This post originally appeared on a Sweet Pea Chef
Lately, everybody seems to be saying apple cider vinegar is amazing and it has so many health benefits. Wanna know why and what those benefits are, specifically? Here are all the reasons why everyone is drinking apple cider vinegar plus helpful tips for how to incorporate apple cider vinegar to your diet.
Apple cider vinegar is everywhere. Everybody talks about it and everybody seems to love it. Is this just a new hype or is apple cider vinegar actually amazing? Are there actual health benefits of apple cider vinegar?
First of all, there’s nothing new here. Apple cider vinegar was used as a natural remedy for health problems for a very long period of time. In fact, it’s an ancient remedy. It seems that we’re becoming more aware of those benefits these days, but they were always there. It’s a re-discovery, if you will.
More people are trying to improve their life by making healthier and more natural choices these days and that’s why you’ll see apple cider vinegar pretty much anywhere there’s a conversation about health, food, and natural remedies.
So I’ll get my POV right out here: I think Apple Cider Vinegar (aka ACV) is amazing. Seriously, AH-MAZING.
And most of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar are endorsed by science — so nope, not just a hype.
However, despite being so amazing, apple cider vinegar won’t work miracles. And it won’t replace a balanced diet and exercise. It promotes health and it helps you maintain it, but drinking apple cider vinegar won’t have a major impact unless you’re making other steps towards your health. No remedy can do that. Moderation is always key.
WHAT IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from apples. Duh, right? More specifically, it’s fermented apple juice.
To make apple cider vinegar, apples are crushed and exposed to yeast. By doing this, the natural sugar from the apple is fermented over time and turned into alcohol (like you would do with wine). Sounds like making apple cider, right? Yeah, because the process is similar. The difference is the apple cider vinegar is fermented twice –once to make alcoholic cider and a second time to make it vinegar.
WHY DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
As crazy as it may sound at first, drinking apple cider vinegar will bring you many health benefits which will be discussed in detail in just a sec. Aside from health benefits, apple cider vinegar also reduces cravings by inducing satiety which means apple cider vinegar is great for weight loss or for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only that, but apple cider vinegar is filled with beneficial nutrients.
basically, apple cider vinegar rocks!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
So what about those health benefits of apple cider vinegar? This almost-magical vinegar can do many things for your health. Let’s start with a list and then get into more details with the ones that will help you to live a healthier life, ok?
Apple cider vinegar…
- is a natural laxative and it can improve digestion;
- lowers blood sugar levels;
- improves insulin sensitivity;
- increases satiety and helps people to lose weight;
- reduces belly fat;
- lowers cholesterol;
- lowers blood pressure and improves heart health;
- prevents and decreases the risk of getting cancer and slows down the growth of cancer cells.
HELPFUL NUTRIENTS IN APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Impressive, right? But wait… there’s more. Apple cider vinegar is also a nutritional powerhouse. That would explain some of the health benefits! Let’s take a closer look at apple cider vinegar’s nutritional composition to see what makes it so special.
Apple cider vinegar contains:
- amino acids;
- only 3 calories per tablespoon.
DRINKING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Most people use apple cider vinegar for weight loss, but they don’t know the rest of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. That’s because apple cider vinegar was used as an aid in weight loss for ages.
There are several studies that have concluded using apple cider vinegar for weight loss actually works. They also found it works even without dietary changes. However, when drinking apple cider combined with a healthy lifestyle, the results are truly impressive.
So…how does this happen? Most people overeat because they don’t feel full. Apple cider vinegar increases satiety (your feeling of fullness) and that’s very helpful for staying on track with your healthy diet. Especially at the beginning of your weight loss journey when you need a little bit of help to start and to stay on track.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND DIABETES
When it comes to apple cider vinegar and diabetes, there are a few things you should know. Apple cider vinegar is great in diabetes prevention. So, if you have a family history of diabetes, you should consider drinking apple cider vinegar to decrease the risk.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels when one is fasting (not eating), which is incredibly beneficial for people who have difficulty regulating their own blood sugar levels, like those who have diabetes. However, this won’t replace medication. A healthy diet and exercise are always recommended for people with diabetes. If you have diabetes and take insulin or prescription drugs, you should talk to your doctor before drinking apple cider vinegar because your potassium levels can drop too much.
CHOLESTEROL, BLOOD PRESSURE, AND APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Other common uses for apple cider vinegar are to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. What’s the deal with apple cider vinegar cholesterol and apple cider vinegar blood pressure? Apple cider vinegar helps in controlling renin, a hormone produces by your kidneys that is responsible for constricting and dilating the blood vessels. When the blood vessels are constricting, the blood pressure rises. Apple cider vinegar keeps the vessels relax, and that means blood pressure won’t rise.
As for apple cider vinegar helping with cholesterol – drinking apple cider vinegar before a meal lowers cholesterol. Basically, studies have shown that apple cider vinegar reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol) due to its natural antioxidants.
HOW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR HELPS WITH DIGESTION
As I already mentioned, apple cider vinegar improves digestion. Drinking apple cider vinegar for digestion can…
- get rid of heartburn;
- reduce bloating;
- improve digestion overall.
Let me just say that discomfort and pain are not normal. When we experience pain and discomfort after a meal, we should listen to our bodies and realize that something is not exactly right. Maybe we ate too much or maybe our digestive system doesn’t work properly.
Proper digestion means proper acid levels in the stomach so the nutrients in our food can be absorbed. When there’s not enough acid, food is not properly broken down and the nutrients are not assimilated which can lead to digestive issues like the ones I mentioned. Or more serious ones.
Drinking apple cider vinegar for digestion means increasing acid production. And that leads to proper digestion. Simple, right?
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR KILLS BACTERIA
Did you know apple cider vinegar kills bacteria? In fact, apple cider vinegar was used for disinfecting wounds and treating fungus back in the day.
It was – and still is – a great way to treat and prevent infection because apple cider vinegar can kill bacteria easily. It also inhibits bacteria, like E-coli, from spoiling food so that’s why it’s so often used as a food preservative. It’s also natural and better than artificial preservatives. So awesome!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND CANCER
When it comes to apple cider vinegar and cancer, it has been shown that apple cider vinegar can help in cancer prevention because it promotes health. There are many factors and causes for cancer and we still have a long way to go in terms of prevention and treatment but, what we do know is apple cider vinegar can reduce the risk of cancer and can slow down the cancer cell (tumor) growth.
That being said, apple cider vinegar shouldn’t replace treatment for someone diagnosed with cancer or a healthy lifestyle for those who want to reduce the risk of developing different types of cancer.
USING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR SKIN AND HAIR
Aside from the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, using apple cider vinegar can also improve skin appearance and hair health. Woot! See? Apple cider vinegar is indeed amazing. Told ya!
Why apple cider vinegar is great for skin and hair:
- treats and reduces the prevalence of acne;
- treats and soothes sunburn;
- has anti-aging properties;
- improves hair health;
- combats hair tangles;
- reduces hair frizz;
- seals the hair cuticles and help the hair to retain moisture;
- treats dandruff.
Seriously, is there anything apple cider vinegar cannot do? I don’t think so! However, it’s important to note it is not recommended to apply apple cider vinegar to the skin without diluting it in water first.
POPULAR WAYS TO DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Since there are so many health benefits apple of cider vinegar, you’re probably considering drinking apple cider vinegar right out of the bottle to benefit from its amazing properties. But… let’s first discuss how to drink apple cider vinegar.
First off, look for the unfiltered and organic type cuz’ that’s the best type. The Bragg’s Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar I have pictured in this post is my fave, but there are many other options as well.
How to drink apple cider vinegar
Well, you don’t really have to drink it. Especially if you don’t like the taste. There are other ways to consume apple cider vinegar. You can incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet by…
- using it in various recipes including salad dressing recipes and marinade recipes.
- making an apple cider vinegar tonic by mixing apple cider vinegar with lemon juice – 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar added to a glass of fruit juice. Drinking apple cider vinegar is easier this way. You won’t notice the taste as much but you’ll get all the health benefits of apple cider. Plus the benefits of fruit juice. Make your own fruit juice at home for a fresh and yummy tonic. You can spice it up with a little ground cinnamon or cayenne pepper or sweeten it with a little raw honey. Good stuff.
If you don’t mind the taste of apple cider vinegar, you can add it to a glass of water and drink it. It’s as simple as that.
HOW MUCH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR SHOULD I DRINK DAILY?
This is important. Because you don’t want to overdo it. That’s never a good idea. So how much apple cider vinegar daily? And how much is too much?
Common dosage per day is 15-30 ml. Basically, 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar – mixed with water or made into a tonic or added to a salad dressing.
My advice is to start with a tablespoon and then increase to 2 tablespoons if you don’t notice any side effects. It can be quite strong at first, so you’ll want to get used to it.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OF DRINKING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider is rather harmless, but too much of anything can cause problems. Also, there are certain instances when apple cider vinegar is not at all recommended. For example, if you have stomach ulcer or kidney problems.
As a reminder, drinking apple cider vinegar without diluting it is not at all recommended because apple cider vinegar is acidic and it can cause:
- tooth decay and weaken tooth enamel;
- low potassium levels – when drinking more apple cider vinegar than recommended or when you already have low potassium levels;
- indigestion – too much apple cider vinegar can cause indigestion;
- digestive problems – this may sound counterintuitive since apple cider vinegar can improve digestion but for someone who has ulcers or acid reflux, apple cider vinegar will only worsen the symptoms.
- skin burns – another counterintuitive one since apple cider vinegar can soothe sunburn but if you apply it to the skin undiluted it can burn your skin. For treating acne, make sure you add only a little bit of apple cider vinegar in water before applying it to the skin. For sunburn – use 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into your bath water.
A little really goes a long way.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy apple cider vinegar? Let me know in the comments below!