Our gut is populated with colonies of bacteria, good and bad. When the diversity of bacteria is lacking or certain species of bacteria are absent, illnesses and chronic diseases or stomach distress is a result. There are so many factors that go into having a healthy microbiome (gut bacteria) and environment all plays a factor. Diet is huge when dealing with the health of the gut and there are so many foods and supplements that can help, I could spend all day addressing them! The scope of this article will address how to use apple cider vinegar for gut health as one of those foods that can affect your microbiome.
As infants we come into this world with a sterile microbiome. Experts have recently discovered that by the age of three, our gut bacteria has been formed. During those three years a child will be exposed to many factors that will affect how their microbiome has formed. Playing in the dirt, having a pet, whether or not they were breastfed, what they eat, medications they have ingested will all factor into the diversity and quality of the microbiome.
Then as the years go by we further alter the microbiome, by how much it is altered experts do not know the answer to. Medications, antibiotics, fast food, processed food, sugar, stress, pollution can all affect the quality and diversity of the microbiome. If you eat a typical American diet, you most likely have gut issues. No wonder the aisles of pharmacies are loaded with antiacids, and other stomach related relief medicines. IBS, IBD, reflux, gas and bloating are the number one complaints suffered by millions of Americans.
Origins Of Vinegar
White vinegar has been used for more than ten thousand years and flavored vinegars’ were produced about five thousand years ago. The New Testament references vinegar for wound healing and other medicinal purposes. The Chinese used vinegar as a sanitizing hand wash. Early American health practitioners used vinegar to treat a variety of ailments like stomachache, fever and poison ivy.
How is Vinegar Made?
Raw materials containing starch or a sugar via a fermentation process is involved in the production of vinegar. Grape, apple and other fruit juices are the main starting materials. Rice, malt and beer vinegar are other types of vinegars’ produced as well. There are several fermentation processes, oxidation and then an aging process that varies according to the type of raw material used when manufacturing vinegar. (Grapes, apples, etc)
Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Gut Health
- Apple cider vinegar contains organic acids that include acetic acid. These acids are able to permeate into the cell membranes of microorganisms and initiate cell death. It’s antimicrobial properties make it a useful antibacterial agent. Studies have been done on vinegar and it’s positive effect of killing food-borne bacteria due to the acetic acid content.
- The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to be lethal to E.Coli bacteria, a type of bacteria that is very resistant these days to antibiotics.
- Obesity is a huge problem in the United States and the numbers of people who will be obese in the future is staggering. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to decrease the glycemic effect of a meal which may increase weight loss. A recent study on rats showed those that ingested the vinegar had lower body weight.
- Apple cider vinegar can improve the acid content in your stomach. Many people suffer from indigestion due to low levels of stomach acid. Increasing the stomach acid by taking one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water daily will help with indigestion and gas.
How to take apple cider vinegar
There are no safety precautions to taking small amounts of vinegar a day. You can drink one to two teaspoons in a glass of water one to two times a day. There are no recommended dosages for taking vinegar, so seeing how you feel is the best gauge.
- Never drink apple cider vinegar or any type of vinegar straight. Always dilute due to it’s highly acidic nature. Your tooth enamel can be damaged by taking it straight as well as possibly irritating the tissues of your mouth and throat.
- Never drink more than one to two teaspoons of diluted apple cider vinegar per day unless under the advice of your health care practitioner. Drinking too much per day can affect your potassium levels which will hurt bone density.
- If you’re taking laxatives, medicines for diabetes or heart disease, don’t take apple cider vinegar unless under the care of your physician.
- Make sure your apple cider vinegar contains the ‘mother’ and is not diluted. Mother of vinegar is the jelly-like substance that can cloud the apple cider vinegar. It can look wispy as well. Many feel that the ‘mother’
has it’s own health benefits. To read more about apple cider vinegar and it’s health benefits, Bragg Health Sciences makes a high quality apple cider vinegar
and they have a book explaining the many benefits.
In conclusion, apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which has been shown to kill bad bacteria, including E.coli. It’s anti microbial effects make it an effective anti- bacterial agent. Apple cider vinegar is helpful for weight loss and indigestion as well as killing off food-borne bacteria saving you from a potential bout of food poisoning.
Taking small amounts of diluted apple cider vinegar can be a great way to keep your gut happy and your waistline happy! To purchase a high quality apple cider vinegar, try Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
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