Healthy Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is perhaps one of the simplest and most inexpensive ingredients in your arsenal of health aids. It multitasks like no other and has made its way up in the ranks from a traditional folk remedy to a mainstream healthy must-have, and for good reason: Apple cider vinegar is popularly used as a tonic for a variety of health issues such as boosting immunity, alkalizing our bodies, to combatting obesity.

Whatever health benefit you wish to get from apple cider vinegar (or if you simply enjoy its fresh and zesty taste) here’s how you can put to use this humble health staple any time of the day.

1. Boost your immunity

Apple cider vinegar proves to be quite nutritious; it has vitamin C which keeps up healthy immune function and acts as a prebiotic to keep your gut flora in optimum condition. Plus points as well for apple cider vinegar for having antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Try this immune boosting elixir and take up to 3 shots throughout the day to boost your immunity.

  • 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons turmeric (freshly grated or powder form)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 teaspoons honey

2. Counter Acidity and Promote Digestion

Did you know that apple cider vinegar helps to alkalize our bodies? Despite apple cider vinegar being an acid, once consumed, it has an alkalizing effect which in turn help to balance over acidic issues such as hyperacidity in our stomachs.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence and testimony from people who have been able to calm hyperacidity by consuming apple cider vinegar. If you’ve experienced this uncomfortable and often painful form of indigestion, try consuming apple cider vinegar with water to help alkalize your stomach and promote better digestion.

Seeing as hyperacidity in the stomach such as acid reflux and heartburn are caused by indigestion, apple cider vinegar may be a healthier and natural alternative to antacids as it improves digestion

Drink this simple digestive aid 30 minutes before a meal to improve digestion

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3. Lower your blood sugar

Taking apple cider vinegar before meals has been shown to lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity.

This benefits our bodies in many ways, mainly metabolizing sugars more efficiently meaning more steady energy and less storage of fat from sugar.

Lessen your chance for a sugar crash and keep your blood sugar stable even with dessert by consuming this drink before, during, or immediately after having a sugary snack/meal:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

4. Lower your cholesterol

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to lower cholesterol making consuming it a great daily habit to prevent issues such as heart disease. It doubles to lower cholesterol by suppressing the accumulation of body fat and helps to burn existing fat.

If you’re about to have a fatty meal or a large meal in general, drink some apple cider vinegar beforehand to give your body a digestive boost from all the fat consumption.

5. Promote weight loss

Daily consumption of apple cider vinegar has been shown to suppress body fat accumulation and reduce visceral fat.

Seeing as apple cider vinegar is all natural, and essentially a food, it’s a safe and potentially effective ally for a weight loss program.

Try this refreshing morning tonic to start your day on a healthy note and prompt your body to go into fat-burning mode.

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • A generous sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon
  • A generous sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)

The benefits of apple cider vinegar are interconnected, which perpetuates further its ‘cure all’ status. From improving digestion, to burning fat and lowering cholesterol etc. the various benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar for our body promote good health all around.

Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into your diet and see how it makes you feel. Let us know in the comments below how you use it and if it’s as life-changing for you as it has been for many others.

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What You Need to Know About Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a superstar ingredient in the kitchen. It’s distinct sweet, spicy, and aromatic taste is known and loved by many. Whether you like to mix it into your favorite cookie batter, bake it into a fruit pie, blitz it into fruit smoothies, or even stew it with middle-eastern dishes, cinnamon is a kitchen staple.

This spice is beloved both on a culinary and medicinal level. Studies on cinnamon have shown that it provides us with as many health benefits as it does uses in the kitchen.

Originating from Sri Lanka and dating back as far as 2800 B.C, here’s what you need to know about this ancient super spice:

1. Blood Sugar Stabilization

If you enjoy yourself a carby meal and a sugary dessert to follow, taking cinnamon would be especially beneficial for you thanks to its ability to lower blood sugar. You’ll know you’re going through a blood sugar rollercoaster if you want to lie down after you’ve had something sweet or if you generally feel sluggish after a meal; this is the energy high then eventual crash you get from sugar and refined carbs.

Consuming cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels and results in the prevention of big surges of insulin, the hormone secreted to metabolize sugar. This means feeling less tired and sluggish, especially if you’re prone to sugar crashes.

2. Fat loss

Thanks to cinnamon’s blood sugar stabilization, it also has the potential to help you lose weight and to keep excess weight off, especially around your abdomen.

Stubborn fat around your torso could be due to having too much insulin. When our bodies produce this hormone, it’s meant to metabolize sugar, however when there is too much sugar for our bodies to use, insulin deposits it into our fat cells, particularly around your stomach area.

Since cinnamon increases our sensitivity to insulin, our bodies don’t need to produce as much of the hormone, leaving less of it to deposit excess sugar into fat cells. This is why cinnamon is a popular spice in many types of fat-burning products.

3. Cinnamon and anti-inflammatory benefits

Did you know that turmeric isn’t the only anti-inflammatory powerhouse spice in your pantry? Cinnamon contains an anti-inflammatory compound called cinnamic acid which protect our bodies from inflammation and oxidative stress from free radicals. This means more protection from diseases stemming from chronic inflammation such as arthritis, heart disease, and stroke.

Fortunately for us, cinnamon is an easy spice to work with to reap its anti-inflammatory benefits. Here are a few simple anti-inflammatory recipes featuring cinnamon.

Post workout smoothie
Keep exercise free-radicals at bay by blending:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tablespoon nut butter of choice
  • Splash of vanilla (optional)
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Anti-inflammatory and immune boosting tea:
Negate the greying effects of pollution and the day’s stresses with this evening tea:

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup of freshly brewed ginger

Pair it with a calming supplement to give your body a complete cue to rest and wind down.

4. Ceylon Cinnamon vs. Commercial Cinnamon

Did you know that not all cinnamon is created equal? The food industry is a highly unregulated business with many manufacturers cutting corners and as a result, sacrificing quality. Cinnamon is no exception here.

The most common type of cinnamon comes from a cousin of cinnamon called Cassia, which originates from China. While it may look, smell, and taste like cinnamon to the undiscerning eye, Cassia doesn’t have the same potency of true cinnamon and is potentially toxic in high doses. Seeing as it is cheaper and of lower quality, this is likely what you find commercially. Be wary, if you’re after real Cinnamon, don’t assume that it’s the stuff you find on supermarket shelves.

True cinnamon on the other hand, called Ceylon Cinnamon, is native to Sri Lanka and is non-toxic. It is less processed than its commercial counterpart explaining why it is more expensive and harder to find. Opt for Ceylon Cinnamon to reap all the benefits this spice has to offer.

Take your cinnamon consumption beyond the fall seasons pumpkin spiced latte and start incorporating this ancient super spice into your daily routine. Share your recipes and tips in the comments below on how to use this lovely aromatic spice to better our health.

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Common Vitamin Deficiencies and What to do About It

We’re living in an interesting paradox: once upon a time, soil quality was rich with nutrients, air was clean, water was pure, and livestock was a process of feeding and growing animals to make them as healthy as possible. All this was an afterthought with no novelty and as a result, the concept of a vitamin deficiency was rare and so was our concern for it.

Now, our modern lifestyle of ‘fast and instant’ food, mixed with polluted air, questionable water, factory farming, and unsustainable agricultural practices, awareness of our vitamin intake is at an all-time high precisely because the clean living conditions we once took for granted, are a thing of the past.

These types of lifestyle conditions are accumulative and deplete our health, one concerning result of this is the issue of being vitamin deficient because the soil our food grows from and the animals that we eat are no longer as nutrient dense as they were before.

Regardless of having a healthy diet, take note of the following most common vitamin deficiencies and give your diet and food sources an honest assessment.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin commonly found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and most orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, is essential for healthy eyesight, glowing skin, and a healthy reproductive and immune system.

Signs you’re possibly deficient in Vitamin A:

  • Poor eyesight, especially
  • Dry skin and eyes
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Acne
  • Frequent skin infections
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Dry lips

If you suspect you’re deficient in Vitamin A, improve your diet and incorporate more yellow fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, squash, apricots, and carrots to get plant-based Vitamin A, known as beta carotene. To get Vitamin A in its retinol form, consume more dairy products and eggs to give your body a balanced and amount of Vitamin A.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, can be found in red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve and blood cell function, metabolism, and healthy brain function.

Signs you’re possibly deficient in Vitamin B12

  • General tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Random ‘pins and needles’ sensation
  • Frequent headaches

If you’re a vegan, don’t eat meat or animal products frequently, or have a poor diet in general, consider taking a Vitamin B12 supplement to ensure you’re getting the daily amount your body needs.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is actually a prohormone, that our bodies naturally produce when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is responsible for mood regulation, strong bones and teeth, regulates insulin, and promotes healthy immune function.

Signs you’re possibly deficient in Vitamin D:

  • Frequent illness
  • Bone and back pain
  • Poor wound healing
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Low bone density
  • Muscle pain

If you live in a dark country, stay indoors for the majority of the day, or are an overzealous sunscreen user, you may be deficient in Vitamin D. Get more sunlight to keep your Vitamin D at a healthy level, if sunlight isn’t an option, incorporate Vitamin D into your diet through supplements as this vitamin is not available in food sources.

No matter how good your diet may be, multivitamins have shown that they are effective in plugging in the nutritional gaps that you may not be getting from your diet. To keep your body in peak health, give it the nutrients it needs by complementing a healthy diet with a multivitamin to ensure you cover all your bases.

Skip the guessing game of whether or not your food is providing you with all the vitamins you need and keep up with your body’s daily nutritional needs with a quality multivitamin.

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