How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Improve Digestion
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Apple cider vinegar is a powerful natural remedy for heartburn and indigestion. Let’s take a closer look at why this simple remedy works, and how you can use apple cider vinegar to naturally get rid of heartburn, reduce belly bloat and gas, and generally improve digestion.
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a heavy feeling in your gut?
Feel like you have a rock/small baby hippopotamus in your belly hours after eating a meal?
Experience heartburn, bloating, or burping soon after eating?
If yes, it’s very likely that you’re not digesting your food properly.
These uncomfortable feelings were so well-known to me that I used to just let them slide as “normal”.
But there is no such thing as “normal” pain or discomfort: it’s a sign from our body that something is amiss.
There’s no doubt about it: proper digestion is key to a healthy body.
The digestive tract — from your tongue to your tushie — plays a vital role in all aspects of our health.
It’s the mechanism through which we receive the nutrients necessary to sustain life, and is a vital component of the immune system.
But think about it: if we are eating the most nutrient-dense foods possible yet not breaking them down adequately enough to actually get to the nutrients they contain… what’s the point?
… and proper stomach acid levels are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
As soon as we see, smell, or think about food, our stomach cells begin secreting hydrochloric acid (HCl).
HCl plays a vital role in protein digestion by converting pepsinogen into the enzyme pepsin, which breaks proteins down into amino acids.
It also promotes the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins A and E by stimulating the release of pancreatic enzymes and bile into the small intestine.
Without adequate stomach acid, food isn’t properly broken down and digested, nor are nutrients properly assimilated.
This is a BIG. DEAL.
Factors such as stress, excess carbohydrate consumption, nutrient deficiencies, allergies, and excess alcohol can decrease HCl production.
And according to Jonathon Wright, MD — author of Why Stomach Acid is Good for You — approximately 90% of Americans produce too little stomach acid.
(Now if you’re thinking “Oh, well I have acid reflux/GERD so I make too much stomach acid”, think again. Contrary to popular belief, acid reflux and GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease – are actually caused by low stomach acid. While antacids do help to alleviate the symptoms, they do not remedy the underlying cause. To learn all of the details, check our Chris Kresser’s 6-part series on the topic.)
Apple cider vinegar improves digestion by increasing stomach acid production.
It’s as simple as that!
By increasing stomach acid production, apple cider vinegar helps our bodies properly break down and digest our food.
How to use apple cider vinegar to improve digestion:
Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in one glass (8 oz) of water and drink 15-20 minutes before a meal.Be sure to use raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother. If desired, increase to 2 teaspoons.
“Swish” and drink a few more sips of water to prevent the acid from affecting tooth enamel and irritating your throat.
Have you used ACV to improve your digestion?
How did it go!? Please share with us in the comments below!
re kidneys myu husband was advised to drink Apple Cider Vinegar to help with kidney stones so presumably it isn’t bad for the kidneys!
Hi guys when yall say it feels like a rock are you talking about kinda under your left lower ribs along with stomach pain and horrible throat and mouth burning please someone answer
Hi Nadia please tell me is ACV is useful for gastric problem.
this question is directed to Jorge Rivas. Regarding your cocktail of ACV, honey, turmeric, and neem leaves. Are the neem leaves in a powder? Also, do you mix all this with something? Or just the four items? It seems that it would be hard to mix and swallow without some other medium in which to mix it with. Thanks!
I have been taking ACV with mother in a cup of squeezed lemon but I suffer from bloating and burping as my stomach swells up. Would ACV make this worse as it seems to happen about an hour after I have it.
Hello, I have a hiatus hernia and some liver damage. I’ve been taking Lansoprazole for a few years now and it help enormously, I started taking ACV About 3 months ago now. Initially I took it diluted (I really don’t like it) my daughter takes it as a shot and then drinks water to wash it down. Another daughter thinks this would be bad for my gut. Can you pl asemtell me the best way to take it. Thanks in advance.
What kind/brand of CAB? I’ve tried a few and they all taste terrible bit I really need the help.
Really, if you have a lack of stomach acid then you should see the results fairly quickly – you’ll notice less discomfort with your meals.
Hi, Bobbi. Do you take an ox bile supplement? I highly suggest looking into it – that rock may also be because you’re not digesting your fats properly anymore without the gallbladder.
Thanks so much for explaining this. I had my gallbladder removed several years ago and have GERD and a lot of stress so I have had the “big rock” in my stomach after eating, and just feeling awful. So today I started trying the ACV with water before I eat. Will let you know how it goes.
Well you never know unless you ask! Hydrochloric acid – it’s what the stomach naturally produces to break down food. Adequate levels are absolutely critical for proper digestion.
Hate to flaunt my ignorance but what is HCI?
ACV rocks! It has helped my digestion & got rid of bloating after eating bread. I plan to start taking it before my protein shakes. I have a cocktail in the morning: 3 tsps. ACV, 1/2 tbsp. local honey, 1/8 tsp. of turmeric. I have started adding 7 leaves of neem as a cancer preventative & it feels like my body is on steroids. I’m 64 years old and feel more like 45 or 50.
Hi, wanted to thank you for the concern about tooth enamel. As a dental hygienist, one of my focuses is patients enamel and causes for its breakdown.
Appreciate all of the great articles as well. Completing a liver cleanse now and will be starting the ACV as well. My belly hurts when I bend over and feels full all the time. Over the summer I did a body challenge where I was introduced to the lemon-cayenne pepper drink. I didn’t understand the why behind it, but knew it sis something right in my body. Missing that feeling of ‘feeling good’ and not wanting to get stuck on OTC pills/vitamins I have no idea if they contain what the label says, I decided to go the natural route and let nature take care of me.
Thanks for the great articles and support.
Good day, how soon after consuming the apple cider vinegar should I start to see improved digestion and my regular tummy size again? Also, great article!
I have ulcerative colitis. i take my prescribed meds plus 1-2 tablespoons of Red Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother, diluted with water. When my medication refill has crossed in the mail, I lnow RACV will protect my gi tract. I also have used medical cannabis to alleviate symptoms. All medications can be used for good or bad purposes. I love my RACV.
I have Gastroperisis which is slow emptying of the stomach contents. My stomach n intestines are not digesting my food and cause me to b full n throw up after eating. I also get cinstipated easily. Have recently quit taking miralax due to its content. Have heard that ACV can help with my digestive problems. Is this true. Thanks
Joe, I’m am so incredibly happy to hear that! I definitely recommend reading through the Chris Kresser series linked to in the post and also the book Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You for more info if you’re interested!
“Do you ever feel like you have a rock/small baby hippopotamus in your belly hours after eating a meal?”
Boy that described me to a tee many times. And the more antacids I took the worse it got. I thought there was something seriously wrong starting to happen to me.
Then I discovered this information that perhaps I didn’t have enough stomach acid so I started using apple cider vinegar mixed with water with my meals.An overnight cure. I couldn’t believe it.
When you said you drink 2 tbsp of ACV diluted with an equal amount of water, do you mean you drink it with 1 ounce of water? 2 tbsp is 28 grams and 28 grams is 1 ounce.
I’ve read about drinking 1 tbsp of ACV with 8 ounces of water. Wouldn’t you need at least 8 ounces of water or is a lower amount better?