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Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: Fad or Fact?

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: Fad or Fact?

Apple cider vinegar has been getting a lot of attention in the health and body cleanse world. If you go into almost any Whole Foods or health food store you will see books and displays full of information about apple cider vinegar. Apple cider has uses ranging from household cleaning to help with cleansing your body, making it a super tonic.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Most of us know vinegar as either the delicious or terrible taste from salt and vinegar potato chips. Vinegar is a liquid that consists of mostly water and acetic acid. Vinegar is created through a fermenting process with over 22 different varieties – ranging from beer vinegar to coconut vinegar. The variety that has been gaining a lot of notoriety is apple cider vinegar (or ACV for short)

The sugars in the fermentation process can cause apple cider to turn alcoholic (which is a very tasty type of cider) and if it is left to ferment even further it turns to vinegar. In fact vinegar is supposedly French for ‘sour wine’, apple cider vinegar gets it start in smashed apples as opposed to grapes. What makes apple cider vinegar unique from all the other varieties of vinegars out there is the combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are released and created through the fermenting of apples.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar at Home?

With ACV’s recent popularity it is extremely easy to find at almost any grocery store, with several varieties of apple cider vinegar – including raw, unpasteurized and organic. With all the different types of there it can be a bit overwhelming on which type to buy, honestly just purchasing Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is your best bet. For those who prefer to go everything home grown here is a recipe for making apple cider vinegar at home.

(Note: There are a dozen recipe varieties for apple cider vinegar, I am using one from Ohio State University’s Nutrition Department)

Making Cider Vinegar at Home

Two factors require special attention when making vinegar at home: oxygen supply and temperature. Oxygen is spread throughout the mixture by stirring it daily and by letting air reach the fluid through a cheesecloth filter, which is used in place of a regular lid. The temperature of fermenting cider should be kept between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Lower temperatures do not always produce a usable vinegar, and higher ones interfere with the formation of the “mother of vinegar.” Mother of vinegar is a mat that forms on the bottom of fermenting wine that has gone bad.

Do not use a metal container when making vinegar; acid in the mixture will corrode metal or aluminum objects. Glass, plastic, wood, enamel, or stainless steel containers should be used for making or storing vinegar. The same holds true for making or storing foods that have more than 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in the recipe.

Steps for Making Cider Vinegar

The following steps must be followed to make a high-quality cider vinegar:

  • 1) Make a clean cider from ripe apples.
  • 2) Change all of the fruit sugar to alcohol. This is called “yeast fermentation.”
  • 3) Change all of the alcohol to acetic acid. This is called “acetic acid fermentation.”
  • 4) Clarify the acetic acid to prevent further fermentation and decomposition.

Step 1–Making Cider

Cider is made from the winter and fall varieties of apples (summer and green apples do not contain enough sugar). Fruit should be gathered, then washed well to remove debris. Crush the fruit to produce apple pulp and strain off the juice. Use a press or cheesecloth for straining.

Adding yeast to activate fermentation is not essential, but will speed up the process. Special cultivated yeasts are available for this purpose at wine-making shops and biological labs–bread yeasts are not recommended. To make a starter, crumble one cake of yeast into one quart of cider. This makes enough starter for 5 gallons of cider; double the recipe proportionately when making more.

Steps 2 and 3–Making Alcohol and Acetic Acid

Pour all of the liquid into one or more containers to about three-quarters capacity; do not close the lids on the containers. Stir the mixtures daily. Keep the containers away from direct sunlight and maintain the temperature at 60 to 80 degrees F. Full fermentation will take about 3 to 4 weeks. Near the end of this period, you should notice a vinegar-like smell. Taste samples daily until the desired strength is reached.

Step 4–Filtering

When the vinegar is fully fermented, filter the liquid through several layers of fine cheesecloth or filter paper–a coffee filter works well for this. This removes the mother of vinegar, preventing further fermentation or spoilage of the product.

Storing Your Vinegar

The vinegar is now ready for storage in separate, capped containers. Stored vinegar will stay in excellent condition almost indefinitely if it is pasteurized. To pasteurize, heat the vinegar before pouring it into sterilized bottles, or bottle, then place in a hot water bath. In both cases, the temperature of the vinegar must reach at least 140 degrees F to sterilize the product, and should not exceed 160 degrees F. Use a cooking thermometer to ensure the correct temperature is met. Cool the containers and store at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

What are the uses for Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has too many benefits to possible write about on a single blog post, however apple cider vinegar uses can be broken down into two different categories – apple cider health benefits and uses around the home for apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition Facts
ACV’s nutrition facts will vary slightly depending on the brand you buy or if you made if from home. These are an approximation and will vary from batch to batch slightly

ACV contains the following vitamins –

Vitamin C, Thiamin – Vitamin B1, Riboflavin – Vitamin B2, Niacin – Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folate – Vitamin B9, Vitamin A and Vitamin E

Apple cider vinegar contains the following minerals –

Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc

Apple cider vinegar also contains nearly 18 amino acids, and several fatty acids.

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits

ACV has many health claims, from being good for your teeth to helping you lose weight, there are a collection of common apple cider vinegar remedies, not all are guaranteed to work and most have not been tried by staff at Cleanse Your Body Fast. With everything be smart, and trust your gut.

Note: Most claims have not been approved or validated by the FDA, you should always consult a doctor before starting any treatment.

Apple cider vinegar on hair –

ACV has been known to add shine and bounce to your hair. The acetic acid is great from removing build up from conditions and other hair products as well as strengthening your hair.

Apple cider vinegar for sun burn –

If you end up out in the sun to long and get sun burned, well shame on your for not using proper sun screen to protect your skin. The sun can speed up the aging process of your skin and cause permanent cell damange. However, ACV can be mixed with cold water and applied to the affected area and actually help draw out some of the heat and provide a cooling sensation.

Apple cider vinegar for constipation –

ACV can be used as a natural constipation remedy. ACV contains pectin which is a water soluble fiber that can help relieve constipation. Just add 2 tablespoons of ACV to 6 ounces of water and drink every couple of hours until its effects set in.

Apple cider vinegar has many uses around the home for cleaning as well; there are many websites about how to clean with vinegar so we will not get into it in this article. ACV is a great thing to have at least one bottle of in almost every household. Let us know your favorite uses for apple cider vinegar and we will post them here. Thanks for reading.

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