When it comes to the natural health community, folks not only keep their fingers on the pulse of the latest health developments, they’re also fantastic about sharing information. When a truly natural health aid comes along, you can bet there will be a good buzz about it. Such is the case with the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV).
Now, it should come as no surprise that apple cider vinegar is among the most popular kinds of vinegar in the nutritional and natural health worlds.
In fact, “vinegar” is derived from the French word for “sour wine.”
Many of the benefits discussed when it comes to apple cider vinegar are strongly supported by scientific research. Some of the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar include:
- Weight loss
- Reduced cholesterol
- Lower/improved blood sugar levels1
Another huge benefit of apple cider vinegar is that it only contains three calories per tablespoon. That’s an incredibly low-calorie count for something you’ll hopefully make a staple of your diet for a long time to come.
But Apple Cider Vinegar is Not So New
While ACV is experiencing a bit of a spotlight moment, it’s been around as an ancient folk remedy for centuries. ACV can also be used for helpful household chores, and it can work some real wonders in the kitchen.
For instance, a little solution of half apple cider vinegar and half water can work as an all-purpose cleaner for most kitchen surfaces. ACV can clean and deodorize the inside of appliances like your microwave or refrigerator.
You can also use straight ACV on wood cutting boards to sanitize them and make sure they stay squeaky clean.
How is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
Well, you’d think the process would be super high-tech and difficult, but it’s easier than you think. For starters, you want to expose some crushed apples to yeast. This basically causes the fermentation of the sugar in the apple into alcohol. Next, add bacteria to the alcohol to further ferment it, creating acetic acid. This is the most active compound in apple cider vinegar.
If you want to go a step further and make sure your vinegar is organic and unfiltered, make sure your ACV solution contains strands of special proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria. These components will give your vinegar that hazy appearance.
What’s the Nutrient Profile of ACV?
Well, believe it or not, despite the fact that there are good health benefits of apple cider vinegar, ACV isn’t necessarily full of tons of vitamins or minerals. It does contain a significant portion of potassium, useful amino acids, and powerful antioxidants.
So, Why is Apple Cider Vinegar so Good for You?
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar can make a real difference in your day-to-day life. For one thing, ACV can help support your body’s defense against certain pathogens, including bacteria.2 As previously mentioned, ACV has been used traditionally to disinfect and clean, but it’s also been used in order to attempt to ease the following issues:
- Nail fungus
- Ear infections
- Wound infection
- Bacterial growth (like E. coli)3
Also, if you’d like to find a way to naturally preserve food, you might want to try using ACV.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help Monitor Healthy Blood Sugar Levels?
Of course, when it comes to exploring apple cider vinegar benefits, there’s been significant research when it comes to patients with blood sugar issues. Whether because of insulin resistance, or an inability to properly produce insulin, research suggests ACV could potentially help.
Also, high blood sugar is believed to be connected to the visual and physical signs of aging and therefore higher perceived age.4 Now, most folks would do well to keep their blood sugar levels in check by limiting refined carbohydrates and sugars. But apple cider vinegar might also be able to help.
You see, recently, vinegar has been shown to help support insulin sensitivity (especially during a meal heavy in carbohydrates). One study suggests ACV can help lower blood sugar levels and assist insulin responses.5 And another study explored how just 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime might actually help to reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning… by up to 4 percent.6
So, it’s clear giving apple cider vinegar a shot at helping to manage your blood sugar levels could be worth it. Just check with your doctor before you up your intake of any kind of vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
Now, one of the most exciting possibilities when it comes to ACV benefits is the substance’s effect on weight loss. You see, acetic acid (or AcOH) was recently discovered to help suppress body fat accumulation.
A double-blind trial explored obesity in Japan. The subjects’ body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference were studied over a 12-week treatment period. It turned out that body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels were all significantly lowered by the intake of vinegar. So, the prevention of metabolic syndrome and a reduction in obesity might have something to do with the daily intake of vinegar.7
Is it True Apple Cider Vinegar Might Lower Cholesterol and Help Your Heart?
Now, among the potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar is the chance it can help with one of the world’s leading causes of death – heart health issues.
When it comes to heart health, there are quite a few risk factors that might be improved by consuming more apple cider. Research here is growing. In fact, Harvard University recently conducted an observational study that showed female participants who ate vinegar-based dressings on their greens had a reduced risk of heart health concerns.8
So, given the potential benefits, you must be ready to give ACV a go. But…
Just How Do You Use Apple Cider Vinegar?
The easiest way to experience the health benefits of apple cider vinegar is simply to start using it when you prepare your meals or cook. Try incorporating ACV into your stove-top cooking, sauces, and dressings.
Another way to get your ACV is to simply drop up to 2 tablespoons a day into a large glass of water and drink it. It’s tangy, and it can be quite refreshing on a hot day. And again, you want to try to find unfiltered apple cider vinegar (make it organic when you can).
A Word of Caution
Now, you want to be careful to not overdo it with the ACV. Do not use it to whiten or clean your teeth. You see, A pH of 7 is neutral, but anything less than that is considered acidic. Most apple cider vinegar has a pH level within the 2 to 3 range — that’s about the same level as your stomach acid. Anything that acidic can wear out your tooth enamel (that’s the coating that protects your teeth), and it could also cause cavities, so again… be aware of overdoing it or keeping the vinegar in your mouth for too long. If you’re drinking ACV with water each day, be sure to swish with plain water afterward.9
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, In Conclusion
There’s definitely reason to believe that regular use of apple cider vinegar could help boost your energy and have quite a few beneficial effects on your health. Though research is thin, there’s more and more work being done each day to support this view.
And if you want to get started and see if apple cider vinegar is right for you, talk to your healthcare professional and add it to your diet – just don’t take excessive amounts. Enjoy the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and your body will thank you.