Apple cider vinegar is one of the latest health crazes to have hit the world. Celebrities like Katy Perry, Megan Fox and Hilary Duff have been singing the praises of the stuff and saying that this tart tasting liquid helps them to stay looking and feeling wonderful.
But it’s not just the celebrities. Experts like Dr Fuhrman and Dr Josh Axe also say that apple cider vinegar does indeed provide a host of health benefits (and it makes a delicious salad dressing too!).
However, finding good quality apple cider vinegar that will provide all these benefits isn’t always easy.
That’s why we’re here to help.
In this article, we’re going to give you everything you need to know in order to choose the best organic apple cider vinegar for your needs.
We’ll be covering a lot of stuff here, including what is it, what to look for when choosing a vinegar, which are the best brands in the UK and how you can use it once you’ve bought it. Let’s dive straight in!
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made from fermented apple juice.
It has shot to popularity over the past few years as health experts and celebrities sing the praises of this health-promoting, rejuvenating liquid.
Offering a range of health benefits, this cheap supplement can help reduce inflammation, reduce your blood sugar, keep your heart healthy, and even promote healthy hair skin and nails.
How is apple cider vinegar made?
Despite the name, apple cider vinegar isn’t made from apple cider at all, but rather from fresh apples, water and bacteria.
It’s made by fermenting apples in a very straightforward process that you could easily repeat at home, if you are DIY-minded.
The method involves chopping apples, adding sugar, water and the ‘mother’ then leaving for a few weeks to ferment, stirring daily. Then the mixture is strained and the apple cider vinegar enjoyed.
Although sugar is added when making apple cider vinegar, this sugar isn’t retained in the finished product as it is consumed by the bacteria. Apple cider vinegar only contains trace amounts of sugar.
What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar boasts a range of health benefits that can help treat a range of health problems both inside and out. Used for centuries to treat coughs, clean wounds, ease weight loss and improve digestion, it still has a place in the modern world. Here’s what else it can do for you.
- It can kill bacteria. Apple cider vinegar has been used to disinfect wounds, killing nail fungus and treating ear infections for centuries.
- It can improve your digestion. Just like some yoghurts and other fermented foods, apple cider vinegar contains healthy bacteria that promotes optimal gut health and could provide relief from heartburn and indigestion.
- It can support and boost your immune system. The healthy bacteria that it contains helps promote the health of your immune system, helping to ward off colds, flu, diseases and infections.
- It can help lower your blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar low can be a constant battle for a lot of people, especially those suffering from diabetes. Studies show that consuming 4 teaspoons before a meal can actually prevent a blood sugar spike.
- It can give you healthy skin, hair and nails. Apple cider vinegar can help rebalance the pH level of your hair and treat an itchy scalp or dryness and brittleness. When used on your skin, it has an exfoliating and antifungal effect, making it fab for treating fungal infections.
- It can improve your heart health. Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar could be effective in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels and can also lower blood pressure.
What to look for when choosing an apple cider vinegar
To enjoy maximum health benefits, it’s important to think carefully before choosing which brand of apple cider vinegar to use. Use this criteria to help you decide:
- Is it organic? Look for a brand that is certified organic and non-GMO. This will help minimise potentially toxic chemicals such as pesticides found in the product.
- Is it unpasteurised? Pasteurisation kills the healthy bacteria found in the vinegar and therefore many of the health benefits. Opt for unpasteurised every time.
- Is it unfiltered? Unfiltered apple cider vinegar will contain the ‘mother’ which contains many of the beneficial enzymes.
- Is it packaged in glass? Plastic bottles aren’t great for the environment and they’ve been linked to potential health problems. Always choose glass.
Of course, you could also look at the colour (it should be cloudy and contain brown stuff floating in the liquid) you can get a good indication whether it’s a good brand of apple cider vinegar. But if you’re following the above four steps, you will have already covered your bases.
Regular apple cider vinegar vs. apple cider vinegar with mother
In our list of criteria to consider, we mentioned the important of looking for the ‘mother’. If you don’t yet know, the ‘mother’ is the cloudy substance that you’ll find in an unrefined, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar.
It’s a natural leftover from the process of making vinegar and contains the beneficial enzymes and healthy bacteria that you want.
However, the kind of vinegar you’d have on your chips or use to clean your home aren’t the same. They’ve been refined and pasteurised and therefore don’t contain the same health benefits.
Therefore, if you’re using apple cider vinegar for health reasons, make sure it contains that ‘mother’.
Best Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in the UK
1. Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar could be considered to be the creator of this cider vinegar craze in the modern age.
Bragg began creating their cider vinegar in 1912, meaning that they have over a hundred years of experience in making the best cider vinegar possible.
This organic cider vinegar contains the mother, it’s naturally gluten free and it’s perfect for enjoying in your salads or using in skincare.
Bragg’s vinegar comes pre-diluted to 5% acidity which makes it great for those of us on the go. If you don’t have time to dilute your vinegar yourself, there’s no need with Bragg’s.
You can use this apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle and reap all the rewards.
It’s no surprise that Bragg’s has been around so long. They make a very simple to use, high-quality apple cider vinegar that’s great for boosting your immune system and so much more!
2. Biona Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Biona Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is perfect for those who are serious about their apple cider vinegar due to the fact that you can buy it in 5-litre bottles!
This cider vinegar has all the unfiltered goodness of the mother in it, and there’s plenty of it to go around.
Whether you want to make a load of salad dressing, a serious amount of hair products or your own household cleaner (apple cider vinegar also makes a great household cleaner) then this is the one to choose.
For the price and the quality, this apple cider vinegar is unbeatable if you are looking for a lot of the high-quality stuff.
Grab a bottle now and be ready to get healthy in any way you choose.
3. Living Earth Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Living Earth Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is an affordable option if you want to get your daily dose of health benefits at an affordable price.
Created right here in the UK, it contains the ‘mother’ which is the most beneficial part of the apple cider vinegar. It comes in a range of sizes from 500ml for those just experimenting with vinegar to a larger, family-sized 5 litres, making it a great choice. You won’t go far wrong with Living Earth!
Which brand of apple cider vinegar is the best?
We’re afraid to say that there isn’t one ‘best’ brand of apple cider vinegar.
Provided you’ve followed the criteria and found one that is organic, unfiltered, unpasteurised and contains the mother, you can’t go wrong. It comes down to a matter of taste. Experiment with a few and find out which one you prefer.
How to use apple cider vinegar
There are a huge number of ways you can enjoy the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. It all depends on how much you think you need to have per day and how willing you are to enjoy its sourness! Here are some of our suggestions.
1. A daily drink
This is the easiest way to add apple cider vinegar into your diet, but it is not for the faint of heart.
It does have a strong taste that can put people off, so we wouldn’t recommend you try it if you haven’t had apple cider vinegar yet.
However, if you’d like to give it a try, just add two teaspoons of cider vinegar to a large glass of water. It is best to have this just before bed, so it has all night to work its magic.
2. A fancy salad dressing
Whisk apple cider vinegar together with honey, lemon juice and olive oil and drizzle it over a salad of your choice. This makes one of the nicest salad dressings you’ve ever tasted.
3. An alternative to salt
Trying to reduce your salt intake? Try adding some apple cider vinegar to your meals instead of salt. It enhances the flavours of your meal just like salt but doesn’t have any of the potentially harmful side effects.
4. A beauty treatment
There are plenty of ways that you can use apple cider vinegar that don’t involve consuming it. You can use it as a foot soak, a hair rinse, a facial treatment and as a skin cleanser.
If we had to recommend just one of the products reviewed here it would be Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar as it contains the mother, is organic, raw and unfiltered, and is one of the most popular and trusted apple cider vinegar brands.
For more organic, natural and totally awesome products, please explore our website further. We have loads of amazing natural products on here that can help you enjoy a healthy, happy and as-nature-intended lifestyle.
Charlotte Witts is a writer and entrepreneur who wants to show you how easy it is to live a more conscious, zero-waste lifestyle. A confirmed yoga-addict, trail runner and ocean-lover, she currently lives in the Azores where she enjoys the simple pleasures in life.