Apple Cider Vinegar: Your Best Friend

White vinegar makes a great “green” household cleaner. But if you’re reaching for that bottle to use in a recipe, you may want to think twice! Unless it’s organic, there’s a good chance that it contains vinegar made from GMO corn.

The good news? You can hang onto the white vinegar for cleaning and use organic apple cider vinegar in your recipes instead. It adds a tangy zing to everything from pickles to salsa, salad dressing, and meat or fish marinades.

Apple cider vinegar, or ACV as some devotees call it, is also an invigorating tonic on its own. Here are just a few reasons why taking apple cider vinegar as a tonic (two tablespoons in eight ounces of water every day) is so good for you. Apple cider vinegar can help:

  • Improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose
  • Encourage weight loss
  • Detox the body
  • Lower cholesterol and reduces high blood pressure
  • Kill Candida and fungus
  • Encourage friendly microflora
  • Ease pain from arthritis, stiff joints, and gout

A few preliminary studies show that apple cider vinegar might have some potential for fighting cancer too, but the jury’s still out on that one.

Choosing Apple Cider Vinegar

Don’t buy the crystal-clear apple cider vinegar — all the good stuff has been filtered out of it. Instead, look for an organic apple cider vinegar that’s labeled as unfiltered or unprocessed. The label might also say that it contains the “mother” — those are the stringy, cloudy bits inside unfiltered vinegar that contain all the fermented goodness.

Scientists are still working to understand just how and why apple cider vinegar is so good for us. If you’re on any medications and plan to take ACV regularly, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and make sure its effects won’t interfere with any of those meds.

And don’t throw out that white vinegar yet! Aside from cleaning house, it’s also good for washing fresh fruit and vegetables. A few years ago, NPR ran a great story that tells you exactly how to make and use a white vinegar wash.