People have used apple cider vinegar (ACV) for thousands of years. Everyone from the ancient Babylonians to the Greeks used it as a cure-all for all kinds of health ailments.
Like coconut oil and grass-fed butter, ACV is enjoying a comeback among people who care about their health.
No matter where you look, you'll find someone making wild claims about what ACV can do for your health, beauty, and home. Some claims are anecdotal, and they haven't been supported by scientific research... yet. But many other claims have been scientifically tested and proven.
If you want to know how ACV can help you, keep reading.
What is apple cider vinegar?
ACV is a bitter, acidic liquid made from (you guessed it) apples!
It's a two-step process: First, manufacturers expose crushed apples to yeast. The yeast eats the sugars, which turns them into alcohol (in a process called fermentation).
Next, manufacturers add acid-forming bacteria (i.e., acetobacter), which ferments the alcohol further. Then it turns it into a liquid called “acetic acid”—the main compound in ACV. This bacteria converts the alcohol into vinegar. Acetic acid and malic acid give apple cider vinegar its sour taste.
ACV only contains a few calories, but it packs a huge nutritional punch. ACV doesn't contain many vitamins or minerals, though it does contain trace amounts of iron and potassium.
High-quality apple cider vinegar (which is organic, unpasteurized, and unfiltered) also contains strands of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria (e.g., probiotics). These ingredients are found in a cobweb-like substance called “the mother.” The mother is 100% edible; it usually floats at the bottom of ACV bottles.
Most nutritional benefits come from the acetic acid itself, as well as the enzymes and other nutrients found in unpasteurized ACV.
It packs a strong taste, but its effects on the body are incredibly mild. It's extremely safe—if you limit your consumption to just a few tablespoons a day. That works out well, because that’s all you need to reap the awesome benefits.