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What is better for your gut: apple cider vinegar or lemon water?

Lemon water and apple cider vinegar are both touted for their health benefits, but which hype should we believe? ISTOCK

What is better for your gut: apple cider vinegar or lemon water?

We’ve all heard about the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar and lemon water for digestion and gut health. But how much of the hype can you actually believe, and which is better for you in the long run?

What is better for your gut: apple cider vinegar or lemon water?

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been touted as a cure-all, helping with everything from teeth whitening to weight loss.

However, in truth, there’s not much evidence to support these claims. ACV does contain polyphenol and vitamins, which are powerful antioxidants that defend your body against cellular damage and may improve gut health – however, its main benefit is the ‘mother’.

Found only in unpasteurised ACV, the mother is the strands of proteins, enzymes and good bacteria that give the product a murky appearance. These good bacteria may help to ensure a healthy balance in your digestive system.  

Another possible benefit is its ability to prove indigestion and heartburn.

For some people, heartburn may be a result of too little stomach acid. Some people claim apple cider vinegar might be beneficial because it introduces more acid into the digestive tract – however there is not really any firm evidence to support this.

Read more:
Seven ways to keep healthy bowels
Health benefits of apple cider vinegar

Lemon water

Lemons are rich in vitamin C and fibre – and that gives them a range of benefits for supporting gut health.

As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C protects the cells against free radicals, and has the potential to reduce gut inflammation and boost the immune system. It is also a natural antimicrobial, helping to balance the bacteria in the microbiome.

Meanwhile, lemons are also high in a fibre called pectin, which is a prebiotic that feeds your gut bugs, promoting healthy gut bacteria growth. However, pectin is found in the lemon pulp more than the juice – so when preparing your lemon water each morning, make sure to include as much of the pulp as you can.

Which is better?

Both apple cider vinegar and lemon water can be of some benefit your gut, though neither is likely to perform miracles – so it really comes down to personal preference.

However, if you’re just starting out, lemon water may be the way to go. It has a milder, fresher flavour; making it a good way to ease yourself into a healthy habit. 

Furthermore, please note that regular consumption of these acidic drinks may cause the enamel of your teeth to erode. So whichever you choose, always follow it with a glass of water to neutralise the acids in your mouth, and do not overdo either.

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