Apple cider vinegar for health and beauty recipes for weight loss

Apple cider vinegar for health and beauty recipes for weight loss

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce apple cider vinegar! Health, weight loss, fat burning, beauty, and restoration are just some of the qualities contained in apple cider vinegar’s impressive and ever-expanding résumé. It can be used to revitalize your home, and not even the loyal family dog is exempt from enjoying the benefits of this wonderful liquid, as it is a natural flea repellant! Legend has it that in an effort to win a wager with Mark Antony that she could spend a fortune on a single meal, Cleopatra dissolved a pearl in a glass of vinegar and drank the costly cocktail.

Whether this tale is true or not we will never know, but the fact is that the exceptional power of apple cider vinegar is nothing new. Its virtues have been extolled through the ages from as early as 5,000 BC when the Babylonians used it as a condiment and preservative, and long before Cleopatra drank her expensive concoction, Hippocrates was using the tart liquid for its incredible medicinal qualities. In fact, it may well be one of humankind’s earliest recorded remedies.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

While there are plenty of wonderful pre-made brands of organic apple cider vinegar available in health shops, there is something intrinsically rewarding and satisfying about making your own.

            Here is an easy to follow step-by-step process for making apple cider vinegar:

1. Find a wide-mouthed container that will hold a sufficient volume of liquid for you. (The wide mouth is so that there is sufficient surface area to facilitate oxygen absorption.)

2. Sterilize the container and then fill it to two-thirds full with hard apple cider.

3. You now need to add a little unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar—this will still have live bacteria in it. Alternatively you need to add some “mother of vinegar,” which you will be able to buy from most health shops or brewing stores.

4. Put the container in a dry, clean, dark, out-of-the-way area that is stable in temperature and cover the top with a cheesecloth. The cheesecloth will allow oxygen in while keeping insects and other contaminants out.

5. Wait for four weeks, and then taste it—yes, you need to taste it! This is the centuries-old foolproof method to see if the vinegar is ready. You should not be able to taste any alcohol when the process is complete. Alternatively, for those less adventurous souls, you can use a wine testing kit to tell you when the acidity levels reach 5 or 6 percent.

6. Do not be tempted to test the vinegar too soon, and when you do, try to disturb the layer of “mother of vinegar” as little as possible. Some of the bacteria may sink to the bottom of the container when disturbed and decompose, which will affect the taste of the vinegar.

7. When the apple cider vinegar is ready, you can strain it through apaper coffee filter to remove the “mother of vinegar” or you can carefully remove it using a fine mesh spoon or a large serving spoon. Either way keep some of the vinegar with some bacteria in it to start your next batch. 

      You can also make apple cider vinegar from whole apples, it just takes a little longer.

1. You need two glass bowls, one larger than the other, and as many apples as will fill the larger bowl.

2. Wash and quarter the apples, then place them in the larger bowl. Leave them to brown and then fill the bowl with water until the apples are covered. Cover the bowl with the apples in it with a cheesecloth and leave it in a warm, dark, and clean place for six months.

3. When the six months is over, you will notice a grayish scummy film on top of the water. This means that the process has been successful.

4. Now strain the liquid from the bowl through a coffee filter into the second bowl. Cover the bowl again with cheesecloth and leave it in the same place as before for another four to six weeks.

5. When the apple cider vinegar is ready you can strain it through a paper coffee filter again to remove the “mother of vinegar,” or you can carefully remove it using a fine mesh spoon or a large serving spoon.

Commercially, the producers of vinegars have tried to hasten the above processes and increase the volume of batches by using many inventive means. With what has become known as the Orleans method or the field process, manufacturers, originally in France and now most commercial cider vinegar producers in the world, use fifty-gallon wooden barrels filled to half capacity and laid on their sides to maximize the surface area exposed to air. Holes, covered in mesh to keep contaminants out, are usually drilled in each end to aid airflow. 

The manufacturers also need to speed up the fermentation process, so they do this by adding an oxygenating substance such as wood chips or corncobs to the barrel. In 1823 the German, or fast method, was developed for making vinegars. With this method fermentation takes place in a tower packed with charcoal, corncobs, and wood shavings. The cider or wine is trickled into the top of it and air is fed in through the bottom. The result of all of this is vinegar in weeks, not months.

Losing Weight with Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be the basis of an effective weight loss strategy: FACT! In order to convince any doubters out there, let me give you some of the facts about fat, the role it plays in our body, and how we go about eliminating it. If you can garner a basic understanding of these processes, it will become clear to you exactly how apple cider vinegar can work to aid the body’s natural processes and help you to lose those excess pounds. 

Apple cider vinegar is natural—it’s not a medicine and it’s not a drug, nor is it some miracle fat burner or diet pill that promises the earth and then leaves you wanting. What it is, is a supplement—a natural remedy that you can take every day. Even if you don’t believe all the claims, take it anyway and let the results speak for themselves.

How Does Fat Affect Us?

Fat plays a critical role in keeping our bodies healthy and functioning at their best. Now wait, that is not your golden ticket to run off and scarf down a box of donuts! We need only a certain amount of the right kind of fat in our diets, whether we are watching our weight or not. But granted, getting this right is nothing short of an incredibly delicate balancing act, especially when there is so much contradictory literature on the subject out there.

But don’t worry folks, I am here now to lay out the no-holds-barred truth about fat and what it does and doesn’t do for our bodies, with the hopes that it will help all of you develop a healthier relationship with the dreaded leper that we all do our best to avoid! So welcome fat back into your lives folks, but do so cautiously!

What Does Fat Do For Our Bodies?

Sometimes in order to give the right answer, we first have to ask the question in the right way. To properly answer the above question, we have to answer two questions:

          1. What purpose does storing fat in our bodies have?
          2. What external and internal factors affect the usage of fat?

The most critical reason for our bodies to store fat is to provide us with a storehouse of fuel. This portable resource is there to see us through periods where food is scarce or temporarily unavailable. Our bodies have evolved and adapted over thousands of years to survive harsh winters and long migratory treks as hunter gatherers. They have also needed to provide us with energy on demand to hunt when we haven’t had a meal for a period. Life was pretty rough and brutal back then so our internal organs needed “shock absorbers” to allow our vital organs to survive heavy impacts from falls and blows from our prey. 

We thus have deep body fat around our livers, lungs, heart, and other organs. In modern society food is readily available all year round, however our bodies are still driven by our biological imperatives. Funny how our resolve to stick to our diets and eating plans crumbles close to Christmas. The decrease in daylight as winter approaches is a trigger for our bodies to store more fat, to insulate us, and see us through the lean winter months. However, our bodies are amazing biological machines that make our modern lifestyle possible.

When we eat, our bodies burn the carbohydrates for instant energy and the protein is also used as a fuel source, but it is our stored fat that that gets us through the long haul of work and exercise. There are various internal and external factors that affect the way our bodies store and utilize fat. We also need to differentiate between the different types of ingested fats, such as saturated and unsaturated fats and what they do to and for our bodies. These categories of fats are broken down further into many subgroups, mono saturated and poly-unsaturated fats are some examples of these.

The major factor in where our bodies store fat is gender. Males tend to start storing fat on their tummies and then spread it evenly over the buttocks, legs, chest, arms, and back. Females tend to store fat mostly on their buttocks, hips, and chest, and then evenly over the rest of their bodies. This difference is again thanks to evolution and Mother Nature! The interaction of the fats and the other food we ingest with our bodies is greatly affected by the health of our bodies. 

And in turn, the health of our bodies is greatly affected by the foods we ingest and in what quantities and ratios we ingest them. This is because of the many different types of fat in the food we eat and the fact that these different types of fat react differently with our bodies. If your digestive system is not healthy it can compromise its ability to digest and extract sufficient amounts of the nutrients we need. It is this relationship between food and health that apple cider vinegar interacts with and aids.

So, as you can see, the right amount of the right kind of fats is vital in order to keep our body functioning at its best. There are many ways in which apple cider vinegar helps us to make the best use of the fats we consume in order to improve health and promote weight loss, but more about this later. Let’s take a look at the ways that fat works in the body—for better or for worse.

How Does Fat Make Us Fat?

Its elementary dear readers: If you consume the same or less calories that your body needs to function, you will never get fat! Now I am not going to launch into a good and bad food lecture, because we all know what we should or shouldn’t be eating. Ladies, you know you are going to regret inhaling that whole slab of chocolate as you sit and watch Friends reruns, and guys, you know that you shouldn’t be eating a double burger, fries with cheese sauce, and a liter of soda as you watch your favorite sports game.

It is pretty clear to all of us that being in good shape has a marked effect on our quality of life. Carrying extra fat increases your chances of disease and chronic health issues such as infertility, arthritis, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancers of the prostate, breast, stomach, and colon, to name a few!

How Does the Body Process and Eliminate Fat?

There are many different mechanisms at work in the body that determine how much fat the body uses. It is very difficult to lose fat or stay slim if even one of our mechanisms is not functioning properly. Our metabolism, the overall rate of activity in our bodies, is one of the most important mechanisms. It is affected by our genetic makeup, our weight, the amount of exercise we do, our body fat percentage, our body temperature, how much sleep we are getting, how well our thyroid is functioning, what we eat, our age, and our gender.

In terms of our genetic makeup it seems that some people’s bodies tend to store fat more readily than others. The theory some have put forward is that there is a “thrifty gene” in some people. This “thrifty gene” is what would have allowed some of our ancestors to survive cyclical harsher winters. They would have stored more fat than most other people, so when a particularly barren winter or other natural disaster occurred, the individuals with this gene would have stood a better chance of survival.

Our weight, or our lean body mass, is another factor that affects how much fat we burn. The more muscle mass an individual has the higher the energy requirements to “run” the body (big cars use more fuel). Thus, tall, larger framed people’s bodies require more energy to keep going day to day than small, slightly built people.

People who exercise for long periods or who have a lot of muscle mass will burn off the food they take in relatively quickly and the body then turns to its fat stores for energy. Bodybuilders eat six to eight meals a day to maintain their size and provide their bodies with enough resources. This is so they don’t burn muscle mass when their fat stores are depleted. Long-distance runners and professional cyclists need to take in food when competing. This is because theirbody fat percentages are already so low.

Staying Healthy with Apple Cider Vinegar

Good health, to a certain degree, is achieved and maintained in the human body when there is equilibrium or balance between all the various substances that affect and take part in the reactions that keep us alive. The cells in our bodies are constantly exchanging fluids. The rate of exchange, the volume of exchange, and the direction of the flow is a result of how salty these fluids are.

The various organs in our body also depend on the specific acidity and alkalinity of different substances in order to perform their functions properly. Apple cider vinegar is able to benefit our health because of its effectiveness in being able to balance these acids and alkalines, along with helping to maintain the equilibrium between fluids and salts.

Getting to Grips with the Acid/Alkaline Balance

Whether a substance is an acid or an alkaline base is one of its most basic properties. In most reactions and processes that occur in animals and plants, acids and alkalines are formed to balance each other out. Many physicians and nutrition researchers promote theories related in some way to the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. The foremost of these being Elson Hass along with James Balch and his wife Phyllis Balch. However, although they all agree that the acid/alkaline balance is very important to maintaining good health, they do not agree on whether the human body’s natural/best state is to be slightly acid or slightly alkaline. 

Doctor DeForest Clinton (D.C.) Jarvis, who was practicing medicine more than a hundred years ago, was particularly interested in the acid/alkaline balance in the human body and how apple cider vinegar was able to help achieve such a balance. The basic premise of the acid/alkaline theory states that when foods are ingested and metabolized in our bodies they create either an acid or an alkaline ash. The pH measurement or the level of acidity or alkalinity of the ash does not necessarily correspond to whether the food itself is considered highly acidic or not. An example of this is lemons; they are acidic when we eat them but the ash they leave behind after being digested is alkaline. 

Diets high in refined carbohydrates, wheat, fats, and meat are considered to increase the body’s acidity. In this state the human body is more susceptible to illness and many chronic ailments such as frequent colds, infections, congestion, and migraines. Alkaline-producing foods include fruits and vegetables, but since most people eating a western diet tend to eat too few of these, the problem of over-acidity is much more prevalent than over-alkalinity.

Acids are not all bad though; they are essential for digestion. Hydrochloricacid combines with enzymes in our stomachs to break down protein in the foods we eat. As we age, we tend towards producing less hydrochloric acid than we need to digest proteins completely. It is thought that getting indigestion might be as much a problem of having too little stomach acid as having too much. This is why it is suggested that you take a little apple cider vinegar before you eat. 

The apple cider vinegar promotes acidity in the stomach and aids digestion, enabling you to obtain all the nutrition available from the food you eat. In addition to this, apple cider vinegar contains tartaric acid and malic acid. These acids deter the growth of disease-promoting bacteria in the digestive tract and also food-borne pathogens, thus promoting good long-term health.

Getting to Grips with the Fluid/Salt Balance

One of the most important equations in the interplay of body chemistry is the relationship between salty fluids and water. It is basic biochemistry that if there is a salty solution on one side of a membrane and water on the other side, the water will be drawn in the direction of the salt solution. This process is known as osmosis. One of the most common examples of this effect is the drying and curing of meat with salt.

Using the same principles, two of the major electrolytes, potassium and sodium salts, perform a balancing act with water on either side of our cell walls. If we had a deficiency of potassium, the sodium solutions outside our cells would draw water out of them and we would eventually dehydrate. Electrolytes act as conductors for our nerves’ electrical impulses, which is why dehydrated people lose coordination and have muscle twitches.

Water retention is also a symptom of low potassium, rather than too much sodium. Because there is not enough potassium to keep the correct level of water inside our cells, the higher concentration of sodium outside the cells draws the water out of the cells and into the tissues around them. Our skin is the largest body of tissue we have and it then swells from this extra-cellular water. This is what we call bloating. 

The best course of action a healthy person can take when they experience intermittent bloating, as with menstruation, is to supplement their diet with a little potassium as found in apple cider vinegar. This is far healthier than the drastic, commonly espoused treatment of cutting out salt and overhydrating. This can lead to electrolyte imbalance and negatively affect other vital reactions taking place in our bodies. Over the thousands of years that our bodies evolved and adapted to the food available in the environment, salt (sodium chloride) was hard to come by. 

Inmodern times we enjoy a state of dietary affluence where salt is plentiful. Our body chemistry has, however, not changed. In addition to this, the proportion of leafy greens and fruit in our diets, our source of potassium, has fallen. Besides its role in maintaining our fluid/salt balance, potassium also makes it more difficult for bacteria to get enough moisture from our cells in order to grow and multiply. As potassium works to keep water in our cells, it helps to keep tissues soft and healthy. Potassium also aids kidney function by moving the water in our bodies to them.

Potassium is vital in maintaining a healthy, properly functioning metabolism. This is because it affects the utilization of carbohydrates and proteins. As we get older we unfortunately have a more difficult time extracting and retaining the potassium from our diets. A deficiency in potassium can lead to abnormal or even a lack of cell growth. This often leads to disturbances in heart rhythm, elevated blood sugar, dry skin, muscle weakness, and fatigue. In severe cases, a lack of potassium can lead to changes in the central nervous system, kidney problems, and fragile bones. 

Apple cider vinegar is a great source of potassium with 15 mg per tablespoon, as well as containing other important minerals. Another very good reason to include some apple cider vinegar in your daily diet.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar A Probiotic?

A common misconception about apple cider vinegar is that it is a probiotic, when in fact it is a prebiotic. Prebiotics promote healthy digestion by encouraging and aiding the growth of good bacteria in our guts. Probiotics on the other hand are the good bacteria. The key ingredient in apple cider vinegar is the pectin from the apples it is made from. Pectin slows nutrient absorption because it binds to products in our digestive tract that our bodies cannot make use of, such as cholesterol, toxins, pathogens, and harmful bacteria.

Once the pectin from the apple cider vinegar binds to the unwanted product, it carries it from our bodies by way of our regular bowel movements. This leaves the probiotics in our digestive systems to grow, flourish and keep us healthy.

Apple Cider Vinegar and A Beautiful You

Apple cider vinegar’s effectiveness as a weight loss accelerator and as a remedy for many ailments is well established. However it is a lesser known fact that it is also an effective cosmetic aid. The surface of our skin is naturally slightly acidic, but most of the soaps we use leave it in an alkaline state. This is obviously not desirable as it opens the door for many bacteria and other ailments. Apple cider vinegar can help your skin regain its protective qualities and leave it looking beautiful and radiant.

You too can have the beautiful glow of a polished apple without resorting to expensive chemicals and commercial cosmetics. Use it in your bath or shower, use it on your face or any area of your body that is under attack from bacteria or fungus. Use it to remove unwanted oils from your body and nails. Apple cider vinegar has a proven track record in detoxifying and benefitting the skin by removing unwanted substances and helping return your skin to its correct pH. Remember beauty comes from within and a healthy, balanced system that is regularly cleansed and fortified with apple cider vinegar will leave you feeling healthy and energetic. This can only have a positive effect on all aspects of your life.

In the Bath

One of the most common ways to use apple cider vinegar is when you bathe or shower. This is because it helps regulate the natural pH of our skin. There are many different recipes for hot apple cider vinegar detoxification and skin conditioning baths, but one of the more common and most effective recipes is to combine 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of ginger. Another is 1 cup of apple cider vinegar combined with 3 cups of kosher salt. 

Add these to a bath of water as hot as you can comfortably stand and soak for thirty minutes and then rinse yourself off. You can also keep a plastic bottle of apple cider vinegar inside your shower stall so you can apply it to your skin either with a wash cloth or a cupped hand. The clean refreshing tingle you feel afterwards will probably surprise you!

Healthy Deodorant

Apple cider vinegar can also be used in the place of deodorizing soap. This is because it provides an acidic barrier on your skin that fights bacteria and other odor-causing germs. This can reduce our reliance on deodorants that can irritate the skin and will also leave your skin with a clean fresh scent. Simply splash some apple cider vinegar onto your underarms and wait for it to dry, or, using an old roll-on bottle, wash, fill with apple cider vinegar and roll under your arms. The strong fragrance of the apple cider vinegar will fade completely as it dries.

Facial Care

Apple cider vinegar can also be part of your regular facial as it can be useful in removing dead skin cells and can help to prevent acne and other skin blemishes. You can make a steam facial by adding ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to a bowl of very hot water, then covering your head with a towel and bending over the bowl. Now use a wash cloth or a cleansing pad to wipe away the oil and dirt. Remember to splash your face with cold water afterwards to close your pores. Another method for cleansing your pores is by rinsing a hand towel in hot water and then covering your face with it for a few minutes. 

Now remove the hand towel and cover your face with a tea towel soaked in warm water with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar added. After this, cover the tea towel with a freshly soaked and warmed hand towel. Rub your face clean as you remove the combination of towels. Once again use a wash cloth or a cleansing pad to wipe away the oil and dirt, remembering to splash your face with cold water afterwards to close your pores.

You can also make a pretty awesome face mask by combining equal parts apple cider vinegar with Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. Leave this detoxifying, deep-pore treatment on for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

Hair Care

An effective use for apple cider vinegar is for treating lice infestations. You pour apple cider vinegar onto dry hair, making sure to coat the hair thoroughly, and then leave it to dry naturally. This dissolves the glue that causes the lice eggs to cling to the hair shaft. After this you need to spread olive oil through the hair, then remove as many of the dead lice and eggs as possible by hand. Wash and rinse the hair with shampoo and conditioner to remove any you may have missed.

You can also use the classic application for apple cider vinegar as a natural rinse. I recommend recycling an old shampoo bottle and adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of cold water for restoring the shine and luster to tired, damaged hair and for loosening tangles. Apple cider vinegar is also effective in controlling the bacteria that causes dandruff; just add ¼ cup to 1 quart of warm water and use it as a final rinse.

Feet and Legs

Apple cider vinegar can be used effectively to make you more beautiful from head to toe—literally—so best not neglect your feet! It can be used to treat calluses and corns, as well as reduce foot odor and invigorate tired feet. To make a refreshing foot soak, add a ¼ to a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to a basin of lukewarm water and soak your feet daily for about ten minutes.

The acidity of the apple cider vinegar will also help destroy the bacteria that causes foot odor and the fungus that leads to athlete’s foot. To treat corns and calluses, the concentration of vinegar needs to be higher and you need to soak for at least half an hour. Once your feet are dry from the soak, you can use a pumice stone to rub away the corns and calluses. Pumice stones are available from most health shops.

For those who use nail polish, try rubbing your nails clean with a cotton ball dipped in apple cider vinegar before applying the nail polish. The vinegar will dissolve and remove any residual oils on your nails and thus help the polish last longer. The apple cider vinegar will also promote healthy cuticles and nails. It is an unfortunate fact of life that most of us will develop varicose veins in our legs as we get older. Try this old folk remedy before you go for any of the expensive modern remedies on the market. Soak some tea towels in apple cider vinegar and then wrap them around your legs. Now elevate your legs for half an hour, leaving the wrappings on.

Oral Health

To freshen your breath and cleanse your mouth of bacteria, try swishing and gargling with the following mixture: A ¼ cup of coconut oil, melted and then cooled, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Do this for a minimum of three minutes, using up all the mixture as you go. This is best done at night, before going to bed.

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