Apple cider vinegar has been used as a natural health remedy for centuries. But what do people mean when they talk about apple cider vinegar “with the mother”?
To unpack this question, it’s important to understand exactly what apple cider vinegar is. As the name suggests, apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar produced from the fermentation of apple cider. The sugar naturally present in the apples is fermented by adding yeast or bacteria to the cider. The mixture eventually turns into alcohol and then into vinegar.
When you buy your apple cider vinegar from the store, you may notice that it comes in two different types. Filtered apple cider vinegar is lighter in color and completely smooth. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is significantly darker and will have wispy or stringy bits floating in it. These bits are what is known together as “the mother.” They are strands of enzymes, proteins, and good bacteria – and what many believe is the source of apple cider vinegar’s goodness and health benefits.
Is “the mother” what gives apple cider vinegar all its powers? The science isn’t quite clear yet, but it is known that “the mother” is probiotic, meaning that it stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. While it may not be responsible for all the benefits of apple cider vinegar, there’s no reason not to take in “the mother” along with the rest.
Add it to your salads, use it in cooking or baking, or snack on apple cider vinegar gummies. Apple cider vinegar is endlessly versatile and loaded with nutrients like magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, antioxidants, and amino acids.
Read on to discover what apple cider vinegar does for the body.
1. Improved digestion
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been traditionally touted for its digestive benefits, and contemporary health enthusiasts increasingly support its role in promoting gut health. As a fermented product, ACV contains beneficial bacteria and acids that can aid digestion. These components contribute to a healthy gut microbiome for effective digestion and overall health.
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help to break down food in the stomach, facilitating better nutrient absorption. For those suffering from conditions like indigestion or bloating, ACV can act as a digestive aid, helping to alleviate discomfort by promoting a more efficient breakdown of food. Furthermore, the probiotic properties of fermented foods like ACV support the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is crucial for maintaining digestive health.
People with heartburn or acid reflux may also find relief through apple cider vinegar. Though it seems counterintuitive to consume an acidic substance to combat excess stomach acid, ACV can help to balance stomach pH levels, potentially easing symptoms of acid reflux. However, it’s important to note that this might not work for everyone, and individuals with severe reflux should consult a healthcare professional.
2. Immune System Protection
As it’s antiviral, anti-yeast, and anti-fungal, apple cider vinegar can guard your immune system from bad bacteria. Studies show that it can also be effective at inhibiting the growth of salmonella in food.
3. Reduced Blood Sugar Levels
Ingesting apple cider vinegar can help manage glucose levels in the bloodstream. This can be tremendously rewarding for people with diabetes, although it should not be used as a treatment in itself. Instead, take apple cider vinegar with meals to keep blood sugar levels steady after you eat.
4. Weight Loss
Early research suggests that apple cider vinegar may be able to help with weight loss by working to lower appetite. Preventing you from overeating helps you shed unwanted pounds in the long run.
5. Enhanced Heart Health
Apple cider vinegar reduces triglyceride levels and helps neutralize cholesterol. Together, they keep fatty plaque from building up in your arteries and can support general heart health.