Time for a New Cleanse? Your Guide to the Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

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Detox diets are all the rage these days. From the Whole30 to the juice cleanse and everything in between, the world is on a kick to reset health and digestion. And good thing, too! Almost everyone in the world could stand to be a bit healthier – I know I certainly could! With so many varieties out there, though, it’s hard to choose which detox is right for you. Today we’re going to discuss one in particular that has a myriad of health benefits associated with it: the apple cider vinegar detox.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Most of you probably have apple cider vinegar somewhere in your cupboards, and use it occasionally for cooking or topping salads or something similar. Did you know that it has a ton of other uses, too? Apple cider vinegar has been promoted for health reasons for at least one hundred years, though some scholars think that Hippocrates (an ancient Greek known as the father of medicine) prescribed the use of apple cider vinegar way back in 400BC!

Apple cider vinegar itself is pretty much what it sounds like – vinegar distilled from apples. The type of apple cider vinegar that you want for your cleanse is a bit more specific, though. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar has a bacteria called “the mother” in it, which is great for your digestive system and helps to maintain vitamins and minerals in your system. Make sure that you use a high-quality brand that is raw and unfiltered for your apple cider vinegar detox.

How to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet

There are a few different options here. If you’re already in the middle of another detox like the juice cleanse, you can go ahead and just add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to drinks that you’re already consuming a few times a day. If you’re wanting to add this to your diet as your go-to detox drink, there are a few different ways you can create it.

The most basic version of the apple cider vinegar detox has three ingredients in the drink:

  • A cup of water (approximately eight ounces)
  • 1-2 tbsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp of sweetener (organic honey, agave, maple syrup, stevia, etc.)

A lot of recipes will have you add cinnamon or cayenne and some lemon juice, but this is all you really need. There will be more later about some specific recipes to try, but if you want the raw form, this is the way to go.

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Health Benefits of the Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

There are a ton of benefits associated with the apple cider vinegar detox, and unlike a lot of other detoxes, many of these have science to back them up! While there haven’t been any super large scale tests done, studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can positively affect type 2 diabetes, contribute to weight loss, and lower cholesterol. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Kills harmful bacteria and viruses
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Cleanses digestive system
  • Increases metabolism
  • Promotes pH balance
  • Helps remove toxins from the body

The list could go on, but those hit some of the major desirable effects. While your body does promote pH balance and remove toxins naturally, apple cider vinegar contributes to those processes to make them more effective and “purge” your body of the things that shouldn’t be there sooner. Now let’s dissect some of these benefits a bit more closely to understand how they work.

Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

There isn’t much to say about this except to mention that there have been studies done on the effects of apple cider vinegar on blood glucose levels. These studies have shown that consuming apple cider vinegar lowers your blood glucose, insulin levels, LDL, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels. That is to say, apple cider vinegar works wonders regulating the blood and fat levels in your blood stream.

This means that apple cider vinegar can be a great natural treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes, those with high cholesterol, or anyone with a high risk of heart attack or stroke. Of course, you shouldn’t rely solely on apple cider vinegar as a treatment, but it’s certainly worth adding as a supplement. Larger scale studies are needed to confirm the application of these results, but it’s certainly worth trying or looking into further.

Cleanses Digestive System

Apple cider vinegar contains enzymes, which encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the body. This property, coupled with its acidic nature, makes apple cider vinegar a great tool to clean out the digestive tract. Often times, we think of the digestive system as the stomach, but this is a very over-simplified picture. In fact, there are about 30 feet of intestine (between the large and small) coiled up inside of you working to make sure everything gets through properly!

In addition to cleansing the digestive system on its own, this property makes apple cider vinegar a great candidate to pair with other detox systems. Many fruit and vegetable-based detoxes can have nasty side effects including constipation and diarrhea. The apple cider vinegar detox works against those very symptoms, meaning it can naturally treat the side effects of other detoxes.

Promotes pH Balance

Apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic, which means that its pH value is below 7. The opposite of acidic is alkaline. Your body is constantly striving to reach a state of equilibrium in terms of its pH balance, and apple cider vinegar can help it to reach that point.

Contrary to what you might think, apple cider vinegar actually alkalizes when consumed. That is, consuming something acidic like apple cider vinegar causes your body to push back and regulate to a more alkalized state. One of the major benefits of this is the decrease in mucus buildup.

Your body should produce some mucus (it actually protects you from outside contaminants), but when you’re fighting off allergies or a sinus infection it can get overzealous in its production. Apple cider vinegar helps to alleviate allergy and cold symptoms by breaking up mucus and the alkalizing property keeps it from coming back too quickly. This can also lead to fewer headaches and decreased fatigue.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes to Try

I could spend a lot more time going into the details of some of the specific health benefits of apple cider vinegar, but I want to be sure to give you a few recipes to try with your apple cider vinegar detox, too! There are a lot of ways to go with this, and (as briefly mentioned earlier) it’s important to find out which one works best for you. Some people have trouble with stomach aches if the ratio of apple cider is too high – a good way to alleviate this is to make sure that you take your detox drinks with food.

The “Traditional” Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink. Combine everything in a glass. If it’s not sweet enough, add more honey. Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Honey (optional

Avocado Apple Cider Vinegar Smoothie. One of the best ways to make apple cider vinegar actually taste good! The avocado and apple in it give even more nutritional benefits. Blend it all together and serve chilled. Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup apple, peeled & sliced
  • 2 tbsp avocado
  • ¼ cup ice

Hot Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink. This one feels Christmasy to me, but I’m sure it’s equally as delicious year round. It’s similar to the traditional, with a few important differences (including, of course, using hot water). Ingredients:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Lemon slice (optional)

Cinnamon Apple Pie Smoothie. There’s a hot version of this one that sounds like the holidays on steroids, but this delicious smoothie version is a great fall or summer treat. Put everything into a blender and combine. Ingredients:

  • 1 apple (core removed)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops vanilla (the recipe specifically recommends liquid vanilla Stevia)
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Grapefruit Juice Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink. I’m not personally a fan of grapefruit juice, but I know that it’s really popular so I figured I’d throw it on here! Allegedly, grapefruit juice and apple cider vinegar go together like a charm. As usual, just combine everything and drink up! Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
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Conclusion

Some key things to remember: apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic, so make sure that it’s diluted well before consuming it. Drinking a straight shot of apple cider vinegar won’t only taste terrible, it could seriously damage your tooth enamel and cause cavities or other more serious problems. As briefly mentioned above, some people experience nausea while on the apple cider vinegar detox, but most say this can be avoided if you have food in your stomach first.

Also, check with your doctor before jumping into an apple cider vinegar detox if you’re taking any prescription medication. Apple cider vinegar can interact negatively with some supplements, specifically contributing to low levels of potassium. If you do decide that the apple cider vinegar detox is right for you, best of luck! Try one of these drinks (or your own recipe!) 2-3 times a day for a few weeks, and remember to come back and let us know what results you get. Good luck!

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