Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years for a number of things, but it has recently made a big come back in the health industry. Humans have been well aware of the many benefits of apple cider vinegar and it's applications long before we knew exactly why.
It's been shown to help with weight loss, regulating blood sugar, gut health, and many topical applications for the skin.
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider. This fermentation process creates beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
During fermentation, the yeast and bacteria eat up the sugar so you are left with a substance that is far lower in sugars and calories than regular apple cider or apple juice.
The key ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, but also contains lactic, malic, and citric acids as well as many other beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and enzymes.
10 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Regulates Blood Sugar
One of the most common causes to weight gain and many chronic diseases is spikes blood sugar which is accompanied by high insulin levels. Insulin is our bodies #1 fat storage hormone and elevated levels are linked to weight gain, metabolic disfunction, and many chronic illnesses.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels, even after eating a high glycemic starchy food. One study had test subjects consume white bread (a food that causes a higher rise in blood sugar than pure table sugar!) and it was shown to reduce blood sugar levels by an average of 31%!! (1)
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by 34% in diabetic test subjects! (2) That is a profound finding since insulin resistance is the root cause of so many issues in our bodies.
Reducing your intake of starches and sugars is critical to improve your health and lose weight. While apple cider vinegar can certainly help, it's not a free pass to eat all the bread, pasta, and desserts!
2. Helps With Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help you lose weight! One of the reasons is likely due to it's ability to help normalize blood sugar.
One study found that taking just 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day resulted in 4 pounds of weight loss over a 12 week period even when keeping all other lifestyle factors the same! (3)
Another reason it helps with weight loss is because it can help reduce hunger and cravings! One study found that drinking apple cider vinegar helped to decrease total caloric intake by up to 275 calories! (4)
This doesn't mean that you can start having some apple cider vinegar and lose a bunch of weight if you continue to eat unhealthy foods and be sedentary! It can certainly help but it's typically not going to be enough on it's own.
3. Improves Skin Health
We all want to have good looking skin, but most people take the wrong approach. Topical products can certainly help but it's not addressing the root cause of your skin issues.
The most common sin condition in the United States is acne, affecting nearly 50 million Americans annually! (5)
The acetic acid and other compounds in apple cider vinegar have been shown to inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, which is a type of bacteria responsible for acne. (6)
The compounds in apple cider vinegar may also help with reducing scaring and promoting overall skin health.
4. Help Relieve Acid Reflux
Acid reflux, also know as GERD, is a condition where acid from the stomach flows up into the esophagus and can cause burning, nausea, burping, or heart burn.
It's typically due to not having enough stomach acid, so by consuming some apple cider vinegar, the acids in the vinegar can help to relieve this issue.
The probiotics and enzymes can also play a beneficial role in improving digestion and gut health.
5. Anti-Fungal Properties
Apple cider vinegar can be really helpful in fighting fungal infections, both topically and internally. Things like athletes foot, toe nail fungus, jock itch, and more can be treated with apple cider vinegar.
For best results, try combining apple cider vinegar with other natural anti-fungal products like tea tree oil.
6. Reduces Itching and Irritation from Bug Bites
Try putting some apple cider vinegar on a mosquito or flee bite to reduce the skin irritation and symptoms of itchiness.
Apple cider can also be a helpful anti-flee treatment for dogs.
8. Balance your Bodies pH
Even though apple cider vinegar is acidic, when it's digested it has an alkalizing effect on the body!
Having a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily is an excellent way to keep your body pH balanced and promote good health.
9. Relieve Minor Sunburns
If you spent a little too much time getting some sun exposure, then apple cider vinegar can help to soothe minor burns.
Simple add it with water into a spray bottle and spray the areas of your skin that were burned. You can also add it to a warm bath and soak in it to help relieve the burn.
10. Improve Your Gut Health!
Your gut health is critical for your overall health and wellbeing!
Raw apple cider vinegar contains beneficial probiotics that help to populate your microbiome, which has been shown to effect nearly every aspect of your health.
It can lead to an increase in your immune system and improve your digestion!
Best Type of Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people don't see the benefits of apple cider vinegar since they are consuming the wrong type.
Various apple cider vinegar products on the market have been filtered making them appear clear and removing valuable aspects to the vinegar.
They have also been pasteurized, which is a process where they heat the vinegar and kill off all the beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
Lastly, they are using conventional apple cider which can contain a number of harmful pesticide chemical residues that get into the product and destroy your health.
It's important to go for RAW, organic, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains the "mother". You will know the mother is still intact if you see a murky, web-like substance floating around in your bottle.
This will ensure it contains all the good probiotics and live enzymes we want to reap the health benefits.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has a strong taste and isn't exactly the most palatable food. While diluting it in water can be a great strategy for some folks, I prefer to use it in homemade salad dressings!
This way I can enjoy the flavor it provides while also getting my daily intake of leafy greens and other vegetables at the same time!
The recipe for my homemade salad dressing consists of:
- 1/4 cup - High-quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup - Raw, organic, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 TBSP - Dried oregano
- 1/8 cup - Organic Mustard
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Simply combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake it up really good! They pour over your favorite vegetables and enjoy a refreshing salad with all the health promoting benefits of the ingredients in the dressing.
How Much Apple Cider Vinegar is Safe?
You can always overdo a good thing so don't go crazy with your apple cider vinegar.
Having too much can cause issues so start with a low dose of about 1 tablespoon per day and work your way up slowly.
It's best to dilute your apple cider vinegar in water or in a salad dressing rather than using it straight.
Apple cider vinegar should NOT be viewed as a cure all quick fix to improve your health. It can provide many benefits but the real key to improving your health is your overall nutrition and lifestyle practices.
No substance can negate the effects of a poor diet, high-stress levels, lack of sleep, or sedentary tendencies so be sure to address those lifestyle factors in addition to including apple cider vinegar in your diet.
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