Apple cider vinegar anti-inflammatory

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10 Science-Backed Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar – Separating Facts from Fiction

Growing up, your parents probably told you that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Turns out, apple cider vinegar may do just the same. From weight loss to cold and cough remedies to insect repellent, this superfood seems to be good for, well, just about everything. People put it in food and salad dressings, and they even drink it straight.

But is apple cider vinegar truly a superfood? Or is it a superfad? And how many of the so-called benefits are backed by scientific evidence?

In this article, we take a deep dive into this popular home remedy to help you separate the facts from fiction.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Vinegar has been used for over 5000 years for various purposes, such as to preserve food, combat infection, and treat illnesses.

Traditional vinegar is produced in a 2-stage fermentation process that first involves mixing a fermentable carbohydrate source such as apples, pears, or malt with yeast. In the case of apple cider vinegar, the yeast converts the simple sugars in apples to ethyl alcohol, or ethanol.

During the second stage of the process, acetic acid bacteria called Acetobacter are added to the ethanol, which is converted into acetic acid with a little bit of help from oxygen in the air.

The traditional fermentation process takes about one month. Although current manufacturing practices have accelerated this process, the longer process allows for the formation of the mother, a gelatinous substance composed of yeast and bacteria.

The mother of vinegar is harmless, and many people claim that it provides many health benefits.

Apple cider vinegar has relatively low acidity compared to some other types of vinegar, containing about 5% acetic acid. It also contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Now let’s dig into how this household condiment gained so much attention and examine the top 10 benefits of apple cider vinegar.

10 Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits (ACV benefits)

1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss

If you’re like most Americans, weight loss is probably one of your new year’s resolutions. Perhaps a friend or family member told you to drink some apple cider vinegar to help you lose weight. Well, they might be right.

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce body fat and prevent liver lipid buildup in mice fed a high-fat diet. Some researchers believe that acetic acid is taken up by the brain, eventually leading to appetite suppression and eventual weight loss.

The weight loss effect has also been shown in humans. In a clinical trial, the participants who drank 30 mL of apple cider vinegar every day for 12 weeks along with a restricted calorie diet had significantly reduced body weight and body mass index, or BMI.

However, the use of vinegar as an appetite suppressant has been challenged since the clinical trial. The investigators reported that vinegar simply enhanced the feeling of satiety by causing the trial participants to feel nauseated, not by suppressing their appetite.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas to balance sugar levels in your blood after a meal. Blood sugar control is especially important for people with diabetes, who either don’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or have reduced sensitivity to insulin (type 2).

A small study published in the the Journal of American Diabetes Association showed that apple cider vinegar raised insulin sensitivity in participants with type-2 diabetes and significantly reduced fluctuations in both blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar and PCOS

Apple cider vinegar’s effect on insulin sensitivity might also be of particular interest to women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the main causes of irregular menstruation. Although PCOS can have many causes, insulin resistance may be one of them.

In a small study, 7 women with PCOS took 15 grams of apple cider vinegar daily for 90 to 110 days. Ovulatory menstruation was observed in 4 out of the 7 women within 40 days, which suggested that apple cider vinegar may be able to restore ovulatory function in PCOS patients.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar and Blood Sugar Levels

Similar findings from other clinical trials confirmed that people who consumed apple cider vinegar daily for 8 to 12 weeks showed modest reductions in their blood sugar levels, which would in lead to reduction in insulin demands. The reduction in blood sugar may be due to a delayed gastric emptying rate, which helps people feel fuller for longer.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar and Cholesterol Levels

Another study involving diabetic rats showed that participants whose diets were supplemented with apple cider vinegar had lower serum triglyceride levels and higher high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (also known as HDL-c or the “good” cholesterol) levels. High levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood, can not only lead to diabetes complications, but can also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and pancreatitis.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar and Cardiovascular Benefits

About 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. With such alarming statistics, improving and maintaining good cardiovascular health should be a high priority for everyone. As look for the next big thing to help you live a healthier and longer life, don’t overlook apple cider vinegar.

Several studies have shown that the acetic acid from apple cider vinegar can help reduce hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels in blood), hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), and hypertension (high blood pressure), all of which benefit heart health.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar’s Antimicrobial Activity

Perhaps one of the most well-known benefits of apple cider vinegar is its antimicrobial activity.

We live in a world where antibiotic resistance is becoming increasingly common. Antibiotics can also be ineffective at reaching the intracellular structures in which their targets can hide.

I have written many times about the devastating long-term (if not permanent) effects antibiotics can have on your gut microbiome, which can then lead to leaky gut syndrome and anxiety and depression. As a functional medicine physician, I recommend that patients take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary. Finding alternatives to antibiotics should be a global priority.

The good news is, due to their acetic acid content, apple cider vinegar and other types of vinegar may be viable alternatives to antibiotics.

In other words, vinegars kill bacteria.

A recently published study reported that apple cider vinegar can have antimicrobial effects on cultures of several species of common pathogenic bacteria and yeasts, E. coli, S. aureus and C. albicans. The minimum dose of apple cider vinegar required to restrict the growth of these microbes were as follows:

Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to be remarkably effective at eradicating bacterial biofilms, which are glue-like substances produced by bacteria to help themselves adhere to the surface of their choice and “put down their roots,” so to speak.

The establishment of biofilm is extremely advantageous to microorganisms because it protects them from stress and may even help them develop antibiotic resistance. While antibiotics may treat the symptoms of the infection released by the biofilm, many are not able to eliminate biofilms.

As you might expect, bacterial biofilms allow bacteria to re-infect the host over and over. However, apple cider vinegar has been shown to eradicate the biofilm of Streptococcus pyogenes, which causes recurrent tonsillitis.

Apple cider vinegar was also shown to be as effective as 5% sodium hypochlorite (a.k.a. bleach) at killing C. albicans and Enterococcus faecalis, which can cause life-threatening infections in humans. Because it does not have the negative side effects and toxicity of sodium hypochlorite, apple cider vinegar may be an effective alternative treatment for these infections.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar and Anti-Inflammatory Activity

Many people believe that apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory benefits, which may help with arthritic pain.

However, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. Other than helping people control their weight (which can help alleviate some symptoms of arthritis), one study from 1984 concluded that apple cider vinegar was ineffective for arthritis. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation lists apple cider vinegar as a food myth for arthritis.

Not all hope seems to be lost, though.

A study from 2004 has shown that while apple cider vinegar might not be effective for acute pain and inflammation, it may be for chronic pain and inflammation. Apple cider vinegar contains vitamin B complex, which researchers found may help with inflammation. The investigators of this mouse study speculated that the significant benefits observed may have been partially due to the presence of vitamin B complex in apple cider vinegar.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin and Hair Health

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for skin and hair issues. Many popular sites claim that apple cider vinegar restores the proper pH of your skin and scalp. Apple cider vinegar can also act as an all-natural astringent.

Some people even advise using it on your sunburn. Again, there are many anecdotes online about the wonders of apple cider vinegar for your skin, but very little of it has been backed by science.

Although there haven’t been any research studies using apple cider vinegar specifically for hair care, the results of one study indicated that shampoo and conditioner formulas must have a final pH no higher than 5.5 to prevent damage to the scalp and to avoid a significant increase in static electricity that causes frizziness in hair. With its acidic properties, apple cider vinegar may be a valuable addition to your hair care regimen.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar’s Antioxidant Properties

The results of one study indicated that apple cider vinegar not only lowers lipid levels in your blood, but that it also has a protective effect on your red blood cells, kidneys, and liver against oxidative injury. This suggests that apple cider vinegar can increase antioxidant and vitamin levels in your body.

Yet another interesting finding was from a rat study that investigated the effect of apple cider vinegar on nicotine toxicity. Surprisingly, the researchers discovered that apple cider vinegar exerted significant antioxidant properties, which helped protect the rats’ liver from nicotine’s harmful oxidative damage.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

Because I always aim to present information in a balanced manner, here are a few potential side effect of apple cider vinegar worth noting.

Diabetes Complications

As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar can slow down your stomach emptying rate. This could cause a problem for patients with type 1 diabetes, 30-50% of whom already have a slower stomach emptying rate. Because people with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels after a meal, an even slower rate can make it difficult to predict when the blood sugar will rise.

Diabetic patients taking apple cider vinegar are advised to monitor their blood sugar levels closely and frequently.

Tooth Enamel

Consuming too many acidic beverages can cause irreversible damage to your tooth enamel, which is the tough outer surface of your teeth. In one study, researchers incubated tooth enamel in various types of vinegar. After 8 hours, they noted an approximately 20% loss of minerals from the teeth. Yikes!

It’s important to remember that this study was done in a laboratory setting. In your mouth, your saliva works to keep a balanced pH. Still, there’s enough evidence that drinking lots of undiluted vinegar can cause dental erosion.

If you are thinking of drinking apple cider vinegar daily, you should always drink it diluted. Read below for more tips on how to add apple cider vinegar to your diet.

Skin Burns

As I mentioned before, there haven’t been any large-scale studies on the benefits of topical apple cider vinegar for skin health. Instead, there have been a few published clinical cases (here, here, and here) in which individuals suffered topical chemical burns after following protocols found online.

Drug Interactions

People who take certain medications, such as potassium-lowering drugs, should avoid consuming apple cider vinegar. Since apple cider vinegar also has a potassium-reducing effect, your potassium levels could become too low.

Bone Loss

When taken over a long period of time, apple cider vinegar may cause osteoporosis or bone loss. In one case study, a 28-year-old woman who consumed a large volume of apple cider vinegar daily for six years was hospitalized due to low potassium levels and other abnormalities in her blood chemistry. She was also diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition of weak, brittle bones believed to be related to apple cider vinegar’s acidity.

How Should You Take Apple Cider Vinegar?

Overall, apple cider vinegar is safe. Like most things, however, there are pros and cons to apple cider vinegar. Here are some quick tips to add apple cider vinegar to your diet:

Start small: The easiest way to take apple cider vinegar is to add a small amount to your salad. If you prefer to drink it, start off with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water.

Based on your tolerance, you can increase the amount later, but you should always dilute it with water and spread out the doses throughout the day. Do not take more than 2 tablespoons a day, or it could cause nausea.

Rinse your mouth: Damage to your tooth enamel may be prevented by rinsing your mouth after drinking apple cider vinegar. You can also drink it through a straw.

Test on a small area of skin: When using apple cider vinegar topically, always apply it with a cotton ball. It is best to start off by testing a small area of skin, and feel for any burning sensations or other negative reactions. If any burning occurs, rinse immediately.

Talk to your doctor: Apple cider vinegar may not be appropriate for you, especially if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure.

Final Takeaway

More research with human subjects is needed to precisely measure the pros and cons of apple cider vinegar. The truth is, animal studies don’t always translate well to human studies.

So while apple cider vinegar isn’t likely to replace your medications, many of these findings are significant enough to warrant further examination of apple cider vinegar as a way to manage some health complications.

The jury still seems to be out on all of the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar, but it may be worth adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.

10 Healing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar (plus a recipe to relieve inflammation!)

Today, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a household staple for many, and is used for much more than making delicious recipes. Its anti-bacterial properties make it a perfect all natural cleaning product, while it’s anti-fungal properties make it a simple cure for fungus, warts, and other annoying and unsightly skin problems. Additionally ACV is becoming more and more well known for its proven benefits related to acid reflux, high blood pressure, and inflammation, weight loss and digestion. In our house, we use ACV daily to help improve digestion and maintain overall health, by either incorporating it into our recipes or drinking it with water, as a tonic, each morning.

What kind should I use?

In order to get the most bebenefit from ACV, make sure you use:

– raw
– organic
-unfiltered
– unpasteurized

Here are 10 Healing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):

  1. As a Probiotic. ACV contains probiotics and a type of acid that promotes the growth of probiotics. These properties can help with constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. Mix 1T with water and drink once a day.
  2. An Aid to Weight Loss. Studies have found that consuming apple cider vinegar can promote weight loss. ACV reduces sugar cravings and improves detoxification, and may even reduce body fat.
  3. To Kill Fungus. Much like coconut oil, ACV is an amazing anti-fungal and you’ll notice the effects almost instantly. To kill skin or toenail fungus, rub ACV on the area of fungus twice daily.
  4. To Heal Poison Ivy and Other Rashes. ACV can help reduce swelling and inflammation, and help the body detox. These properties will help poison ivy and other rashes heal more quickly. To relieve itching, mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water and mix to form a paste. Apply this paste to the infected area to relieve irritation. Alternatively you can dip a cotton ball or q-tip into a small amount of ACV and apply directly to infected area a few times a day as needed.
  5. Healthy Hair. ACV can used as a natural conditioner, or as a rinse to dry out overly oily hair. Try this for the conditioner: 1T ACV mixed with 1 cup water, poured onto hair after shampooing, 3 times a week. To help combat oiliness: Mix 1 part ACV with 1 part water and pour over hair once a week.
  6. As a Natural Alternative to Deodorant. ACV is anti-bacterial, and can therefore kill yeast and other bad bacteria in the armpit, while also neutralizing odor. Just rubbing a little into your armpit each day can be beneficial.
  7. To Kill Warts. Apply ACV topically and cover with a bandaid once a day until wart is gone. Be careful not to over apply, as this may lead to an acid burn.
  8. To Cure a Cold or Sore Throat. Due to its vitamin and probiotic content, ACV is an ideal remedy to cure a cold and sore throat. Try 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one glass of water 3 times daily to cure a cold. For acute laryngitis or strep throat, gargle 1 tsp ACV in 1/2 cup of water 3 times an hour.
  9. To Help Acid Reflux Symptoms. Many have touted the benefits of ACV in combatting symptoms of acid reflux, by breaking down fats, balancing pH levels, and improving digestion. Try 2T in 8oz water before meals.
  10. To Heal Inflammation. Sinusitis, joint pain, tendinitis, etc. can be helped by ACV. Try a tonic of 2T in 8oz water once daily.

To find out more about ACV, see this post by our friends at Cooking Detective!

Plus, here is a recipe that we use to help prevent and heal inflammation. This is a great alternative when the taste of the tonic is not so appealing!

Recipe to Relieve Inflammation:
1/2 organic lemon
2 in piece of ginger root
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
Raw honey, to taste

Chop lemon and ginger and add to teapot full of water. Boil tea and remove from burner. Pour tea, strained, into mug and add 1 tsp ACV per cup of tea. Add honey top taste, for added benefit and to help the taste!

I’d love to hear which of the healing uses of apple cider vinegar you’ve tried, and any others that work for you!

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3 Powerful Foods That Reduce Inflammation

Cellular inflammation has been shown to be the underlying marker in nearly every major health problem. Every single day our body is attacked by free radicals, cells are damaged, and inflammatory mediators are produced and triggered throughout our body. Fortunately, God gave us an incredible ability to heal and regulate abnormal cell development.

He also provided us with a way of life to reduce and negate the negative effects of lifestyle stress. From a nutritional perspective, one of the simplest things to do is add some of our Creators most nutritious powerful foods into our diet. Powerful foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered “super-foods.” Here are some of nature’s most powerful foods that may be the key secrets to health and healing:

Apple Cider Vinegar:

This super tonic contains acetic acid, which is known to help the body absorb iron more effectively (1). Iron is primarily used as the mineral backbone within hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying molecule within red blood cells. Myoglobin, the oxygen extracting molecule within muscle, also consists of an iron backbone. Higher levels of bioavailable iron allow the body to better utilize oxygen. Boosting oxygen levels increases both energy production and detoxification processes. The Acetic acid and active enzymes within the ACV also help the body metabolize protein and absorb the amino acids more effectively. This is a critical step for building healthy hormones, enzymes and repairing tissue. Through these mechanisms, ACV helps to recover from injury, excessive exercise and states of chronic pain. Additionally, better enzymatic function will increase energy and sense of well-being (2).

ACV is Amazing for the Skin:

ACV is an acid on the outside of our body, but has an alkaline ash when it is digested within our body. This is the best of both worlds. As an acid it is a powerful sterilizer that is great for improving the quality of our skin & hair. Additionally, it is great at removing warts, acting upon acne, and cleansing the body of dead skin cells. Within the body, ACV balances our overall pH by providing extra alkaline buffering minerals in ionic potassium and magnesium. This benefit enhances overall energy production and detoxification processes. ACV also helps to balance and stabilize blood sugar and is great to consume before or with a higher carbohydrate meal to prevent a blood sugar spike (3). Be sure to purchase your ACV, completely raw and unpasteurized with an intact “mother.”

Turmeric:

This powerhouse is the 6th highest anti-oxidant rich herb, containing an incredible ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbancy Capacity) score of 127,068 (4) . The major ingredient curcumin is what gives turmeric its characteristic orange color. The curcuminoids within turmeric are said to be 5-8 times stronger at scavenging free radicals than Vitamin C & E. The molecules are strong enough to take on the hydroxyl free radical which is considered to be the most reactive of all free radicals (5). These curcuminoids help to cleanse and nourish your skin and balance the skin’s natural microflora that protects you from infections. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, acting to down-regulate the inflammatory mediating COX-2 & MMP9 receptors. Additionally, it reverses many common cancer cell transcription factors such as NF-Kappa Beta . The curcuminoids have been labeled by many as some of the most powerful cancer fighting substances on the planet (6).

Oregano:

Oregano is extraordinarily high in antioxidant activity, ranking in as the 2nd highest herb with an ORAC score of 175,295 (5). The primary anti-oxidant components are phenolic acids and flavonoids. Oregano oil has incredible anti-bacterial functions due to its high content of thymol, a powerful foods phenol. Additionally, oregano has been found to be the most effective substance against MRSA staph infections, beating out the 18 currently used anti-biotics in a recent study (7). Oregano oil has been classically used as a disinfectant, an aid for ear, nose, & throat/respiratory infections, candida, and any sort of bacterial or viral conditions. Additionally, it works to suppress inflammatory mediators and cancer cell production. Oregano oil is more potent than the dried herb, however, the dried version still contains many powerful health benefits.

Dr. Jockers’ Action Steps:

  • Keep a continual supply of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric, & Oregano.
  • Use ACV, turmeric and oregano on everything from salads, meats, rice/quinoa dishes, diced cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
  • Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water in the morning to enhance your metabolic fire and energy levels

Sources For This Article Include:

2. Johnston CS, Gaas CA. Vinegar: medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect. MedGenMed. 2006 May 30;8(2):61. PMID: 16926800
3. White AM, Johnston CS. Vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):2814-5. PMID: 17712024
4. Super Foodly ORAC Values: Antioxidant Values of Common Foods
7. Kavanaugh NL, Ribbeck K. Selected antimicrobial essential oils eradicate Pseudomonas spp. and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jun;78(11):4057-61. PMID: 22467497

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Arthritis: Will It Help?

If you’ve spent enough time Googling information on managing arthritis with natural remedies, you’ve probably encountered information on apple cider vinegar. And some of it may sound pretty convincing.

Websites tout apple cider vinegar’s anti-inflammatory properties and proponents say drinking a few diluted tablespoons a day can treat a host of health problems — from arthritis to weight gain to dandruff to sore throats.

One site claims that “mineral deficiencies in the body can make joint pain worse. Because apple cider vinegar contains the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus your body needs, it helps as a supplement and therefore reduces pain.” Another affirms that “being a good diuretic and laxative, apple cider vinegar helps eliminate toxins from the body.”

Apple cider vinegar’s health claims have endured since ancient times. According to the label on a bottle of Bragg apple cider vinegar, back in 400 B.C. the Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, used apple cider vinegar for its amazing health qualities.

Many centuries later, a British nurse, Margaret Hills, who developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and later osteoarthritis in the early 1960s, popularized using apple cider vinegar specifically to manage arthritis symptoms. At the time, aspirin was the primary medication available. Hills claimed that consuming apple cider vinegar (along with nutritional supplements, molasses, and Epsom salt baths) led her to a pain-free life. She promoted the approach in a book and later established a clinic that is run by the niece she trained before her death in 2003.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Arthritis: What Do Experts Think?

But what do rheumatology experts think about apple cider vinegar as an arthritis remedy?

When British rheumatologist Robert Moots reviewed the use of complementary and alternative medicine for rheumatoid arthritis in older patients in a 2017 study, he found little use of apple cider vinegar.

“While apple cider vinegar is still used by some people as a complementary remedy for RA in the United States, it is rarely used in European countries such as the United Kingdom,” says Moots, who works about 130 miles from the current Margaret Hills Clinic.

Among the many natural remedies patients were using, Moots and his colleagues found some that were scary — such as thunder god vine, which can cause serious side effects — and some backed by compelling scientific evidence (see below).

Despite the hype and testimonials for apple cider vinegar still found online, Moots finds no reason to recommend apple cider vinegar as an arthritis remedy, but also nothing especially worrisome if people want to give it a try.

“There is no research on apple cider vinegar and no evidence to support using it for rheumatoid arthritis,” says Moots, a professor of rheumatology at the University of Liverpool.

Here’s what we know about apple cider vinegar — and why it’s unlikely to be an effective arthritis remedy.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Natural apple cider vinegar is fermented from crushed apples, which makes it different from other refined or distilled vinegars. It is mildly acidic, with a pH of around 3. Like other vinegars, it is a diluted form of acetic acid, but it also contains a murky substance called “the mother,” which is said to contain enzymes, pectin (the soluble fiber found in apples), and tiny amounts of minerals.

How Do You Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

Swigging full-strength apple cider vinegar might damage your tooth enamel or your esophagus. Because of the acidity and taste, a couple of tablespoons a day of apple cider vinegar is usually diluted in water and sweetened by adding honey. Some sites suggest you can also apply it topically to painful areas, or add it to a bath.

Why Do Proponents Think Apple Cider Vinegar Treats Arthritis?

People think that apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve arthritis symptoms, but there’s no proof that apple cider vinegar helps lower levels of inflammation in humans. In one study of obese rats, consumption of fruit vinegars lowered levels of the inflammatory chemical C-reactive protein, but there wasn’t much of a change in humans who tested apple cider vinegar for a medical program on British television. (However, there have not been large, randomized studies on people to know for sure whether apple cider vinegar could help relieve arthritis symptoms.)

The amount of vitamins and minerals in apple cider vinegar, according to the United States Department of Agriculture database, is miniscule.

Proponents often point to pectin as the reason apple cider vinegar might help control arthritis pain and keep weight under control. Not true, says Moots.

“People who take apple cider vinegar think that pectin helps. There is no science behind this and no evidence at all to support this,” Moots says. Apple cider vinegar actually contains little or no pectin. You can consume far more pectin just by eating a fresh apple.

What Are Better Natural Remedies for Arthritis?

While Moots doesn’t suggest wasting your money on apple cider vinegar products, he isn’t against alternative treatments across the board. If you’re looking to add a complementary treatment backed by some evidence to your medication regimen, he suggests following a Mediterranean diet or taking a fish oil supplement.

“These may or may not work, but they are worth trying,” he says.

  • Mediterranean diet: In two studies reviewed by researchers at the University of Canberra in Australia, this heart-healthy way of eating (which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish) led to less pain and other RA symptoms — and in one study to a significant reduction in disease activity. Here are more anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: In two recent 12-week studies, people who consumed a daily fish-oil supplement (in addition to standard treatment with MTX and folic acid) decreased their pain and disease activity. Fish oil is one of a few types of supplements doctors approve to help with inflammatory arthritis.

Keep Reading

  • Turmeric and Curcumin for Arthritis: Does It Actually Help Relieve Pain?
  • How Aromatherapy Can Help with Arthritis Symptoms
  • CBD Oil: How It Affects Your Body and Your Pain

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Why It Matters and 3 Simple Recipes to Get You Started

An anti-inflammatory diet can do wonders for all aspects of your health, from supporting immune function and healthy weight loss to helping maintain vibrant energy levels and a positive mood. Even better? A diet that is centered around anti-inflammatory foods will go a long way towards nourishing your microbiome and giving your beneficial bacteria the prebiotic fuel they need to really thrive.

So, what’s the key to a gut-healthy anti-inflammatory diet? Focusing on foods that combat inflammation while cutting out foods that inflame your system will help to keep your body in an alkaline state, which helps to reduce overall inflammation and its negative impacts on your health.

As you work to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, keep in mind that processed and refined foods tend to cause the most issues, while food in its original, unprocessed state (like fresh fruits and vegetables and free range meats) can keep inflammation in check:

Foods that promote inflammation:

• Sugar
• Dairy
• Gluten
• Refined grains and carbohydrates
• Fried foods
• Grain-fed (as opposed to grass-fed) meats
• Unhealthy fats (trans fats and soy, canola, and corn oil)
• Nightshade vegetables cause issues for some people (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, cayenne)

Foods that fight inflammation:

• Green leafy vegetables
• Herbs
• Fruits
• Fiber
• Organic, grass-fed meat
• Healthy fats (coconut and olive oil)
• Wild caught fatty fish
• Omega-3 essential fatty acids
• Nuts (almonds, walnuts)

Check out these three simple drink recipes that incorporate anti-inflammatory superheros apple cider vinegar, turmeric, cayenne, and lemon to get you started on your gut health journey!

Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda Shot

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons organic, raw apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
Water

Pour apple cider vinegar in a glass, and slowly add in baking soda. Once it’s done fizzing, fill the glass the rest of the way (about 8 ounces) with filtered water and drink 1-2 times per day! Note: it may not be delicious but it will do wonders to promote an alkaline pH in your body.

Turmeric Latte

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut or almond milk
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Pinch of black pepper
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey to sweeten

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium for 3-5 minutes, without boiling. Whisk continuously until the mixture becomes frothy, remove from heat, and enjoy!

Lemon Water with Apple Cider Vinegar and Cayenne

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice from 1 lemon
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup water

Heat water to comfortable drinking temperature (warm enough to make the honey melt), then add in all ingredients and sip first thing in the morning as a gentle anti-inflammatory detox.

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Nearly 80% of adults experience some kind of back pain in their lifetime. Whether it’s because of stress, age, diet, or exercise, there are a variety of reasons why our backs might be giving us a little trouble. These days, however, there is a growing awareness of the dangers of opiates and other pain-relieving medications. Even over-the-counter products like Tylenol and Advil have side effects, particularly if used frequently.

More and more, people are turning to alternative and natural healing methods to reduce pain. And there’s growing evidence to support its efficacy. One of the leading natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other types of joint/muscle pain is apple cider vinegar. We’ll dive into the many benefits of apple cider vinegar for back pain, arthritis pain, and chronic pain and look at some other popular home remedy options.

Why is Apple Cider Vinegar Beneficial?

As its name suggests, producers create apple cider vinegar by fermenting the sugars within apples, creating the active ingredient acetic acid. Researchers believe that this compound provides an array of health advantages. Relieving back pain is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Other potential benefits include:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Weight loss
  • Indigestion and nausea relief
  • Acne and dandruff relief
  • Sinus congestion relief
  • Regulation of blood sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetes patients

What’s the Relationship Between Apple Cider Vinegar and Back Pain?

For years, people have used apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy for many kinds of health conditions. Recently, however, research has begun to back up these claims. The main compound in apple cider vinegar, acetic acid, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the key causes of not only back pain but also other issues, including arthritis and joint deterioration.

Moreover, apple cider vinegar contains a range of muscle and bone-healthy minerals and nutrients. These include magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, all essential for your health. Potassium is of essential importance because it has been shown to relieve arthritis and joint pain.

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Finally, apple cider vinegar boosts overall health. It can help improve your digestive health, allowing you to better absorb nutrients from the food you eat.

How Can I Add Apple Cider Vinegar to My Diet?

More research is needed to confirm the exact dosage of apple cider vinegar needed to relieve pain. Fortunately, as a natural remedy, you don’t really need to worry about consuming too much — but don’t go overboard! Nowadays, you can even find Acetic Acid tablets online and at your local drugstore.

While these supplement pills may help, you can find similar benefits by simply drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal. Not only does this promote healthy digestion, but it also helps facilitate nutrient absorption. This way, you’ll also get the dual benefits of anti-inflammation and digestion relief.

Some people also choose to directly apply apple cider vinegar to their skin. Using a cotton pad, they gently apply the vinegar over an inflamed area. Currently, no scientific studies support this method for anti-inflammatory relief, but many people have first-person accounts of its efficacy. Additionally, there are currently ongoing trials to confirm this technique. Applying apple cider vinegar to the skin, however, does help with other issues such as eczema and acne.

Are There Any Side Effects?

As with anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad for your health. This is why doctors generally recommend a few tablespoons or one to two capsules per day. Apple cider vinegar is an acid — so too much of it can irritate your stomach, damage your tooth enamel, and have negative digestive effects. Likewise, be aware if you have an apple cider allergy.

In addition, apple cider vinegar does interact with certain diabetes medications. If you are taking insulin or insulin-stimulating medications, check with your doctor to make sure there are no harmful interactions.

The same goes with certain medications like Digoxin and diuretic drugs which cause the body to excrete potassium. When combined with apple cider vinegar, these drugs may cause the body to lower potassium levels too much. Overall, however, for the vast majority of people, apple cider vinegar is safe to take.

Coconut Oil: An Alternative Treatment Option

Besides apple cider vinegar, other additional natural remedies to target back pain are growing in popularity. One of the most popular right now is coconut oil. Many people tout the amazing skincare benefits of coconut oil.

In addition, there are many compounds inside coconut oil, including antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. For the best pain relief, doctors recommend using coconut oil as a topical treatment. However, there are also many health benefits of replacing vegetable oil with coconut oil in your cooking.

Natural Remedies: The Bottom Line

In the wake of the opioid crisis in the United States, both doctors and patients are eager to find alternative pain management strategies. Natural remedies provide excellent options for people looking for healthier ways to reduce inflammation, gain mobility, and decrease overall pain. When combined with physical therapy, diet and lifestyle changes, you can experience a higher quality of life. And when it comes to nutritious and healthy options like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, you really can’t go wrong by adding them into your daily routine!

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This post was updated in August 2019.

You likely already stock this magical, natural ingredient in your home, but if not, you’ll want to soon. Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV, is one of the most popular, natural remedies relied on today that has been used for decades to provide healing to all parts of the body. It’s also a fantastic non-toxic cleaning agent to keep around the house, and it even makes an effective— and highly affordable—natural facial toner to relieve acne.

But ACV is most powerful in its abilities to provide healing to the body on a cellular level in a very short amount of time, sometimes minutes depending on the ailment at hand. Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples, which develops healthy organisms known as prebiotics. These organisms are what feed good bacteria in the body known as probiotics that are housed within our digestive systems and contribute to our overall well-being. Keeping a healthy eco-system with natural foods nourishes not just the digestive system where probiotics provide a large part of their healing and regulating effects, but also helps maintain a healthy microbiome. This can help reduce inflammation in the digestive system, joints, and even other areas of the body such as the heart, blood, and more.

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Treating Inflammation Naturally

Inflammation starts in our guts and in our cells. It festers quickly and is caused by high amounts of stress, lack of sleep, a diet high in refined sugar and refined grains, unhealthy and manmade fats, excessive animal protein, excessive caffeine and alcohol, drugs, and a diet high in processed foods. Symptoms include digestive problems, joint point, headaches, fatigue, a high susceptibility to sickness, acne, and more harsher forms of disease if chronic inflammation occurs, such as heart disease and diabetes. Many people turn to over the counter options to heal these ailments, but they only contribute to inflammation further because they’re filled with synthetic, chemical-based ingredients our bodies don’t recognize. While one food can not heal the body from inflammation, many foods are extremely potent in their abilities to bring relief, cleansing of the cells, and are much better options than over the counter drugs. One of these, as you might guess, is ACV.

The Simple Nutritional Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains a variety of nutrients that help in its ability to do many things in the body that reduce inflammation fairly quickly. It has an alkaline pH, so it keeps our blood from becoming too acidic, which is what ultimately makes us feel so poorly. ACV can also reduce insulin in the body to balance blood sugar levels, it helps the body produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) needed for optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients, it contains a large amount of potassium which reduces pain, it assists with natural cleansing and elimination, can relieve a minor headache and joint pain, flushes the cells of wastes, and promotes a healthy heart and blood pressure levels. Finally, it contains vitamin C that reduces inflammation, stress, and contributes to a healthy immune system to keep the body strong.

Here are 5 Simple Options to use ACV as a Natural Remedy:

1. ACV Morning Iced Tonic

Combine 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of water. Add ice for a chilled option (particularly refreshing right after you workout or wake up in the morning), or drink at room temperature.

2. Natural ACV Tea

Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to warm water and lemon to drink as a natural tea. Add a green tea bag for even more healing effects.

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3. ACV Spiked Smoothie or Simple Salad Dressing

Add apple cider vinegar to a fruit-based smoothie to add a tangy, zesty twist or use apple cider vinegar as a natural salad dressing.

4. ACV Simple Shot

Take it plain in the morning as a shot!

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5. ACV Healthy, Cleansing Super Shot

Make a cleansing shot with water, the juice from one lemon, cayenne pepper, and a touch of stevia to add sweetness. (Cayenne and lemon are both naturally anti-inflammatory and cleansing too.)

How Much to Use?

You can use a few of these options per day, just be mindful that you shouldn’t overdo it to make up for a poor diet. Implement 1-3 of these options above each day in conjunction with a healthy diet. ACV is also acidic by nature, even though it alkalizes the body once it reacts with our blood, though too much may lead to some discomfort because it’s so powerful. So, like most natural remedies, a little will go a long way.

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But be Sure You Use the Best Kind

When you buy apple cider vinegar and are looking to benefit from it the most, go for unpasteurized, raw and organic apple cider vinegar with “the mother.” This is the healthy organism that develops during fermentation and provides the medicinal benefits.

Or if you’re particularly savvy and enjoy home projects, make your own apple cider vinegar—it’s easier than you think!

For more healing benefits, see Tips for Using Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Chronic Yeast Infections, and then tell us—do you use this natural remedy for inflammation relief?

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

For more Vegan Food, Health, Recipe, Animal, and Life content published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter!

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Anti-Inflammatory Drinks

For those constantly looking for pain relief for their inflammation, these anti-inflammatory drinks may be the solution you’ve been searching for. Anti-inflammatory drinks are great for managing stomach and muscle pain because they are easy to attain and prepare at any time of the day. Not to mention that these liquids digest much faster than any anti-inflammatory foods would and can, therefore, provide quicker results. While the common causes of inflammation vary on each person’s immune system, the ingredients of these drinks are highly recommended to alleviate this type of pain. Try out our these 5 drink recommendations that work against inflammation:

1. Fruit Juices That Help Digestion

Everyone knows that it’s good for you to eat the right kind of fruits, but you may not know just how impactful they can be in your digestive system. Three fruit juices that are potent in anti-inflammatory enzymes are tart cherry, pineapple, and lemon. Tart cherry juice is rich in anthocyanins that aid in calming inflamed tissues, which is also great for a post-workout drink because it improves your recovery time and reduces muscle soreness. On the other hand, pineapple juice is full of bromelain which is an anti-inflammatory enzyme generally used after surgery for pain relief, bruising, and swelling. Lastly, while lemons may not be tasty on their own, they are incredibly helpful in reducing acidity and inflammation in your stomach, joints, and muscles. Drinking a mixture of lemon juice and water not only can improve your digestion but also enhance the function of your liver.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

This anti-inflammatory drink comes from PopSugar and does wonders for your body and immune system at the same time. This recipe is actually intended for those feeling under the weather but can be made any time that your body is aching too. This spiced and sweet drink is made of apple cider vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper (or ginger), lemon, and water. The lemon and apple cider vinegar help speed up your digestive track while the cayenne and ginger works its anti-inflammatory magic. The honey helps soothe your throat from the spice and adds additional sweetness to the drink. Other herbs that can be swapped out or added instead of cayenne are rosemary, sage, or basil. This is how the recipe goes:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a ¼ cup of water to a boil on the stove.
  2. Stir in ¼ cup apple cider vinegar into the water.
  3. Add 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly.
  4. Squeeze one whole lemon and serve warm in a mug.

3. Turmeric Tea

If you have been looking for anti-inflammatory drinks, there’s no doubt that you’ve come across recipes that talk about the benefits of turmeric. This turmeric tea, although a bit of an acquired taste, has a lot of perks for your gut and muscle health. It clears up sinuses, can be used a substitute for caffeine, and cures a lot of upset stomach issues. Pair this along with cinnamon and ginger, and this drink offers great pain relief for your inflamed digestive system or body aches. Here is how to make turmeric tea:

Ingredients:

1 cup water

¼ Tsp turmeric powder

¼ Tsp cinnamon

¼ Tsp ground ginger

1 lemon

1 tbsp honey

Directions:

  1. Bring 1 cup water to a simmer.
  2. Add ¼ Tsp of turmeric powder, ground ginger, and cinnamon and stir slowly.
  3. Remove from heat and cover the pot, allowing the tea to infuse for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Optional: use a strainer while pouring into a mug to make the tea smoother in taste.
  5. Squeeze enough of lemon and honey to suit your personal taste.

4. Berry Beet Blast Smoothie

This smoothie recipe from NutriLiving is bound to settle anyone’s upset stomach and is a wonderful way to start your morning. As previously mentioned, this drink includes turmeric which is common in many other anti-inflammatory drinks. It also has ginger, which is a powerful digestant, and you will also get a healthy dose of Vitamin C, folate, potassium, and manganese from the orange, strawberries, and beet. Blend the following products together to make this intense anti-inflammatory smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ beet
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 Tsp turmeric
  • ½ Tsp ginger
  • 2 Cups Coconut Water

5. Pineapple & Ginger Juice

Our last anti-inflammatory drink is a sweet one: the pineapple and ginger juice is both tasty and effective at relieving stomach pain. As we mentioned, pineapple is full of bromelain which helps your body recover, lemon reduces acidity in your stomach and muscles, celery and ginger reduce stomach and bowel inflammation, and the rest will provide your daily supplement of vitamin K, A, C, folate, and manganese. Chop up and juice these ingredients for a sweet treat that will soothe your stressed body:

Ingredients:

  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 cucumber (vitamin k)
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 apple (vitamin a and c)
  • 1 cup spinach (vitamin k, a, folate, manganese)
  • 1 lemon
  • Small piece of ginger

How Pain Management Can Help

When you’re unable to complete your daily activities due to recurring stomach or muscle pain, it’s probably a good time to look into some pain management options. Arrowhead Health Centers offers numerous pain and injury management treatment programs to help get your health back on track. We find that a customized pain treatment plan is the best way to tackle pain head on. Pain management helps you find pain relief quicker with access to anti-inflammatory medicine, dietary advice, chiropractic care, or physical therapy. Whether you are suffering from digestive-related pain or chronic pain in your upper or lower back, Arrowhead Health Center physicians will do their best to assist you in your journey to recovery. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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