4 Unique Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has a long history on our planet, dating back to at least 5000 BC. Apple cider vinegar has many functions including preserving, flavoring, pickling, and medicinal use. It has a rich history of use in ancient Africa, China and Greece as a health aid. Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial and antioxidant abilities and some research is available to back up some wellness claims regarding the benefits.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
When you combine apples, sugar, and yeast and let it ferment, it creates apple cider vinegar. For several weeks, the yeast will digest the sugar to make alcohol. Once that happens, natural bacteria convert the alcohol into acetic acid, which is where the pungent smell and taste of apple cider vinegar comes from.
You have two options when buying apple cider vinegar: filtered and pasteurized or raw and unfiltered. The cloudy sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the bottle is “the mother”, which is a combination of bacteria and yeast. Some believe that the mother is what provides the health benefits, as it contains trace amounts of healthy bacteria and probiotics.
Apple cider vinegar can be used in the kitchen, around the house and for your health as:
- Sauce or dressing
- face tonic
- Fruit and vegetable washing
- Denture cleaner
- Hair rinse
- Dandruff treatment
- weed killer
4 benefits of apple cider vinegar
Although more research is needed, several small to medium-sized studies show the benefits of apple cider vinegar for certain health conditions and as a potential weight loss aid.
May help control blood sugar and diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 95% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance or the body’s inability to produce insulin.
Even if you don’t have diabetes, it’s beneficial to keep your blood sugar levels within the normal range. Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can improve insulin response and lower blood sugar after meals.
Consuming apple cider vinegar before going to sleep has also been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels after waking up. Be sure to speak with your doctor before consuming apple cider vinegar if you have diabetes, especially if you are on medication.
Kills harmful bacteria
Those looking to preserve food naturally may consider using apple cider vinegar. It is a known pathogen killer, which includes microbes like staph and candida.
Vinegar is a popular preservative in Korea because it can prevent E. coli and norovirus from growing in food. E. coli can cause food poisoning when eaten, but the bactericidal effects of the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can prevent this from happening.
May lead to weight loss
Another benefit of apple cider vinegar that can be helpful is its ability to help. When taken before or during a meal, apple cider vinegar helps with satiety or feelings of fullness.
In one study, participants ate around 200–275 fewer calories when apple cider vinegar was combined with a meal. Over a three-month period, participants taking one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily saw up to 3.7 pounds of weight loss and a reduction in body fat.
May improve cholesterol levels
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels can increase your risk of heart disease.
Incorporating up to an ounce of apple cider vinegar into your day, along with a calorie-restricted diet, can lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
People with type 2 diabetes may also see positive results on their total cholesterol and triglyceride levels when they add half an ounce of apple cider vinegar to their diet.
Potential side effects
While there are benefits to using apple cider vinegar, there are also potential side effects to consider. High acidity can etch tooth enamel, which will not return once it is gone. And it can damage your esophagus or throat if you drink it undiluted.
Here are some other potential side effects of apple cider vinegar:
- May cause hypokalemia (low potassium)
- May interact with diuretics, insulin, and other medications
- May cause nausea or vomiting
Diluting it with water or juice not only makes apple cider vinegar more palatable, but can also reduce the risk of harming your throat and teeth. Combining one or two tablespoons with either can also cure stomach upset.
Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage
The dosage of apple cider vinegar depends on what you are using it for. Two teaspoons to two tablespoons is the general dosage recommendation.
If you want to drink it, dilute it with water or your favorite juice or tea. You can also consume it by incorporating it into your favorite foods, including salad dressings, salad dressings, and even making your own mayonnaise.
You can also add a cup or two to a bath for problem skin. Mixing a tablespoon of ACV with a cup of water, then soaking gauze or cotton in the solution can make a wet wrap.
To use apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse, mix up to two tablespoons with a cup of water, then pour over hair after shampooing. Wait 5 minutes, then rinse. It can be drying, so use it sparingly. Apple cider vinegar can also irritate the scalp, so a lower dilution may be better.
At the end of the line
Although some studies have revealed the benefits of apple cider vinegar, we need more research to definitively prove how beneficial apple cider vinegar is. It can help with weight loss, control type 2 diabetes, blood sugar and cholesterol, and can also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria on food. However, drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar can cause tooth enamel erosion or throat damage. Mixing apple cider vinegar with water or juice before consuming it can prevent tooth and throat damage. As with any natural remedy, talk to your doctor before trying apple cider vinegar and do a patch test before using it on your skin.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.