You've probably encountered apple cider vinegar in the kitchen before -- you may have even used it to clean. But have you ever thought to drink it? Drinking vinegar may sound like a punishment your grandmother would've used for swearing, but slurping this sour stuff could get you ready for summer in no time.
To make apple cider vinegar, the apples are first crushed and smashed to help break them down. Next, yeast and bacteria are added to the apples and they begin to ferment. The apples are fermented beyond the point of turning into alcohol, resulting in a pungent, sour liquid -- a vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
How can vinegar help you shed extra pounds? This simple liquid helps to speed up your metabolism and supports healthy digestion. By doing this, your body absorbs less fat in the small intestine and burns more calories throughout the day, helping you shed excess pounds. As with all supplements that aid in weight loss, adding apple cider vinegar to a balanced diet and regular exercise program will help you see better results.
What makes it work?
Apple cider vinegar can be taken for more reasons than one. Here are the important nutrients and compounds within apple cider vinegar that make it not just a weight loss aid, but a get-healthy aid:
Acetic Acid -- According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, this key component of apple cider vinegar is what helps your body burn more fat. He said it "switches on" the genes that trigger fat-burning proteins.
Minerals -- This vinegar contains iron, calcium and potassium that support healthy bones, preventing density loss which could lead to conditions like osteoporosis, and help strengthen the hair and teeth.
Pectin -- Think of pectin as a fat flusher. Pectin soaks up fatty deposits in the blood vessels to help regulate cholesterol.
Malic Acid -- This compound is found in fruits and other foods with a sour taste. Malic acid helps to fuel your cells to create more energy and form amino acids.
Bikini Ready Recipe
On the May 14 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Oz shared a recipe for a drink that can help you burn more calories. You start with one cup of grapefruit juice. Make sure you look for one that doesn't have a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners, to avoid extra calories. The vitamin C in the grapefruit juice helps to rev up fat burning. Next, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Lastly, you can add one teaspoon of honey to cut the tartness. Try an organic or raw honey, something that isn't overly processed.
Try drinking this mixture before every meal to help burn calories. It also tastes a bit tropical, which is perfect for summer.
Why Else to Try Vinegar
In addition to helping with weight loss, apple cider vinegar has been credited with relieving the symptoms of conditions like arthritis by breaking up toxins that have built up in the joints. Apple cider vinegar can also help promote proper circulation and bring down high blood pressure and "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels. A 2007 study of type 2 diabetics also showed that apple cider vinegar, when taken in the morning, lowered blood glucose levels by four to six percent.
How to Get It
If you're interested in taking apple cider vinegar for nutritional benefit, you can find it in liquid or capsule form. When taken in liquid form, you can either drink it plain or mix the vinegar into water or juice to help with the taste (like with the grapefruit juice). A typical dose is one tablespoon, taken up to three times daily, but more can be used with no reported side effects.
With so many uses, apple cider vinegar is a versatile natural remedy to get behind. Have you tried apple cider vinegar? How do you use it?