Health benefits of apple cider vinegar
Wondering why everybody is all of a sudden talking about apple cider vinegar? It’s because this vinegar is arguably one of the superfoods that can provide you with many health benefits. I’m going to discuss them all in this article.
The hype surrounding apple cider vinegar is not just a hype. Researchers who studied apple cider vinegar confirmed its medicinal and therapeutic properties.
If I made you curious, keep reading to find out what are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and how it can improve your health.
Why Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For You?
Apple cider vinegar or ACV has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are well-known and confirmed by science. Since more and more people want to improve their health and their life, the popularity of apple cider vinegar became increased during the past few years.
The medicinal properties of this natural remedy promote health, especially when you combine drinking apple cider vinegar with a proper diet and exercise. Moreover, apple cider vinegar is a nutritional powerhouse and is only 3 calories per tablespoon. The nutrients contained by apple cider vinegar are responsible for the positive changes in your well-being.
Let’s take a closer look at cider apple vinegar nutrition to see why it is so good for our health. Apple cider vinegar contains:
- amino acids;
- acetic acid;
- fibers (pectin that acts as a prebiotic).
Most of the nutrients come from apples. You know what they say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” so, as you can imagine, the health benefits of apple are similar to the ones of apple cider vinegar. It’s fair to assume that apple cider vinegar is equally as healthy and nutritious as apples or apple juice and it provides these health benefits in a concentrated amount. However, what makes apple cider vinegar so amazing and nutritious compared to other types of vinegar is something that is usually referred to as “the mother”. This is the substance that floats at the bottom of the bottle of apple cider vinegar. This substance is a combination of acetic acid, cellulose (fiber), enzymes, and healthy bacteria.
Although all types of apple cider vinegar can provide health benefits, the unfiltered variety that contains “the mother” is far more beneficial because that’s where all the good nutrients are concentrated. This substance is not present in pasteurized varieties so it is best to purchase unpasteurized and organic apple cider vinegar from a trusted source to reap all the benefits.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For
Now that you understood what makes apple cider vinegar so special, it is time to talk about the actual benefits.
ACV can do many good things for your health. It can:
- improve digestion;
- lower blood sugar levels;
- improve insulin sensitivity;
- help people to lose weight;
- lower cholesterol;
- lower blood pressure
- improve heart health;
- decrease the risk of developing cancer;
- slow down the growth of cancer cells.
In the next following paragraphs, we will be discussing the benefits of apple cider vinegar in more detail so you can get a better picture.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Diabetes
Since apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels it is actually recommended for people who are diagnosed with diabetes. Based on many studies conducted by researchers, drinking apple cider vinegar after a meal can reduce the negative effects of a high-carb meal. For example, this study titled Diabetes Control: Is Vinegar a Promising Candidate to Help Achieve Targets?, found that taking vinegar after eating potatoes or food that contains mono and polysaccharides, results in the reduction of glycemia. In some cases even by 20%.
It is important to understand that apple cider vinegar should be treated as a supplement, which means it cannot and should not replace a healthy diet and regular exercise. Most importantly, if you have diabetes and you take prescribed drugs or insulin, you must consult with your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar because your potassium levels should be monitored.
If you have a history of diabetes in your family, cider vinegar works great for prevention and can decrease the risk of developing diabetes.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Lower Blood Pressure
Apple vinegar keeps your blood pressure under control by maintaining your blood vessels relaxed. Renin, a hormone produced by kidneys, makes the blood vessels constrict and dilate. The blood pressure rises when the vessels are constricting. Apple cider vinegar helps to control the production and functionality of renin. That’s why it can lower blood pressure or keep it under normal levels.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Lower Cholesterol
The natural antioxidants in apple cider vinegar increase the levels of HDL, also known as good cholesterol, and decrease the levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol. To maximize the effects of cider vinegar, you should drink it before a meal, particularly when you know that the foods you will consume contain unhealthy fats. This study found that consuming apple vinegar can lead to a significant reduction of LDL levels.
Apple Cider Vinegar Is Great For The Digestive System
Apple cider vinegar can improve digestion and it is particularly good if you experience bloating or heartburn. When our digestive system doesn’t work properly, we experience discomfort and pain. This can happen for many different reasons. It can happen because we ate too much or because the foods we ate cannot be properly digested.
Proper digestion requires the acid levels in the stomach to be in normal parameters so the food can be digested and nutrients absorbed into the bloodstream. When there is not enough acid in the stomach, food cannot be broken down properly, which oftentimes leads to heartburn, bloating, and stomachache. Apple cider vinegar can increase acid production, which means the digestive system can function as it’s supposed to.
Apple Cider Vinegar Kills Bacteria
Not many people know that back in the day, apple vinegar was used to disinfect wounds and to treat fungus. That’s because it kills bacteria. These days we have better ways to prevent and treat infection, however, while apple cider vinegar is no longer used as a disinfectant, its anti-bacterial properties can still be put to great use and studies confirm it. Apple cider vinegar is often used as a food preservative because by inhibiting and killing bacteria it extends the shelf life of many types of foods. Adding apple cider vinegar in your salad dressing does more than adding taste; it can actually kill E-coli and decrease Salmonella to undetectable levels.
Vinegar is also effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans thanks to its anti-microbial properties. The results of this study demonstrate that apple cider vinegar has multiple anti-microbial properties with clinical therapeutic implications.
Apple Cider Vinegar Decreases Cancer Risk
The nutrients and antioxidants in apple cider vinegar can decrease the risk of developing cancer and even reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Cancer is a serious health concern for many people and, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go in terms of treatment and prevention.
Apple cider vinegar has some anti-cancer properties and it is safe to incorporate it into our diets to improve our health.
However, apple cider vinegar is not a cure for cancer and it shouldn’t replace a healthy lifestyle and other preventative measures.
While there are university studies that confirm the anti-cancer properties of apple cider vinegar, researches say that, under no circumstances, apple cider vinegar should not replace cancer treatment.
It can, however, be used as a complementary therapy.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Skin & Hair Health
The benefits of apple cider vinegar go beyond the nutritional ones. In fact, apple cider vinegar can improve the health and appearance of skin and hair. Moreover, it can help treat acne and it has anti-aging properties that help maintain skin elasticity.
When it comes to hair benefits, apple cider vinegar is great for detangling hair but also for reducing frizz, for treating dandruff, and for improving overall hair health.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Cure Hiccups
Hiccups are harmless and they happen to everybody now and then. However, those who develop persistent hiccups know how annoying they can be. Not to mention that intense hiccups can cause pain and discomfort. Moreover, they can be terribly stressful if they occur right before an important meeting or presentation. Thankfully, apple cider vinegar can help decrease the intensity and even stop hiccups altogether.
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In the past few years, there were several university studies to confirm that using apple cider vinegar for weight loss actually works. For example, this study states that vinegar intake can reduce body weight, body fat, and serum triglyceride levels. According to the research results, apple cider vinegar helps people lose weight without any dietary or lifestyle changes. However, the results are truly impressive when ACV is combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
If you are at the beginning of your weight loss journey, apple cider vinegar can kick start your diet and it can also help you stay on track with the healthy dietary changes.
How Much Apple Cider Vinegar To Drink A Day
While drinking apple cider vinegar is safe and can offer you many health benefits, it is important to not overdo it. Common dosage is 15-30 ml or 1-2 tablespoons per day. It is best to start with one tablespoon to make sure it’s ok for you. If you don’t experience any side effects, you can increase the dosage to 2 tablespoons per day.
Most importantly, when buying apple cider vinegar, opt for the organic and unfiltered type since that is the one that will bring you the most advantages.
When Should You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
There is no definitive answer to this question; it depends on your needs and preferences. For example, if you want to reduce your blood sugar level you should drink apple cider vinegar after a meal. If you’re worried about your cholesterol level, drinking ACV before a meal is a better option. The same thing goes for digestive problems because you’re giving the acetic acid enough time to do its job. On the other hand, if you want to use apple cider vinegar as a weight loss aid, it is best to drink it in the morning before eating your first meal of the day.
How to drink apple cider vinegar:
Since apple cider vinegar has a very strong taste due to the acetic acid, you can mix it with water, add it to a salad dressing or turn it into a tonic before drinking it. Basically, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to drink it. You can incorporate it into your diet in many different ways. For example, you can add apple cider vinegar in marinades or salad dressings.
Another popular way to drink apple cider vinegar is to turn it into a tonic by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with lemon juice. In this way, you won’t notice the taste as much. You can also spice up your tonic a little bit by adding cayenne pepper or turmeric. If you prefer sweet to spicy, add honey.
If you don’t mind the taste at all, just add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it.
How Long Does Apple Cider Vinegar Last
Researchers found that apple cider vinegar stays safe indefinitely, however, vinegar stays at its best quality for approximately 2 years so it is recommended to not consume it after 2 years since the advantages won’t be the same. To maximize shelf life, store apple cider vinegar in its bottle, at room temperature in a dry and dark place such as your pantry. Once you open it, make sure the bottle is tightly sealed before storing it.
What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?
Like any other product, apple cider vinegar can cause unwanted side effects. Especially if you drink it without diluting it or if you suffer from a medical conditions, such as kidney problems or stomach ulcers that are not compatible with products that contain a high amount of acid. If you have any doubts or concerns, you should seek medical advice before including apple cider vinegar in your daily diet.
The most important thing you need to remember is that, when it comes to apple cider vinegar, a little really goes a long way so don’t drink more than 2 tablespoons per day.
As for the side effect, the most common are:
- Tooth decay and deteriorated tooth enamel – this can happen due to the acidity of apple cider vinegar. This is why it is not recommended to go over the recommended dosage or to drink undiluted apple cider vinegar.
- Low potassium levels – If you know you already have low potassium levels, it is best to stay away from apple cider vinegar since it can lower them even more.
- Indigestion – If you consume too much apple cider vinegar, you might experience indigestion and other digestive problems. Since apple cider vinegar accelerates digestion thanks to its acidity, it can worsen the symptoms if you already struggle with indigestion or stomach problems such as ulcers.
- Skin burns – apple cider vinegar is great for skincare, however, if you apply it on your skin undiluted it can cause skin burns.