Ask Jean: Apple Cider Vinegar?

Ask Jean

We want to answer your most pressing questions—or, you know, just the things that you’re curious about. Please keep them coming to: feedback@goop.com. Below, a q for our beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Dear Jean, Apple cider vinegar is supposed to be so good for you. But I cannot stand the taste/feeling. Does anything else have similar benefits? —Joanna T.

Dear Joanna, When I was first dating my boyfriend, he was into smoothies. I am not much of a smoothie person, but he’d throw in some kale and lemon and almond butter and who knows what else—it was delicious and I had a huge crush on him: all about a smoothie.

The crush intensified; the drinks offered evolved: He started mixing apple cider vinegar with greens powder, ginger, pepper, turmeric, and a splash of orange juice, presenting it with the quiet pride of a master chef presenting a piece de resistance. “It’s really good for you,” he said. “And it tastes amazing.”

Amazing is one word to describe apple cider vinegar, which indeed appears to be a superfood of epic proportions, containing acetic acid (a promoter of “good” and killer of “bad” bacteria in the gut), probiotics, polyphenols, potassium, and magnesium, along with all manner of beneficial enzymes. The health claims around it (and by “it” I’m referring to raw organic apple cider vinegar with “mother”—the often cloudy-looking beneficial compounds included), range from support for blood sugar balance, weight loss, and lowered blood pressure, to antifungal and antibacterial benefits, balanced vaginal pH, increased energy, clearer skin, and appetite suppression—to name a few.

I am easily influenced by potential benefits (not to mention handsome admirers); tell me something is healthy, and I will definitely find it more delicious. So I was surprised at how not-delighted I was by the taste of apple cider vinegar.

I, of course, choked the stuff down, smiling as if triumphant and delighted; love conquers all. Inside, though, I winced, and looked for ways, every morning, to distract him into forgetting about his delicious, incredibly healthy drink.

Apple cider vinegar remains an undeniably fantastic supplement to work into your diet (it’s good mixed with liquid rather than taken as shots, as the concentrated acidity can be problematic for some people’s systems). I remain hopelessly in love—and hopelessly repelled by the harshness of my beloved’s beloved health tonic.

So you can imagine my glee at discovering this chic milk-bottle-esque container of apple cider vinegar pills at goop HQ in LA. Organic: check. Raw: check. Mother: check. I opened it immediately and took two pills. Unlike actual apple cider vinegar, there are no immediate effects (love it or hate it, one swig will jolt you awake), but after two days, my skin did look glowier in the mirror, and I did feel…noticeably healthier and clearer, in a digestive and overall balance sort of way (I was on the wrong time, staying in an odd hotel, up till all hours, so the balance was particularly unexpected). For the potential staving-off of practically every unappealing disease I can think of, time will tell—but I am, unsurprisingly, hopeful.

I take two in the morning, and sometimes two at night; depending on your faith in apple cider vinegar, you could do less or more. They are easy to swallow (there are reports of lower quality tablets bothering people’s throats, again because of the acidity—none of that with Tonik), and they don’t compete with/cancel out/intensify any other supplements I’m taking. Brilliant and easy to love—like my boyfriend.

Not surprisingly, as with many natural agents, rigorous studies of apple cider vinegar are underfunded. Here are some existing related studies on weight, blood pressure, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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