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While there are different types of vinegar such as normal and cider vinegar, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is still the most common. Apple cider vinegar has been used for more than 10,000 years to treat wounds, warts, infections and other health conditions. You may also add ACV in salads, marinades and sauces.
ACV is made by crushing and fermenting the apples in the presence of yeast – converting it to alcohol. Then the mixture is converted to acetic acid in the presence of acetic acid bacteria. The acetic acid is mostly responsible for the vinegar’s benefit. In situations when the apple cider ACV is unfiltered, it contains a cloudy substance known as “mother”. This particular type of ACV contains enzymes, and probiotics that provide additional benefits.
You can find ACV in form of vinegar, drops, tablets, powder, gummies or topical preparations. Now let’s get to the health and beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Reduce Blood Sugar
It is no secret that diabetes is a public health problem. But can ACV fight diabetes? There are some interesting studies that suggest ACV may help reduce blood glucose. A study from the Journal of Diabetes care gave participants bagel, orange juice and butter to eat. After the meal, participants were told to take 20g of ACV or a placebo. The researchers checked their blood samples after 30 to 60 mins to determine their sugar level.
They found out that ACV lowered blood glucose levels by breaking down starches and sugars. As a result, absorption of sugar is reduced. Vinegar also improves insulin sensitivity meaning that blood sugar is now utilized efficiently to produce more energy rather than accumulate in the blood. Other studies showed similar effects. This is an interesting finding. ACV may not cure diabetes but it will moderately lower blood glucose levels.
2. Improves Weight Loss
The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid which is similar to stomach acid. This may explain why it can help to lose weight.
One of the largest studies for weight loss was done on 175 Japanese (111 males and 64 females) between the ages of 25 and 60. They were divided into 3 groups. One group was given one-half tablespoon twice daily, another with 1 tablespoon in 8 ounces of water and the third with no apple cider vinegar. The people that completed the study did not change their diet.
After 12 weeks, those that were given a higher dose of apple cider vinegar lost an average of 4.2 pounds and those with lower does lose an average of 2.6 pounds. Another study found that drinking 1 tablespoon with lunch and dinner while following a calorie-restricted diet for 12 weeks resulted in an average weight loss of 8.8 pounds. People who did not drink ACV lost less than 5 pounds following the same diet.
Bottom line is that ACV can moderately help with weight loss but with exercise and diet. Bear in mind that those that participated in both studies exercised and were on a calorie-restricted diet.
3. Aids Digestion
Researchers believe that since ACV is anti-microbial, it kills harmful bacteria that can cause digestive problems. Also, vinegar soothes digestive inflammation and raises metabolism.
Beauty Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
4. Kills Dandruff and Treats Your Scalp
Apple cider vinegar is multi versatile and can help kill fungi that contribute to dandruff while improving your scalp. You can make your own anti-dandruff spray by adding equal parts of vinegar and water to a spray bottle. Then spray on your hair for 15 minutes before shampooing. You may also find apple cider vinegar in products to help cleanse and repair your scalp.
5. Relieve Sore Throats
It can be used for temporary relief of sore throat due to the presence of acetic acid. You can try this, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water and gargle three to four times daily. The antiseptic will weaken the bacteria in contact and you will start noticing improvements.
6. Treat Athlete Foot
Apple cider vinegar is all-natural and affordable compared to over-the-counter medicated creams and powders. Dab your ACV in cotton wool, especially between your toes and let it dry. ACV contains anti-fungal properties that help treat athletes’ feet. Make sure you wash your hands afterwards.
7. Relieves Sunburn
If you have seen “You”, there was an episode where Love dapped ACV on Joe’s face for sunburn relief. This is great but she did not dilute the vinegar which can cause more skin damage. To do it properly, you should dilute one tablespoon in two cups of water before dabbing on the skin.
8. Serves As A Great Face Toner
You can use ACV as a toner for skin just by diluting it in water and dabbing it on the skin. Another beauty secret is adding 2-3 drops of ACV to 1 cup of green tea. Apply with a cotton pad on your skin and watch your skin tone. Do not mist as it can sting your eyes. You can also find apple cider vinegar in skincare products.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar Effectively
To make apple cider vinegar effectively, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons in water with one or two meals per day. You may also take it with a straw to prevent the acid from damaging the tooth enamel. Also, you may add to salad dressing, marinades, sauces, soups and drinks. Gummies are more popular nowadays because they are convenient and taste great. It is suggested to take 1 – 2 gummies per day. Also, Apple cider vinegar works best when consumed before a high carb meal.
When choosing apple cider vinegar, look for the one with the mother as it is more beneficial and always buy the one in the bottle, not plastic.
Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar can be corrosive because it is highly acidic. It can damage the tooth enamel and throat. The average PH of apple cider vinegar is between 2.5 to 3 and when consumed in an excessive amount of more than 1 to 2 tablespoons in water, it can cause low potassium and low bone density. Also, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and difficulty in breathing have been reported when consumed excessively.
In addition, ACV negatively interacts with antidiabetic drugs, digoxin, diuretic drugs and insulin. Be cautious when taking ACV and reduce the amount to no more than 2 tablespoons in 4-8 ounces of water or juice.
Apple cider vinegar is antilipidemic, antidiabetic, antioxidant with other therapeutic properties. So only stick to recommended doses when consuming ACV. It is highly acidic and should be taken in moderation. I do hope you enjoyed the health and beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar.