar to my clients as a little health hack because of how easy it is to incorporate into your daily life and because of the significant benefits it can have. Here's why apple cider vinegar is the one superfood you need in your diet right now.
What exactly is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (aka ACV) is made from fermented apple juice. During the process of fermentation, the yeast that is added to the apple juice turns the sugar into alcohol. Then, bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. That's what gives vinegar its sour taste and strong smell. ACV contains nutrients like Vitamin C, B-Vitamins, polyphenols, and natural probiotics.
How ACV Works to Improve Blood Sugar
Once you understand how apple cider works and what it does to your body, you'll be more inclined to actually use it. Studies have shown positive effects on blood glucose levels when you consume apple cider vinegar with a carbohydrate meal (think pasta, potatoes, chocolate, bananas). The science suggests that ACV inhibits α-amylase action (which are enzymes involved in the digestion of carbohydrates), increasing glucose uptake into cells, lowering your blood sugar levels.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Insulin
ACV not only reduces glucose levels, but it lowers insulin levels too. This is great news because when you experience rapid, unstable blood sugar levels, your insulin response goes a bit haywire and spikes as well. Eventually, if you continue to have increased blood sugar spikes from eating sweets or lots of simple carbohydrates, it can lead to insulin resistance where insulin response doesn’t work properly.
In the long run, your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain proper blood sugar levels. This leads to elevated blood sugar (aka hyperglycemia). Hyperglycemia promotes oxidative stress contributing to issues like kidney, nerve, retinal, and vascular damage- common complications of people who struggle with type 2 diabetes.
Should I use ACV even if I don’t have diabetes?
Yes! Even if you do not have diabetes, apple cider vinegar can be a great health hack for you to prevent hormonal issues, autoimmune flare ups, fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor brain function, chronic pain, and more chronic conditions like diabetes in the future.
You want to get your body into balance and keep your body in balance as soon as you can. Don't wait until symptoms have manifested into an illness. Address your imbalance beforehand.
The more glucose spikes in your diet, the higher rate of:
Cravings later on in the day
Other Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Not only does it help your blood sugar from spiking after eating a meal, but ACV also:
Promotes weight loss
Aids in digestion (for those who have low stomach acid)
When Should I Drink ACV?
You should drink it right before your meal (1-10 minutes prior) to receive the most benefits. However, if you forget, it's okay to drink it during your meal or right after your meal. Exactly how soon should you drink ACV before your meal? I recommend drinking it right as you sit down to eat your meal, but studies have shown that it'll still work up to 30 minutes before eating your meal.
Easy Ways to Incorporate AVC
An easy way to include ACV (especially if you hate even thinking about drinking ACV, is by using it as a salad dressing! Apple cider vinegar and organic olive oil is one of my favorite go-to dressings because it's super easy and one of the healthiest dressing options. You can go throw away that unhealthy ranch dressing you have in your fridge now.
I also recommend mixing it in a glass of water so the acidity is easier on your teeth. You can even combine it in hot water and ginger for a warm tea or even sparkling water.
A simple sprinkle of vinegar over your french fries can help your post-meal blood sugar spike!
How much ACV should I drink to reduce blood sugar spike?
Studies show that you should consume between ∼2 tablespoons before your meals to see the best results.
How can I drink apple cider vinegar without damaging my teeth?
I know many of you are thinking about the side effects on your teeth. Here's what I recommend to avoid those negative effects.
Dilute your ACV in water by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar with an 8 oz glass of water.
Use a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth.
Rinse your mouth with water after drinking it.
How do I know if I have a blood sugar issue?
Functional lab testing is a great tool to investigate if you’re having issues regulating blood sugar and insulin levels. If you do… you know this simple superfood can help regulate it and get your body back in balance. With its low cost and minimal side effects, why not give it a try?
Elevate your Health with a Functional Provider BEFORE illnesses manifest.
If you're interested in elevating your health, apply to work with me, Jessica Meyers. I am a Functional health and herbal expert.
I can develop customized health protocols for you, based on functional lab testing, current symptoms, and health history. My recommendations include diet changes, lifestyle tweaks, and effective supplementation.
I give my health clients simple diet tips to incorporate into their routine. You shouldn’t have to give up everything you love to be healthy. Not only is that not sustainable, but that's not a fun way to live!