If you’re familiar with the dreaded bloated feeling that comes after eating a big ol’ plate of pasta or a sandwich for lunch, we feel your pain. We love our carbs, but sometimes they don’t really love us back. The good news is, you can still enjoy your bread and pasta without the tight-belly-feeling afterwards. All you have to do is add some apple cider vinegar to water and drink it 30 minutes before your meal!
Bloating can be caused by a number of gastrointestinal problems, like constipation, IBS, stress, over-eating, and just plain gas. And while there isn’t much scientific evidence to prove that ACV can prevent bloating, holistic health care professionals often recommend it for carb bloat because of its known benefits for the digestive system.
ACV contains a substance called “the mother” which is loaded with enzymes that aid digestion. When apples are fermented to make ACV, acetic acid bacteria is released, which is a potent probiotic. Probiotic enzymes nourish the digestive system by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria and thus, a healthy gut lining that prevents harmful bacteria from entering the bloodstream. ACV has also shown to help kill many types of harmful bacteria, which also contributes to healthier digestive functioning. Some research even suggests that it can help with weight and belly fat loss!
Drinking a bit of apple cider vinegar before eating carbs is also a good idea because it has shown to help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Complex carbs break down into glucose (aka blood sugar) in the digestive system, sending your levels up up up. However, many studies have shown that consuming vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels (both before and after a high-carb meal!) as well as reduce fasting blood sugar — even in those with diabetes!
If you’re ready to start incorporating ACV into your diet, there are a few things to note first. Since it's highly acidic, you should be careful and not overdo it, as this could actually cause other gastrointestinal problems as well as damage to the teeth and esophageal lining. Luckily, you don’t need to drink a gallon of vinegar a day to reap the benefits, and consuming small amounts of well-diluted ACV appears to be harmless. To try ACV for carb bloat and digestion, mix a teaspoon of vinegar with eight to sixteen ounces of water and drink 30 minutes before a high carb meal. Our favorite is Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar ($13.79 for two bottles, Amazon).