Tall glass of apple cider vinegar surrounded by apples on a wooden table

We are well aware that, as a Chalkboard reader, making healthy choices are a vital part of your day. From down dogs and chia bowls to urban hikes and oil-pulling, you recognize the importance of the small things and how each little practice during the week adds up to a healthier you overall.

This is one of our favorite simple health tips to add to your arsenal, to further improve your kale-loving way of life: Start drinking apple cider vinegar. The practice of drinking apple cider vinegar is as old as guzzling down castor oil. It is a traditional home remedy that has stood not only the test of time, but also the scrutiny of scientists, proving to be an effective way to improve health in many ways. Benefits include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improvement in the symptoms of diabetes. The best part is that including as little as a couple tablespoons into your diet a day can help. Here’s how…

The Nitty Gritty: Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from pulverized apples. Unpasteurized ACV contains “mother of vinegar,” which has a strain-like appearance and can make the vinegar look slightly congealed. Apple cider vinegar is made through two fermentation processes. In the first stage of fermentation, the sugars are turned into alcohol. In the second fermentation process the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter). This process results in a blend of acetic acid and malic acid. These acids are what gives vinegar its sour taste, as well as its name, “sour wine.” The curative properties of apple cider vinegar are mostly due its naturally-occurring acids. Although counterintuitive, the acidic nature of vinegar has an alkalizing effect on the body once ingested. These acids also increase your body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods you eat, while also slowing down the absorption of sugars.

Digestive Relief: Clinical evidence has shown that apple cider vinegar can help improve digestion if taken before a meal. Being an alkalizing agent, it can ease symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, while also aiding in the breakdown of ingested foods.

Sore Throats and Upper Respiratory Infections: Believed to be anti-bacterial, the use of apple cider vinegar for sore throats and upper respiratory infections is promising. By gargling, many people find pain relief and an expedited recovery from illness.

Alkalize the Body (pH): Apple cider vinegar, along with a plant-based diet, can help alkalize the body. Alkaline tissue means that there is more oxygen in the body, which creates an environment that inhibits the growth of pathogens (fungus, bacteria, parasites). In addition, an alkaline pH helps reduce inflammation, improve bone health, may increase the growth hormone, and buffer toxins.

Improve Skin: The skin is a direct reflection of the health of the gut, so by improving digestion, apple cider vinegar can help the skin as well. Some benefits include relief from acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and rosacea.

Blood Sugar: Several studies have found that apple cider vinegar may help to lower blood sugar levels. In 2004, a study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation’s publication Diabetes Care found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals.

Weight Loss: Research has shown that drinking apple cider vinegar before eating promotes weight loss. In a study, participants took two tablespoons of vinegar prior to two meals a day. After a four-week period, participants lost an average of two pounds, and some lost up to four pounds!

Cardiovascular Health: Due to its acetic acid content, research has shown that apple cider vinegar can lower blood pressure. In another study done in 2006, vinegar directly helped to lower cholesterol in laboratory rats.

Cancer: A few scientific studies have indicated that vinegar may be able to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. In particular, apple cider vinegar may be effective for esophageal cancer treatment.

Getting it Down: The easiest way to start on your apple cider vinegar regimen is by adding one tablespoon to your water or green juice before each meal. One of our favorite combinations is one tablespoon ACV mixed with Pressed Juicery’s Citrus 1. Apple cider vinegar is also delicious when used in cooking, especially as a dressing like this Raw Creamy Miso Sauce, or in this Hawaiian Pineapple Tahini Salad.

Final Tip: Quality matters. Not all apple cider vinegar is going to help you reach your health goals, so make sure to buy the real deal – organic, unfiltered and unprocessed. And yes, it is the one that looks murky and brown with a floating kombucha-like glob at the bottom. This is the “mother,” the live probiotic-filled portion of the vinegar that holds many of the healing properties. The presence of mother indicates the best quality raw vinegar. This is unlike most commercial vinegars, which are highly denatured through the use of extreme heat and chemical solvents – they are formulated rather than fermented.

ACV is a time-tested wellness staple we, and so many health pros we know, love. 
Learn why Katy Perry bought the best apple cider vinegar brand out there. 

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.

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  1. Can you have this while pregnant? I’m in my first trimester and was doing this for a few weeks before I got pregnant and felt great. Would like to keep doing if so if it’s healthy for mom and baby.

    • There wouldn’t be any reason why you couldn’t drink this while pregnant. The action of vinegar in your system is fairly subtle (akin to drinking lemon water). There could be some risk of food poisoning from any live food, so certainly ask a doctor if you are concerned.

      Silvie | 09.05.2014 | Reply
  2. I read this last week and have done it several times since then. I felt a positive change in my energy level and overall well being several minutes after swallowing the apple cider vinegar. I suffer seasonal allergies and in researching the product have discovered it is also a natural histamine. It even cleared by my sinus pain promptly too. Thanks again for the tip, I am very grateful.


  3. ^^^ antihistamine I meant

  4. My friend was just talking about the amazing health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and then today I got an email from Pressed Juicery with this great article in it! I ran right out and bought some raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar! I just had my first drink, and I am excited to see what happens! Thanks Pressed!

    Courtney | 09.02.2014 | Reply
  5. I have been taking Apple Cider Vinegar as a homeopathic preventative medicine for years. It truly works wonders on all fronts (including for women’s health issues which is not listed above). My favorite is Bragg’s Organic Raw Unfiltered. Aside from the way Pressed suggested taking it, another great option is to stir the vinegar into chamomile or dandelion green tea with a tbsp of honey!

  6. I started using Braggs Unfiltered Apple vinegar early Dec ’13. I was the ONLY person in our extended family who did not succumb to the horrible & recurring respitory virus that felled the entire family. Last one standing. I’m sold.
    Braggs daily it is!!

    Marti | 09.05.2014 | Reply
  7. Can you ad this to lemon juice water? Right now before each meal I add the juice of 1 lemon to a glass of water. Is it ok to ad the ACV in with the lemon water? Thank you.

    • Hi Craig,
      You can add the ACV to your lemon water if you would like. Just go slow and add a bit then try it for a few days to see how your system reacts. When I first began using ACV, I would do my lemon water in the mornings and then the ACV water in the evenings. Now, I do lemon, cucumber and ACV water and sip throughout the day. Good luck!

      Renee | 09.05.2014 | Reply
  8. What quantity is recommended daily? Thanks!

    Sheri | 09.05.2014 | Reply
  9. I’ve taken ACV since I was a child. My grandfather took it every day with warm water and honey. I’s delicious! I like to use the best organic apple vinegar and have it like grandpa with organic bee honey.
    P. S. My grandfsther never set foot in a hospital

    Marisa | 09.05.2014 | Reply
  10. I was told to add ACV to apple juice. Is this OK?

    Chuck | 09.05.2014 | Reply
  11. I’m wondering what happens to the “mother”? Do you eventually drink it also or is it thrown away?

    Katherine | 09.05.2014 | Reply
  12. Are there any problems with teeth and cider vinegar? I am aware that those of us who are ingesting lots of fruit etc maybe having some teeth issues…

    Sally | 09.05.2014 | Reply
    • Good question, Sally. I’ve been a health nut for decades and Apple Cider Vinegar has always been a highly touted health product. However, if you research further you will discover that can indeed destroy your teeth. I won’t use it for that reason. I haven’t looked but I’ll bet it can be found in capsules. By the way, lemons will do the same. Whenever I consume juices with lemon (which almost all pressed juices have) I use a straw and then immediately after I rinse/brush my teeth.

      I don’t know why this very important topic hasn’t been brought to the public’s attention during this food “revolution.” Few companies will let their customers know that with these acidic products, measures must be taken to protect teeth. At least TV commercials for dental products are letting the public know.

  13. I am excited to start adding it to my daily healthy routine. I have always loved ACV for cooking and making salad dressings. Try this: 3 TBS ACV, 1 Stevia packet. Mix together. Now slice your favorite veggie in to a bowl. I use cucumber. Pour your ACV mixture over it and add just enough water to be able to swirl and marinate. Let it chill in refrig for a little while. Yum!!! Cures the munchies!

    Elizabeth | 09.06.2014 | Reply
  14. What about ACV pills? I’m assuming they’re not as beneficial as liquid ACV, but do they do enough to make them worth the purchase?

    Tyler | 09.06.2014 | Reply
  15. Can kids drink ACV? I have a 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old. If so, what are some ways/recipes to get them to take it?

    Mallory | 09.07.2014 | Reply
  16. How much should one start with? A tablespoon or two, a cup? Does one drink 8 oz. straight, or dilute it with water. Does it matter? Thanks. If I overlooked this information in the article, please excuse me. Thanks.

    Stephanie | 09.07.2014 | Reply
  17. I am a life time taker of Warfarin, any ideas if the Apple Cider juice would mess with the warfarin levels. I have to be fairly careful about introducing new foods or supplements to my diet, but would be keen to try this one for its many benefits?

    Cathy | 09.08.2014 | Reply
  18. I have been drinking this in the form of a tea, 1/2 cup water, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar with the mother, 2 tablespoons raw honey and a dash of cinnamon. No more upset stomach, digestive better than ever, no more acid reflux. Started morning and evening for about a month, now once per day. Feel much better.

    OM Gallegos | 01.30.2015 | Reply
  19. Apple cider vinegar health benefits are promising according to various medical studies. Such studies have shown that it may have an effect on lowering blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes, lowering high blood pressure, aiding heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and decreasing risk of cancer. Thanks for your useful post.

    Eliza Nightingale | 08.01.2015 | Reply
  20. I take Apple Cider Vinegar tablets. Does that have the same benefits of drinking Apple Cider Vinegar? I take the tablets because I hate the taste of the vinegar!

    Tory | 10.27.2015 | Reply
  21. I use American garden.. Apple cidar vinegar.. Plz plz let me knw will ut help me lose weight?

    shyna gandhi | 10.28.2015 | Reply
  22. I’ve used ACV for years. I’m going to say something here that many will find counterintuitive. I think that the processed kind is just as good as the raw, unfiltered. I think the vast majority of the health benefits of ACV come from it’s acetic and malic acid content – and processed ACV possesses just as much of these substances as raw and unfiltered.

    In fact, the lead on the U of Arizona study on ACV (where it was shown to help control the glycemic scale), Carol Johnston – later said that ANY vinegar could provide the same effect – since all vinegars contain the acids believed responsible for the benefits. Raw and unfiltered is fine. But, I get the store brand at 1/4 of the price and all the same health benefits. Its not the “Mother” that conveys the health benefits, its the acetic and malic acids.

    Dave | 06.18.2016 | Reply
  23. You are right.You do not need the expensive Braggs or other specialty brands. Yes, the mother does contain some enzymes and probiotics. However, the vast majority of health benefits are conveyed by ingestion of the acetic and malic acids. In theory, any kind of vinegar would suffice, even plain white vinegar (not to recommend balsamic though – too much sugar content). But, I personally prefer to stick with ACV.

    Dave | 08.28.2016 | Reply
  24. It is important to rinse your teeth after drinking ACV to prevent enamel erosion.

    Donna | 05.01.2017 | Reply
  25. I have read many things that say to take the vinegar before bed but I’ve also seen take it before meals. When is the best time to take the vinegar X

    Elaine Olivas | 06.09.2017 | Reply
  26. Another benefit of ACV is prevention of Arthritis. My mother started ACV at 60 and died at 88…never had a touch of Arthritis. An old man told her to use a tea cup with hot water, 2 teaspoons of ACV and 1 teaspoon of honey taken in the morning before anything else, even coffee.

    Karen | 10.29.2017 | Reply
  27. Thanks indeed i have always used ACV before i start any physical training and it gives me extra energy,ever when i am going to bed i drink a glass i sleep like a baby please try it and see.

    webster | 11.19.2017 | Reply
  28. What is the powder that you add?

    Phyllis Elliott | 11.20.2017 | Reply
  29. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Leela | 04.05.2020 | Reply
  30. I am using ACV in my face and body with calamansi before taking a bath. Also i put some ACV in warm water to rinse my body during my bath. Is this good for my skin?

    Susan | 04.14.2020 | Reply
  31. Hi, can i drink acv first thing in the morning before my breakfast?

  32. During this pandemic I gurgle everyday 1/2 a cup of water and 5 tablespoons of apple cider with 2 tablespoons of sea salt.

    Libby | 04.25.2020 | Reply
  33. Can a 10 year old take ACV as well? If yes what’s the dose and how often. He has allergic rhinitis and always has a blocked or itchy nose.

    Ruby | 04.26.2020 | Reply
  34. Will acv cause diarrhea?

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