Times are tough! Modern living has become increasingly hectic and stressful. Lifestyle diseases such as blood sugar, hypertension, digestive problems, and obesity have become our bedfellows these days.
As we get busier doing our jobs and pursuing careers, we subject our bodies to quite a lot of neglect. Healthy eating and exercise have taken a backseat. Our bodies need detoxification or detox from time to time, for ridding it of toxic wastes.
Interestingly, people are looking towards natural or homely solutions for keeping chronic ailments in check. Detoxification or detox regime, followed once in a while, helps cleanse the body of wastes and toxins.
One detoxification method that is quite popular uses apple cider vinegar (ACV), a vinegar made from apples. Read on to learn how to safely do the apple cider vinegar detox and reap its maximum benefits for your health,
What is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Detox?
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple juice with yeast followed by bacteria. The sugar in the apple is first converted into alcohol and then changes to acetic acid.
It is believed that raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains good bacteria, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from the apple. Some users have reported of ACV aiding in digestion and general well-being.
The use of apple cider vinegar for detoxification, diet, or other benefits goes back thousands of years. Some even claim the father of medicine, Hippocrates, promoted its health qualities as far back as 400 B.C.
The raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar still has “the mother” in it, which is believed to be an effective component that helps detox your body. This mother has good bacteria for the gut, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. ACV has proved to be effective in removing the “sludge toxins” from the body.
Don’t get worried if you see a murky or a cloudy liquid. It’s normal for apple cider vinegar with the mother to be just that.
10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Detox
Until now, not much formal research has been specifically done to confirm apple cider vinegar as part of a detox diet. Even though studies support the health properties of apple cider vinegar, like a detox, it has not been scientifically examined.
Much of the information you’ll find online is purely anecdotal.
While there isn’t a huge body of research to suggest apple cider vinegar is a miracle health cure, the testimonials, and reviews you’ll find online can be compelling.
We present a few benefits that have been claimed by users and have been proven on animals.
Working as an Antioxidant
The flavonoids present in ACV play a very important role in reducing lipid peroxidation, which is what causes the damage to cells (1). ACV also increases the enzymes that help in protecting the cellular body.
Maintaining Gut Health
An ACV detox can help maintain your gut health by introducing “good” bacteria into your gut and immune system. These bacterias can travel all the way to your lower intestine and reside there. They then help restore your digestive health.
Helps Treat Obesity
One study revealed that obese rats who drank apple cider vinegar daily lost more body weight and fat mass than the rats in the control group. The waist circumference and triglyceride levels for rats in the groups that consumed apple cider vinegar lowered significantly as well (2).
A clinical trial conducted in 2009 on obese subjects showed that taking 15ml of vinegar (containing 750gm acetic acid) per day resulted in a significant reduction in body fat mass and fat production (3).
ACV also helps suppress appetite by controlling the centers in your brain that are responsible for controlling appetite. This reduces total calorie intake promoting weight loss (4).
Lowering Cholesterol Levels
Apple cider vinegar is shown to reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels (5). This is definitely beneficial and leads to a healthy heart.
A study shows that if consumed regularly for eight weeks, ACV is effective in lowering blood lipid levels and preventing hyperlipidemia (6). This can help in preventing heart ailments in the future.
Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
It is very well known that vinegar helps reduce the sugar levels in the blood, especially after meals, also known as post-prandial blood glucose levels. It helps increase the glucose uptake of the cells and inhibits the breakdown of starch.
This effect has been further proven in diabetic patients. Consuming 20ml of vinegar during mealtime caused a significant lowering of after-meal blood sugar levels (7).
Apple cider vinegar is shown to help reduce the complications of diabetes as it contains acetic acid that works in the same manner.
Do kindly note that ACV pills must not be used as a substitute for antidiabetic medications.
Reducing Blood Pressure Levels
Apple cider vinegar can help reduce blood pressure by decreasing renin levels (8). Your kidneys release an enzyme known as renin that is involved in increasing blood pressure. It is believed that this lowering of blood pressure is mainly because of the action of acetic acid in the vinegar.
Working as a Natural Laxative
Lack of dietary fiber in your food is one of the biggest reasons for constipation. ACV contains a large amount of pectin (a soluble dietary fiber). Therefore, ACV is thought to be effective in relieving constipation and aiding digestion. The acidic nature of vinegar is also believed to act as a natural laxative.
Effective as an Antibacterial Agent
The antimicrobial effects of ACV on the cell structure of some harmful bacteria have been researched. This effect makes it a good remedy for stomach and ear infections.
A study done in 2018 showed that ACV caused the cellular breakdown of bacteria such as E-coli and Staphylococcus aureus that are responsible for various stomach and urinary tract infections (9). This is especially useful for people who are immunocompromised.
Working as a Stress Reliever
ACV may help in reducing stress as it breaks down proteins into amino acids such as tryptophan. Tryptophan helps produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. This serotonin has been shown to play a major role in reducing depression and calming our nerves (10).
Depression can lead to reduced sleep. ACV thus can help ensure a stress-free, good night’s rest that is what everybody craves.
Helping in Weight Loss
Studies have shown that when combined with a calorie strict diet, ACV can reduce body fat and obesity (11). This can be attributed to the acetic acid in vinegar, which reduces fat accumulation around organs.
Summary: Apple Cider Vinegar is considered effective as a detox for cleansing the body and relieving minor symptoms. It may help reduce blood sugar, triglyceride level, promote digestion, and reduce stress. All these can clean your body of the unrequited toxins and help you be healthy.
How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar for Detox
ACV has not been proven as a miracle cure, so you are advised to exercise caution and to consume it in moderation. There are many variations by which you can incorporate ACV and make a great detox drink. Here are some ideas to make some really interesting drinks with ACV.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with Honey: The most common way of taking ACV is to mix a tablespoon of it with a glass of warm water sweetened up a notch with a little honey.
One of the simplest and most popular recipes, this drink is not only a great way of detoxing your body but a great one to lose weight simultaneously.
2. A Detox Drink spiced with Pepper and Cinnamon with a Dash of Lemon: This particular detox drink has a glass of warm water, 2 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice, with a pinch of ginger powder, cinnamon powder, and cayenne pepper.
This gingery, peppery drink aids in digestion and is very effective at reducing belly fat. It cleanses your body of all the toxins and improves your metabolism.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar with Garlic: This drink is a little spicy because of the addition of around 10-11 lightly mashed cloves of garlic into 2 cups of water and 1/4th cup of ACV.
Adding the juice of one lemon balances the flavor and gives that beautiful zing that refreshes your body instantly. You may or may not add honey to it. This spicy drink is also a popular home remedy for colds. It is extremely safe and can be taken every day.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Smoothie: This particular detox drink has the goodness of baby spinach, green zucchini, and one whole apple.
A cup of water with one tablespoon of ACV, a generous amount of walnut (3 tbsp), a spoonful of cinnamon, and you have a great drink to detox your body. The greens in the drink make it a highly nutritious concoction.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Tea: ACV can also be added to your tea and enjoyed. A cup of green tea with one tablespoon of ACV, little lemon juice, honey, cinnamon powder, and ginger, and it’s ready for you to sip.
Needless to say, this drink has all the goodness of green tea and ACV. High in antioxidants and powerful nutrients, this detox drink can also help improve your brain function.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar Lemonade: You can also mix ACV in your favorite lemonade and have it. High in vitamin C and the goodness of ACV, the detox drink is good for fat loss too.
Apart from the above-mentioned ways of taking ACV as detox, you can also mix ACV with pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, orange juice, or any other citric juice of your liking and make it more refreshing by adding mint leaves and ginger.
Please do keep in mind that there has not been any substantial research to prove the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar detox. However, from animal testing and small human sample analysis, it has been found to provide the aforesaid benefits.
Summary: Several variations of detox drinks can be prepared by mixing ACV to tea or juices and spiced with some spices that have health benefits. You can try them and check for yourself what suits you the best.
Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressings and Dips
While on an ACV detox regime, you can incorporate ACV into your diet in many ways. Since ACV is highly acidic and has an unpleasant taste, you need to make it more palatable by using it in innovative recipes for meals and drinks.
We have already given you a list of detox drinks with ACV that you can take. Here are some more easy ideas for making your own ACV salad dressings, and dips.
1. ACV Olive Vinaigrette: You can use this vinaigrette for salad dressing. Mix one tablespoon ACV with two-three tablespoons of olive oil. Store this in the fridge. A recently conducted study shows olive oil to be helpful in preventing digestive and breast cancers (12).
2. ACV Nuts and Paneer/Tofu Salad: Use apple cider vinegar with half a cup of walnuts and two helpings of fresh greens such as spring onions, leeks, spinach, or lettuce. Sprinkle half cup fresh paneer or tofu. Add a tablespoon of ACV instead of mayonnaise as the dressing.
Remember that this is not a treatment or medicine to prevent the risk of heart diseases. Please consult your cardiologist in case of warning symptoms or increased blood cholesterol levels.
4. ACV Tomato Jam: Core and chop a kilo of cherry tomatoes into small pieces. Mix the tomatoes with half a cup of ground brown sugar, two tablespoons ACV, one tablespoon grated ginger, one teaspoon salt, and half a teaspoon of roasted cumin powder, and a pinch of red chili flakes in a heavy-bottomed pan.
Heat the mixture over medium to high heat, stirring it all the while. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for a couple of hours. When the mixture turns thick and sticky, remove from heat and cool (13).
Store by refrigerating it in airtight containers for up to two weeks. You can have this jam as a spread with crackers or toasted bread, or as a dip with wafers.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Apple Cider Vinegar Detox
Although ACV is beneficial, you need to take certain precautions before you undertake an apple cider vinegar detox. While using ACV in liquid form, you need to be more careful with how you consume it.
- Dilute it: You don’t want your mouth and throat to burn with the acid of vinegar! ACV in its pure form is acidic. Make sure you dilute it in twice or more the amount of water, to avoid acidity, tongue, and throat burns.
- Protect your teeth enamel: Rinse your mouth after drinking the vinegar. or you can drink it with a straw. Remember, even one glass a day can erode tooth enamel.
- Take it on an empty stomach: If you experience digestive discomfort or nausea, then avoid taking it on an empty stomach. Have it after a small snack.
- Beware of drug interactions: If you are taking medication, diuretics, or insulin, ask your doctor before starting on this detox regimen.
Switching to ACV pills from its liquid version helps avoid the concerns regarding throat burns and damage to teeth enamel. ACV pills are especially suitable for those who can’t tolerate the taste or smell of ACV.
Summary: Before using ACV you must keep in mind that do not gulp down this liquid in copious quantities. Dilute it, rinse your mouth right after taking ACV, and in case you face any digestive problems, avoid taking ACV in an empty stomach.
What You Need to Know Before you try This Detox
Now that you know that ACV detox is not a “one size fits all” solution to your health problems, start the regimen after keeping in mind certain facts.
Our body naturally controls the pH level of our tissues and blood to keep the proteins in our body functioning well. Altering the pH balance artificially with apple cider vinegar can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. If you are following a healthy, balanced diet, you can skip the ACV detox.
Remember if you are on insulin or diuretics, consult your physician before consuming apple cider vinegar in large quantities.
Some people experience nausea and stomach discomfort after drinking ACV. It may cause acid reflux on an empty stomach.
Summary: Our body has several mechanisms through which it maintains its pH level that is highly conducive for other metabolic functions. High amounts of ACV consumption may distort this balance and can cause unexpected reactions. Therefore, it is necessary to practice moderation.
The Final Note
Apple Cider Vinegar has been popular for ages as a natural supplement for its many noted health benefits. Though most of the benefits may vary from person to person, it has proven to be useful in losing weight and controlling sugar levels in the blood. As a dietary aid, that speaks a lot for ACV.
Recently it has gained a lot of popularity as a detox and is likely to be safe to consume.
It is safe when taken in small doses, below 2 tbsp per person, per day. If you are on prescription medications or are taking supplements, we advise you to consult your doctor before starting an ACV detox diet.
Lastly, an apple cider vinegar detox should be accompanied by a healthy diet, appropriate physical exercise, and sleep and relaxation, to be truly beneficial to individuals. Do not rely solely on diets and detoxification regimen to supplement a healthy lifestyle.