Benefits of Adding Apple Cider Vinegar In A Smoothie
Vinegar has been used for cooking and as a natural remedy for centuries. There are records of it being used as medicine by the ancient Greeks. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is especially popular as a tool for healing and improving health. One of the best ways to consume ACV is to add a spoonful to your favorite smoothie.
How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
All vinegars are made by adding special bacteria to alcohol. These types of bacteria are called acetic acid bacteria, because they turn alcohol (ethanol) into acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main ingredient of vinegar (other than water).
In other words, vinegar is made by fermenting alcohol. This removes the alcohol and creates acetic acid.
Apple cider vinegar is specifically made from apples and apple ciders. First the apples are turned into hard cider, which contains alcohol. Acetic acid bacteria is then added to the hard cider. This bacteria breaks down the alcohol and turns the liquid into apple cider vinegar.
This is a natural process and has been used by people for hundreds of years.
Apple Cider Vinegar versus White Vinegar
There are many types of vinegar. Vinegar can be made out of almost anything that ferments into alcohol, so why is apple cider vinegar so popular? The main reason is the distinct taste. ACV has a much more pleasant taste than other types of vinegar. This is especially important in cooking or when taking ACV as an oral remedy.
Another reason for ACV being popular as a health remedy is that it has a slightly higher PH level than other types of vinegars. All vinegars are acidic. Generally you should not drink straight vinegar as its acidic levels are so high that you may damage the tissue of your mouth and esophagus. It can also lead to tooth decay. Because apple cider vinegar is slightly less acidic than most other vinegars, people believe it is healthier to consume orally.
Finally, apple cider vinegar is not filtered in the same way in which white vinegar usually is. Most vinegar you find in the store look clear. This clear look is more appealing to most consumers, especially those looking for vinegar as a cleaning product.
Apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and unpasteurized. It often has a “mother” floating in it. This mother is similar to a mother in kombucha as is formed by the bacteria that create the vinegar. This mother is totally harmless to consume, and some people believe it has added health benefits similar to the probiotic benefits of a kombucha mother.
The differences between apple cider vinegar and distilled vinegar are due to the source of the liquid. ACV is made from apples. Most distilled vinegar is made from grains. This type of distilled vinegar was first produced in the mid 1800s and soon became popular due to how easy and cheap it is to produce. Traditional vinegars such as apple cider vinegar take longer to produce and are most expensive to make. Grain-based distilled vinegar does not taste as good as ACV and does not have as many nutritional components. But because it was so easy to produce it soon became the most popular type of vinegar, especially for cleaning and pickling.
At the end of the day, the biggest difference between ACV and other types of vinegar is the taste and color of the vinegars. They both contain acetic acid mixed with water. While apple cider vinegar is less acidic and has slightly more nutritional value, it is not going to make a large difference in your diet unless you are drinking a lot of vinegar in a day. And you probably should not be drinking a lot of vinegar in a day due to the high acidity of vinegar.
Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits
There have been a number of scientific studies done on apple cider vinegar. I am mostly interested in consuming ACV in a smoothie, so I only reviewed the literature or oral consumption of apple cider vinegar. There may be other uses or health benefits of ACV that do not have to do with oral consumption.
There are three main findings in the research of drinking apple cider vinegar:
ACV helps control blood sugar
ACV helps with digestive health
ACV might slightly help with weight loss
The first of these has the most amount of research. Science suggests that apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar levels stables can benefit anyone. A lot of these studies specifically focus on type 2 diabetes patients. Keeping blood sugar levels steady is important for those of us who drink extra sweet smoothies sometimes. I know I like to make dessert smoothies from time to time that probably have too much fruit sugar in them. Adding a bit of ACV to these smoothies will help to keep my blood sugar from jumping through the roof.
Vinegar can help with your digestive health by helping feed your gut bacteria. This is because vinegar seems to slow down the digestion of starches. This is related to keeping blood sugar levels low. These starches travel further down your digestive tract before being digested, and can help feed the good gut bacteria in your digestive tract. These microorganism are essential to keeping your digestive system healthy.
Finally, ACV is often touted as a magic weight loss remedy. This is largely hype. Some studies have shown very modest weight loss when adding apple cider vinegar to a diet. Over three months study subjects lost about two pounds. This is such a small amount of weight that it can be attributed to other factors. So while there is some evidence that ACV might help in very modest weight loss, I am skeptical.
Adding Apple Cider Vinegar To Smoothies
If you believe you will benefit from consuming apple cider vinegar, adding a spoonful to your smoothies is a good way to consume it. Generally you should not be drinking straight vinegar. The acid in vinegar is just too strong and is likely to cause damage to your mouth and teeth. Instead, dilute the vinegar in a smoothie or eat it as part of a salad.
Secondly, one of the main health benefits of ACV is its ability to control blood sugar levels. If you drink ACV without eating other food at the same time, this ability to control blood sugars is lost. This benefit only exists if the apple cider vinegar is consumed at the same time as the food you are eating.
A good tasting smoothie will also help hide the taste of the vinegar. A lot of people do not find the taste of ACV to be all that pleasant.
Again, adding ACV to a smoothie is easy. Just add a little bit into your blender before you blend.