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!
I love to take my Acv with 8 Oz of low sodium V8 JUICE. It is supprisingly delicious.
Hi, Gail. I’d really need to know more about your unique situation to be able to offer a thoughtful response. It seems as though you would benefit most working with a nutrition professional. I offer complimentary discover calls should you like to connect and see if we’d be a good fit: https://bodyunburdened.com/nutritional-therapy/ Hope to talk soon 🙂
All could certainly be helpful. If you wanted to experiment with just ACV or enzymes, you could do that. Generally speaking, probiotics will are helpful to everyone.
Hi – I am new to this post and found it while I investigated ACV uses. So… where to begin? I suffer from intestinal gas/bloating leading to constipation issues. I have Hashimotos disease as well as significant blood disorders (low WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Platelets and Neutrophils. The words; neutropenia, leukopenia, pancytopenia and macrocytosis are expletives thrown around like loose change on my blood reports. My hematologist performed bone marrow biopsy (not fun) which showed nothing dire so now I am just monitored every 6 months. Currently, I am on a wait list for a 2nd opinion.
Honestly, if I could feel better after I eat and decrease the gas, do a nice poop every day I’d think I was in heaven. As for the rest, perhaps the Hashimotos affects the blood or perhaps vice versa. Perhaps all the supplements I take are therefore not absorbing because of the state of my intestines, don’t know. Like a lot of you out there, trials, second guessing, standard medical mixed with natural medicines (I believe there’s a place for both) leaves me (us?) confused.
What do you think Nadia? Perhaps my constipation issues are created by bowel gas that migrates from poorly digested food a little north. Pockets of air preventing eas of transit? Kinda makes sense to me but very interested in your response.
Is it necessary to take probiotics and enzymes when taking acv
I am 88 and have ibs and gerd
If I use acv, do I still need an probiotics and enzymes
Hi, Larry! I recommend mixing 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a FULL GLASS of water. Start with 1 teaspoon to see how you fare, and go from there.
Great article Nadia did you take your tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and tablespoon of water right before meals or 15-20 minutes before meals? Please let me know. Thanks
Hi Again, Waiting for your response on my above question, kindly let me know if a filtered but organic ACV with mother should be taken? and it would help, also can it be taken along with the prescribed medicine for acid reflux etc.
Hi, Barb. I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. Honestly, I have too much to say but also I would need to know way more details to truly be a help. If you’d like some assistance decoding these symptoms and getting to the root, I’m currently accepting new Nutritional Therapy clients: https://bodyunburdened.com/nutritional-therapy/ If you’d like to learn more and chat, you can schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with me by following the button on the bottom of the page.
Not sure what is going on with me. I have had my gallbladder removed. I also have Hashimoto’s which they say usually results in low stomach acid. I often experience gas immediately after eating, I mean within minutes! It just seems like my stomach and intestines are a mess. Nexium helps with the heart-burn but doesn’t help my stomach or intestines. I have tried ACV and that has helped calm my stomach and intestines tremendously but I still seem to get heart burn once in a while even though I am taking ACV. I mix 1-tablespoon in my 40-ounce water jug and sip on it through out the day. Do you have any advice Nadia??
Does this also have any weight loss benefits at all?
Hi Nadia, Thank you for the great article, in my part of the world it is hard to find the Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother, so any alternatives? or can I use any other Apple Cider Vinegar? please answer as soon as possible as am badly suffering from flatulence, my tummy goes inches big and badly constipated as well.
If possible, I would try to take it before or during the meal. I sometimes do take it after if I’m having slight indigestion and it does help to alleviate the discomfort. When you already have food in your belly, the acid from the ACV is diluted so it doesn’t stimulate the production of gastric juices to the extent as it does when taken on an empty stomach.
I think it would be best to take it with the meal, at least, rather than after.
Hi I was wondering about the effects of taking apple cider vinegar after meals as opposed to before. Sometimes I forget to take it before eating but remember during or right after the meal so I take it then, is it too late to have helpful digestive effects if not taken before the food reaches the stomach or will it still aid even if it’s less preferable to take it later? How are the effects different taking it before vs after eating? Thanks!
Would taking it after meal in the morning only be okay. Because when I take it first thing in the morning, i have this stomach mega hunger feeling that I feel so uncomfortable. I’ve read somewhere that should take it not on empty stomach too.
I developed a severe dry mouth condition. Both my doctor and dentist could not identify the cause. I would wake up many times during the night to drink water and use dry mouth remedies which only alleviated the symptoms. I am healthy and not diabetic but this was starting to affect my health as I was always tired. In desperation I tried ACV and the result was miraculous. For the first time in 2years I slept through the night and have not had dry mouth since. I eventually discovered that low stomach acid can cause dry mouth in some people and the medical practitioners have no idea. I hope this helps anyone suffering from dry mouth. I take 2 teaspoons in half a cup of water before all meals.