I get many questions about how to use apple cider vinegar (ACV) to help your PCOS symptoms, so I thought I’d put together a few tips to help you get the most out of this great natural option for controlling your blood sugar and insulin levels:
First of all, why is apple cider vinegar helpful? When taken before meals it helps to reduce the rise in blood sugar that normally occurs after a meal, thereby reducing the amount of insulin needed. Less insulin means less testosterone, and therefore less acne, hair loss, excess hair, and cycle problems.
- Use unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar preferably. You can buy this from some supermarkets, health stores, or online. ‘Bragg’ and ‘Melrose’ are good brands.
- Always dilute the ACV. Start off with a small dose and gradually build up over a few days. It will take a while to get used to the taste.
- Take before or during meals. Taking on am empty stomach may cause digestive upsets in some people.
- Begin with a ¼ to ½ teaspoon with a little water to get an idea of the taste, and to check its effect on you.
-Aim to increase up to 2 to 4 teaspoons of ACV gradually, in a couple of tablespoons of water. The ratio of ACV to water needs to be at least 1:2, that is; 1 part ACV to 2 parts water. Eg: whatever amount of ACV you use, use double the amount of water or more, eg: 2 tspns ACV to 4 tspns water minimum.
-Severe cases of insulin resistance and obesity may respond well to larger doses, up to 2 tablespoons of ACV in a cup of water, but this amount can be hard to take. For these people, it is best to follow a more paleolithic diet to reduce insulin production.
- ACV capsules are available, but you would need to take large amounts to reach the general dose of 2 teaspoons. They may be useful to start with, to maintain, or to use with the liquid to increase to a higher dose without the taste.
- You will need less ACV if your meal is low in carbohydrates, or has a low glycemic load (GL).
-Remember: ACV should not be used as a treatment on its own. Use it in conjunction with a healthy low GL diet, exercise, and the other recommendations in the ‘Power over PCOS 7 step solution’.
- ACV can be used in salad dressings, sauces, marinades, and casseroles.
- ACV salad dressing recipe:
2 tspns extra virgin olive oil
½-1 tspn ACV
¼ tspn chilli paste, or chilli flakes.
- Don’t take if you have an ulcer, or gastritis.
- If you’re on medication, such as metformin, let your doctor know you would like to try ACV in combination with a low GI/GL diet, and have them monitor your blood sugar and insulin so your medication dosage can be adjusted, or even discontinued. *Only discontinue on your doctor’s advice.
- It is best not to sweeten ACV with honey. If you want to sweeten it, add a couple of drops of liquid stevia.
- Rinse your mouth out with water after taking your ACV. This will wash away any residual acids on your teeth and prevent them from eroding your tooth enamel. You can also drink it through a straw to minimise exposure to your teeth.
- ACV is okay if you’re TTC or pregnant, but always discuss with your health practitioner, and don’t take large amounts.
- Give yourself a break every now and again from taking the ACV, especially if you’ve been on it for a while, or you’ve seen great results. You may not need to continue taking it long term if you’ve reached a point where your health is much improved, and your diet and lifestyle can maintain it.
© Copyright. Julie Merrick. Power Over PCOS.
Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg’s organic raw apple cider vinegar is made from organically certified apples. It is unfiltered, unpasteurized, kosher-certified and contains the ‘mother’ of vinegar. It has been certified in accordance with USDA organic standards.
*Using ACV? Share your results!