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Apple cider vinegar, which is made from fresh apples that have been crushed and then fermented, is nature’s probiotic. It can help with digestion and keep you regular. It’s also been shown to help balance your blood sugar and help you lose weight. But not all apple cider vinegars are created equally. Some are highly processed, while others are in their natural form and loaded with health benefits. To help you differentiate the good from the not-so-good, we compiled a list of the best apple cider vinegars you can buy, based on taste, quality, and ingredients.
You really can’t bring up apple cider vinegar without also mentioning Bragg, one of the first manufacturers to bottle ACV up and sell it. Bragg opened its doors in 1912 and since its inception, has used only the highest-quality, organically grown apples to make raw, unfiltered vinegar.
The finished product is completely unprocessed so that it still contains the "mother”—the cloudy substance that’s full of beneficial probiotics, enzymes, and acetic acid. Most of apple cider vinegar’s benefits are attributed to the "mother," so when choosing one, you definitely want to make sure it’s there, and Bragg’s is always an excellent option.
For the past few years, Thrive Market has been expanding its own product line, offering high-quality, good-for-you items at great-for-your-wallet prices. Thrive's organic apple cider vinegar is one of those items, and as far as taste, quality, and ingredients go, it’s right on par with Bragg’s version. It’s made from only two ingredients—organic apple cider vinegar and water—and has the "mother," nice and intact.
It’s a little less expensive than others, so it’s a great budget option as well and will help you save some money, especially if you purchase ACV regularly.
If you have a hard time drinking ACV straight up, the Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar has just enough manuka honey to take the edge off without adding too much sugar to your day. Each tablespoon has 2 grams of added sugar, bringing the total carbs up to 3 grams per tablespoon (regular ACV doesn’t have any).
Manuka honey doesn’t just sweeten the taste of the apple cider vinegar, though, it has several health benefits that make the increased carb count worth it. Studies show that manuka honey acts as a powerful antibacterial and can help boost your immune system, so you can make your body and your taste buds happy.
Like the other plain apple cider vinegars on this list, the Dynamic Health Organic Apple Cider Vinegar has only two ingredients—raw organic apple cider vinegar and water—but, somehow, it doesn’t taste as tart as some of the others and it has natural, lemony citrus notes that make it a great choice for cooking.
Keep in mind that when you cook the apple cider vinegar, you may lose some of the health benefits of the raw "mother," since heat can kill live enzymes. It’s best to use the vinegar with low-heat cooking or as a finishing touch on vegetables or salad.
Once you try the Vermont Village Blueberry Honey Apple Cider Vinegar, you’ll never try to come up with excuses for not drinking your daily apple cider vinegar again. It’s the perfect balance of tart, tangy, and sweet to make drinking apple cider vinegar something you’ll look forward to.
Unlike other flavored vinegars, it has only three ingredients: raw organic apple cider vinegar (with the "mother"), organic honey, and organic blueberries, so you can reap all of the benefits of ACV without any artificial ingredients.
If you’re not a fan of blueberry, or you just want to switch things up, Vermont Village also has cranberry, turmeric, and ginger sipping vinegars that are equally delicious and nutritious.
Fire Cider isn’t just a name. Made with a combination of organic apple cider vinegar, habanero, horseradish, garlic, and ginger, this apple cider vinegar tonic from Shire City Herbals really brings the heat. The original formula was made by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who was looking for a way to offer the benefits of vinegar to the masses in the 1970s.
It’s not only delicious and belly-warming, each ingredient brings a different health benefit to the table: the apple cider vinegar can help improve digestion, the horseradish tackles sinus congestion, and the garlic acts as a natural antibacterial agent.
The original version has honey in it to cut some of the heat, but it also comes in a honey-free option, if you’re looking for something that’s vegan-friendly or free of sugar.
If you want the benefits of apple cider vinegar without the face-puckering taste, the Zhou Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are for you. They’re made from raw organic apple cider vinegar, so they have all of the benefits of the "mother," combined with a small amount of sweeteners, like organic cane sugar, to mute the acidity and make them a little more taste bud-friendly.
Zhou also adds a natural harvest apple flavor that’s made from real fruit, so, unlike with other gummies on the market, you don’t have to worry about artificial ingredients negating the effects of the vinegar itself.
If you prefer to reap the benefits of apple cider vinegar without any taste or flavor at all, the Paleovalley Apple Cider Vinegar Complex is your best bet. The main ingredient—organic raw apple cider vinegar—is dried, turned into a powder, and coupled with four other organic superfoods, turmeric, ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, and lemon, in an easy-to-take capsule.
The capsules themselves are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, grain-free, and dairy-free, and there are no artificial binders or fillers, so while the brand speaks to the paleo crowd, they’re a great fit for any dietary preferences.
When it comes to apple cider vinegar, you can never go wrong with Bragg Original Apple Cider Vinegar. If you want the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, but can’t bring yourself to drink it, you can try the Zhou Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies or the Paleovalley Apple Cider Vinegar Complex capsules.
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Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.