If you’re a hippie-health type person, you probably already suffer through your daily dose of apple cider vinegar. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably tried unsuccessfully to make your gagging kiddos quaff it down as well.
Well, there’s this whole thing about your body’s pH level. You want it to be alkaline, because that’s correlated with better immune function and overall general health. (Low alkaline levels were connected to inflammatory bowel disease, in this study, and immune function was impaired by acid pH levels in this study.)
You can read a bigger overview of the “Whys” as well as a list of acid-forming and alkaline-forming foods right here.
Your body maintains a slightly alkaline pH level of 7.25-7.45, regardless of what you’re eating. But if you’re eating a lot of acid-forming foods, your body is undergoing unnecessary stress trying to right that pH level. That’s why eating a more alkaline-forming diet supports a healthy immune system: your body has time and energy to fight off the external attacks, because you are keeping the internal struggle minimal.
Unfortunately, all the really yummy foods we love to indulge in (cheese, chocolate, alcohol, sugar, wheat, coffee…) are acid-forming. So, to help balance your pH, in addition to increasing your leafy green intake (and thinking about avoiding some of the big acid-forming players), you can also drink up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV) daily. (Yes, consuming apple cider vinegar - an acidic substance - actually helps your body alkalinize.)
In addition to the alkalinizing benefits to your immune system (which are sometimes disputed), apple cider vinegar is full of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals; the good raw stuff (think, Bragg’s brand - “with the mother”) has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It’s a potent detoxifier as well.
Here’s how we enjoy our daily dose of ACV at my house.
ACV Health Tonic
1 part raw, unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar
4 parts (preferably unpasteurized, certainly organic) Apple Juice
Liberal amounts of cinnamon (probably 4 TBs in my liter flip-top bottle there)
Mix in a mason jar or other large glass container. When you’re ready to serve, shake well and mix 1:1 with soda water, over ice.
Note: My family has a pretty high tolerance for the vinegary goodness of this drink. I recently tried to serve our concoction to houseguests who were feeling under the weather, and they gagged and spit! So, while I make ours at a 1:4 ratio of vinegar to apple juice, you might want to set aside some of the juice to add to your glass if you can’t handle it full strength at first!