Best Apple Cider Vinegar Brands
Which Apple Cider Vinegar Brand Should I Buy?
Apple cider vinegar is being used more and more these days for health purposes. Whether taken with water as a health drink, or incorporated into cooking for its health benefits, its popularity as a tonic is well established. Apple cider vinegar contains natural acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. But because it is a product of natural fermentation, it also contains probiotic qualities. Apple cider vinegar’s probiotic effects on the body are perhaps its most beneficial and far reaching benefit to one’s overall health and vitality.
However the naturally occurring probiotic components are not present in all brands of apple cider vinegar. If you want to take apple cider vinegar (or ACV) for its health benefits, then it is important that you purchase a brand which still retains all of its goodness. It also should not contain any harmful substances.
What to Look For in a Brand
Below I have made a list of some of the most popular brands of apple cider vinegar when it comes to consumption for health purposes. Depending on where you live however, you might not be able to purchase these specific ones at an affordable price, or even find them at all. If this is the case, do not distress, because there are many other brands of natural apple cider vinegar which contain all of its health benefits and are without chemical additives.
Here is a list of things to look for when deciding what brand to buy.
If you want to get the probiotic effects of apple cider vinegar, make sure that the brand you select is unpasteurized. This means that it has not been heat treated, and therefore the probiotic microbes left over from the fermentation process are still alive, and so are the enzymes.
Raw is Always Better
Look for a brand which sells raw apple cider vinegar. It should be clearly demarcated on the label. If apple cider vinegar is in its raw form, this means that is has not gone through any chemical or filtration processes to make it clear. While these processes result in a more visually appealing product, they rob the ACV of many of the nutrients and microbes for which you are buying it.
Check for a Mother of Vinegar
If you are unfamiliar with the term, Mother of Vinegar (or MOV) is the culture which is responsible for the fermentation of the vinegar. If raw apple cider vinegar is left to stand for a bit, it will start to develop a thin layer of this culture at the top of the bottle or container. It is usually slightly translucent and/or creamy in color. This is an excellent indication that the probiotic microbes are going strong. Sometimes the brown string-like yeast clumps which can float or collect at the bottom of a bottle of raw vinegar, are also termed mother’s of vinegar. However, in the fermentation circles, mother of vinegar probably refers to the cellulose skin which forms on top.
Cloudy is Better Than Clear
While the look of a bottle of clear, crystalline vinegar is more appealing than that of bottle of cloudy vinegar, possibly with unknown bits and pieces floating in it (!), go for the brand of vinegar which is cloudy. Cloudy apple cider vinegar indicates that it is the least processed. Any suspicious bits floating around or collecting at the bottom are merely yeast particles. They make up part of the microbe population of the vinegar culture, and also an indication that the probiotic microbes are in full force. In other words, you want them!
If you are taking something as a health supplement then it makes sense to ensure that it does not contain anything harmful. Organic apple cider vinegar means that it has been made from organically grown apples which have not been exposed to pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Not only is this a whole lot better for your body, it also means that you are supporting farming methods which are focused on sustainably preserving soil, microbial life, and the environment in general. Beware though, because the term organic has become a buzz word and a marketing strategy, make double sure that the bottle of so called ‘organic’ apple cider vinegar is labeled ‘certified organic’.
Opt for Glass over Plastic Containers
To be hundred percent sure that the apple cider vinegar you are purchasing is free from harmful substances, if possible, go for a brand which comes in glass bottles. The reason being that plastic has been shown to be able to leach out some of its chemicals, especially new plastic. You might be asking yourself ‘well most of what I buy comes in plastic, so what difference does it really make?!’ There is a difference however. Vinegar contains acetic acid (one of the natural acids which make it so healthy) and this acid will speed up any leaching processes. While other foodstuffs which come in plastic packaging or containers are bound to contain some contaminants from contact with the plastic, it is even more so in the case of vinegar.
In a Nutshell – you are gonna be looking for raw, unpasteurized, organic vinegar, preferably in glass bottles.
The Most Popular Brands
Here is a list of the most popular brands of raw, organic natural ACV. If you cannot find them in a supermarket or health store close to you, it is possible to purchase them off of Amazon.
Probably the most commonly purchased raw apple cider vinegar brand, Braggs ACV is raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, and certified organic. Their claim is that all of their apples come from the United States, and that the vinegar is fermented in traditional wooden barrels which encourage a more natural fermentation. This is the brand that I personally use and it’s my first recommendation.
While coming in slightly cheaper than Braggs, Vitacost ACV is also raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, certified organic, and free from any additives or flavorings. In addition, their apple cider vinegar is certified kosher and suitable for vegans.
In the vinegar making business since the 1920’s, Fleischman’s ACV is also organic, unpasteurized, raw and unfiltered. All bottles contain a Mother of Vinegar as proof of its quality claims, and their products are also non-GMO, gluten free and contain no preservatives and no colorants.
In addition to providing a range of other health related products, Dynamic Health also has an apple cider vinegar which is made from certified organic apples, is raw and unprocessed, and claims to contain a vinegar ‘Mother’ in every bottle as proof of its raw state.
Invest in Your Vitality
While brands which sell organic, raw, and unpasteurized pure forms of apple cider vinegar will ask more for their product, if you are incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet on health based grounds, then it is important that you invest in the extra cost. Money used to promote health and vitality is money well spent, and in some ways acts as a sort of ‘health care investment’!