As I have repeatedly written in my blog, I have always been healthy eater eating a mostly vegetarian diet, plenty of fruits everyday, minimal alcohol, and plenty of sleep, but right around I hit 50, I started to notice a lot of bloating. While I like to think that I live a relatively low-stress life, I have occasionally wondered if the challenges that I have faced in my business around the same time have produced latent stress that I have failed to recognize. It may not be debilitating but it maybe hurting me.
As I have documented on this blog, I have tried many things to get rid of bloating: even healthier eating, more aggressive exercise, less running, and finally, going dairy free. I must admit that I have experienced relief from all of them, but I still do not have that tiny, soft belly that I used to have in the past.
As you all know, I am obsessed with research, and became aware of apple cider vinegar, a product that has a cult following among the health nuts. There are people who swear by it claiming that it has changed their lives. When I first tried it, I did not like the taste and did not include it in my daily routine. However, as months passed by and I kept reading blogs and forums, I noticed that almost everyone talked about the benefits of drinking ACV, as they call it. Finally, one fine day, after reading even more about repopulating my gut bacteria (remember that after going dairy free, I no longer consume standard yogurt, and while I do consume Greek yogurt in very small amounts occasionally, I am getting practically no probiotics), I decided to give ACV a shot.
The gold standard for ACV is Bragg organic, raw apple cider vinegar, and I pour a tablespoonful in a glass of water and drink it just before lunch and dinner. Almost immediately, I rinse my mouth with water several times (it is a highly acidic product and can damage your enamel). It has been life changing for me and I agree with all those folks who sing its praises. It has further reduced my bloating and I have absolutely no problem in the toilet each morning. I would say that it is only about 20% of the time that I feel some bloating (mostly after exercise). I have also added organic raw sauerkraut to give myself additional probiotics.
The question that I still have for myself is that how could such a healthy eater like me have digestive problems and how could my gut bacteria deteriorate so much. Or is it that as we get older the digestive enzymes are not secreted so well! It seems that ACV helps with balancing of the acidity in the stomach and aids with digestion and lowers heartburn. I also think that this is a natural product and is more or less harmless.