Apple cider vinegar has become quite popular lately. For centuries, this product has been known to be beneficial to the human body. Some of the things it can help you with include controlling blood sugar levels, weight loss, and it can heal scars and remove acne.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made of fermented apple cider. This process develops probiotics and enzymes that promote good health. The fermentation process causes this product to have fewer calories when compared to apple cider or apple juice. You only need to take just one or two tablespoons of this vinegar in order to take advantage of its health benefits. This is about 3-5 calories as it has only a small amount of sugar.
But what can you do with apple cider vinegar?
There are so many things that you can do with ACV. You can use it to soothe sunburns and some people even say that helps treat cold and flu. It’s also helpful if you happen to get seasonal allergies and it’s great for acid reflux and gut health.
ACV is just one of those things that you must have in your medicine cabinet because of the various uses that you can put it to and the many benefits that it provides.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
One of the most studied aspects of ACV is its ability to control the blood sugar level.
According to many research studies, it was revealed that ACV is able to reduce blood sugar levels by up to 31% after eating bread. In another research that was done n diabetic rats, it was found that giving the rats the vinegar for a period of 4 weeks brought down their blood sugar levels.
Insulin is the hormone that’s used to transport sugar from the blood to the tissues where it’s needed. Using the vinegar helps to enhance insulin sensitivity. Trying to keep up the level of insulin can lead to insulin resistance, which might lead to high blood sugar and subsequently, diabetes.
According to research that was done by Diabetes Care, it was found that apple cider vinegar helps boost sensitivity to insulin by up to 34% in people who have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.
To help stabilize your blood sugar, dissolve one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water and drink it before meal times. In addition, reduce carbohydrates and increase your protein intake. Also, take lots of fiber and water and make sure you work out on a regular basis. All these will help you keep your blood sugar levels low.
Helps with Weight Loss
A lot of fitness experts and nutritionists recommend the use of apple cider vinegar to help with weight loss.
But is ACV really as good as they say it is when it comes to weight loss?
Lots of research has been done on the link between apple cider vinegar and weight loss. In one research that was done, it was observed that by just taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for 14 weeks participants experienced a loss of 4 pounds. This happened without even having to make any other changes to their diet or lifestyle.
Research has proved that when you take apple cider vinegar, you will feel fuller for longer. This will result in you eating less food, which will make a great difference when it comes to weight loss. According to one study, consuming apple cider vinegar reduces the total number of calories taken by 275 in a day.
When you have high cholesterol, it means that your blood vessels will have to work extra hard to pump blood through your veins and arteries. This is because cholesterol is a fatty substance that clogs the blood vessels, making them narrower.
Apple cider vinegar helps a lot with these cases and keeps your cholesterol levels low. A research study that was done on Iran on rats showed that using apple cider vinegar helped minimize the bad LDL cholesterol, while it increased the good HDL cholesterol.
There are certain steps you can take to keep your cholesterol levels low. This includes taking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar on a regular basis. Also, reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates that you take. Take lots of healthy fats and include fish in your diet on a weekly basis.
In order to maximize the effects of apple cider vinegar on weight loss, it’s important that you don’t just use it as your only weight loss strategy. Combine it with other weight loss programs so you can experience significant weight loss. Eat a healthy diet and exercise more.
Improves Skin Health
Apple cider vinegar is also great for your skin, especially if you have acne or scarring because it has anti-bacterial properties. Since acne is caused by bacteria, the vinegar will act on this bacteria and destroy it.
Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid, succinic acid, lactic acid and citric acid. All these acids work to prevent Propionibacterium acne from developing even further.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure is quite risky for your heart. This is because your heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to weak heart muscles. This can cause damage to your heart over time.
Apple cider vinegar is quite good at keeping your heart strong and healthy. In a research that was done in Japan on rats, it was found that when the rats took acetic acid, which can be found in apple cider vinegar, it helped lower their blood pressure. In a different research that was done on animals, it was discovered that apple cider vinegar works by blocking a certain enzyme that’s responsible for increasing blood pressure.
There are other things that you can do to lower your blood pressure. This includes taking more potassium and magnesium. You also need to take more fiber and reduce salt and processed foods. Instead, consume whole foods.
Relieves Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid reflux is referred to as Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. When you have this condition, the acid flows back from your stomach and up your esophagus. This will result in you experiencing several symptoms such as heartburn, burping, and queasiness.
People who have low levels of stomach acid are the ones who tend to suffer more from acid reflux. If you’re suffering from this condition, you can increase the amount of acid in your stomach by taking apple cider vinegar. This will relieve you from acid reflux problems.
In such a case, you need to take one or two tablespoons of apple acid vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water. Drink this mixture before meals. In addition, you need to eat foods that will minimize the reflux, such as vegetables, good fats, and fermented foods.
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses
Good for Gut Health
You can introduce healthy bacteria into your gut by taking raw organic apple cider vinegar. You will greatly improve the health of your digestive system. You will also be able to better digest and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. You can start by introducing a tablespoon or two of the vinegar into your daily diet. In addition, take fermented foods like kombucha or kefir for better results.
If you have been exposed to the sun for too long and have subsequently suffered from sunburn, consider using apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of coconut oil and some lavender oil. Add this mixture to lukewarm bath water and soak yourself in it. You will get some relief.
Regulates Blood Sugar
You can control your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity by taking apple cider vinegar. Mix one or two tablespoons of vinegar with 8 ounces of water and drink it just before meals. This will help stabilize your blood sugar level.
There are so many fungal infections that you can get. This includes athlete’s foot, jock itch, toenail fungus and yeast infections. You can easily deal with these by using apple cider vinegar. You can make your own anti-fungal spray by using apple cider vinegar and by combining it with other ingredients that have anti-fungal properties. This way you will relieve the symptoms experienced.
Improves Skin Health
Some of the major skin issues that apple cider vinegar can help treat are acne and scarring. This is due to the antibacterial properties that this vinegar has and its healing properties. This vinegar will destroy bacteria that are usually responsible for causing acne. If you want to improve the condition of your skin, use an apple cider toner.
According to research, applying apple cider vinegar on varicose veins can help relieve the symptoms of this condition. You can also combine this vinegar together with witch hazel and rub it on the affected area in circular motion. This will help you enhance circulation in that area.
If you have a wart that you want to get rid of, treat it with apple cider vinegar. Soak a ball of cotton wool with apple cider vinegar and then apply it on the wart and fasten it on with a bandage. Leave it overnight. Keep doing this on a daily basis and the wart will eventually fall off.
Heals Poison Ivy
If you have a poison ivy rash, use apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. The vinegar helps to reduce inflammation because it has potassium, which is great for treating poison ivy. Apply one teaspoon directly on the affected area until it heals.
Kills Bugs and Fleas
If you have pets and you notice that your dog or cat is scratching themselves on a continuous basis, consider using a natural remedy instead of chemical sprays. Make your own spray by mixing equal parts of vinegar with water and put it in a spray bottle. Then spray it on the fur of the animals daily until the fleas and bugs disappear. You can also spray this mixture onto your own skin to help you get rid of insects and bugs.
Prevent Seasonal Allergies
Some people suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are one of those people, use apple cider vinegar to ward off the allergies. Dilute two tablespoons of the vinegar with water and rink it up the next time you get the allergy. The vinegar works perfectly because it has healthy bacteria that helps strengthen your immune system. It also encourages healthy lymphatic drainage.
Acts as a Natural Deodorant
The natural area under your armpits is fertile ground for bacteria to breed. This can lead to a strong body odor. Due to the natural antibacterial properties of this vinegar, you can use it as a deodorant. Just apply a little bit of it on your fingers and then dab it under your armpits. It will greatly reduce odor and leave you feeling fresh.
Keeps Hair Shiny
If your hair is dry, use apple cider vinegar to give it a bit of shine. Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the water that you are using to rinse your hair and it will make your hair smell nice and look shiny.
Speeds Up Weight Loss
Make your own weight loss drink by mixing apple cider vinegar with a green smoothie. This will make you feel fuller for longer. It will also kill off any food cravings that you have.
Reduces Acid Reflux
If you have acid reflux, take apple cider vinegar right before you have your meals. Mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and drink it up.
Balances your pH
The acetic acid that’s found in the vinegar will create an alkaline environment in your body. Taking a couple of tablespoons a day can help balance your pH levels and improve your health.
Can Be Used for Cleaning
Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and use this mixture to clean your house. This mixture is great for killing germs due to the antibacterial properties that vinegar has. It will leave your house germ free and clean.
If you want to enhance your smile by having whiter teeth, use apple cider vinegar. Use the vinegar to brush your teeth once in a while and then rinse it out. Considering that vinegar can cause wear and tear on your teeth enamel, use it once in a while and only use a little amount at a time.
Relieves Cold Symptoms
When you feel that a cold is coming, take a few tablespoons of vinegar as a natural remedy for the symptoms. Since the vinegar can help improve your immune system due to the antibacterial properties that it has, it will give you a boost and prevent you from feeling ill and fatigued.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. This acid is known for its ability to reduce blood sugar. It’s also great for boosting heart health. If you want to lower your blood pressure, mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and then drink this mixture three times in a day.
Helps with Detoxification
This vinegar is actually quite great for detoxification. This is because it can help balance your body pH, enhance lymphatic drainage and improve circulation. You can mix one to two tablespoons of vinegar with water and drink it a couple of times a day. There’s also a secret detox drink that you can take if you want to get a really concentrated mixture with large quantities of ingredients that are great at detoxification.
Apple Cider Vinegar Types
When talking about apple cider vinegar, you might have come across terms such as raw or organic vinegar. This can be quite confusing when you are deciding what you want to buy.
In order to get the maximum benefits from apple cider vinegar, go for raw, organic and unfiltered vinegar whenever you get the chance. This will give you value for your money.
Here’s a better definition of those terms and why going for raw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the best option:
- Organic. Organic means that the vinegar hasn’t been genetically modified nor any additives added to it. This is because these substances can negatively affect your health.
- Raw. This is apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been heated or processed. The “mother” is still intact. The “mother” is a bunch of proteins, enzymes and useful bacteria that are usually removed during processing.
- Unfiltered. Filtering removes the “mother” and the entire residue. This leaves you with a clear and orangey looking vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Apple Cider
Is apple cider the same as apple cider vinegar and can you use one in place of the other one?
Apple cider is made out of apples that have been freshly pressed. However, it’s not the same as apple juice as it’s processed differently.
On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is made of fermented apple cider. It’s fermented using yeast and bacteria. This helps to convert sugar into alcohol. Another fermentation process is carried out. In this second process, the alcohol is converted into acetic acid.
The fermentation process is what makes apple cider vinegar quite advantageous to use. While apple cider might taste quite nice, it doesn’t have the same benefits that apple cider vinegar has.
History and Facts
Apple cider vinegar has been in use for thousands of years. In fact, its fermentation dates as far back as 5,000 B.C.
In the past, this vinegar was put to so many uses. For example, it was used to detoxify the liver, purify the blood, cleanse lymph nodes and enhance immunity. Hippocrates had his own prescription in which he mixed apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey to help deal with cold and flu.
Apple cider vinegar was also used in the 17th century Europe as medicine. It was added to syrups and antiseptics and gargled to kill germs.
Currently, apple cider vinegar is starting to become popular once again due to the health benefits that it provides. Not only this but it can also be used for household cleaning, given the fact that it can kill all kinds of germs and act as a disinfectant.
Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Cure Acne?
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties. This means that it kills all kinds of germs. It has been proven to kill germs up to 90% and viruses up to 95%.
Acne is caused by the Propionibacterium acnes (p. acnes) bacteria. There hasn’t been done much research on the effects of apple cider vinegar on the p. acnes bacteria. However, there have been studies done on some of the components of apple cider vinegar. This includes acetic acid, lactic acid, and succinic acid. All these acids have been proven to be effective when it comes to killing the p. acnes bacteria.
In one research study that was done some time ago, 22 participants applied lactic acid on their face twice a day for one year. The participants experienced a drastic decrease of acne on their faces. Only two people didn’t experience a reduction of at least 50% acne on their face.
This research shows that applying apple cider vinegar can be quite effective when it comes to fighting acne. However, there’s a need for more research to be done on this subject matter.
Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Using apple cider vinegar can result in some side effects. This is especially if you use it in large quantities. It’s generally okay for you to use this vinegar in small amounts, as you won’t experience many side effects. However, using it in large quantities can result in some problems and can even be harmful.
Delayed Stomach Emptying
One of the ways that the vinegar is able to prevent a blood sugar spike is by delaying the process of food passing from the stomach into the small intestines. This delays the absorption of food into the bloodstream.
If you have a condition known as gastroparesis, then apple cider vinegar can make things worse. This is a condition that most people who have type 1 diabetes experience.
Food in the stomach is emptied at a slow rate in case someone suffers from gastroparesis. This is because the nerves that are in the stomach are not functioning right. Therefore, food will stay in the stomach much longer than it usually does.
Signs that you have gastroparesis include nausea, heartburn and bloating. This makes it quite challenging for individuals who have type 1 diabetes to time their insulin with meals since it’s hard to predict when meals will be digested and absorbed by the body.
A controlled study was done where 10 patients with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis were placed under observation.
When these people were given two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in water, it was observed that food stayed longer in their stomach than usual. This is compared to participants who just drank natural water.
Digestive Side Effects
Some people who take this vinegar might experience feeling full for longer and a decreased appetite, leading to fewer calories being consumed.
In another study that was done, it was found that indigestion is what leads to decreased appetite and less food intake.
Individuals who took 25g or 8 ounces of the vinegar experienced loss of appetite and got nauseated, especially when vinegar was mixed with an unpleasant drink.
Low Potassium Levels
Not a lot of research has been done on the effects of ACV on potassium and bone health. However, there was a case where low potassium levels and bone loss was reported after an extended intake of large quantities of apple cider vinegar.
A female, 28 years old, used to take 250 ml (8 ounces) of ACV for six years every day.
She got admitted to the hospital. She had low levels of potassium and her blood chemistry was abnormal.
It was also found out that she had osteoporosis (brittle bones), which is a condition that rarely affects young people.
Tooth Enamel Erosion
Consuming acidic foods and drinks can lead to enamel erosion. This is especially because of the acetic acid in vinegar. In a research study where wisdom teeth were immersed in different kinds of acid with different levels of pH varying from 2.7–3.95, it was found out that there was an enamel loss of between 1-20% after four hours.
However, this is a bit different since the saliva helps to protect against acidity. Still, taking too much vinegar can erode your teeth.
Also, a 15-year-old girl experienced dental decay as a result of consuming 237 ml (one cup) of concentrated apple cider vinegar in an effort to lose weight.
In a research that studied liquids that caused throat burns in children when accidentally swallowed, it was found out that acetic acid has this ability. However, there’s no research that shows that apple cider vinegar can cause throat burns itself.
There was a case where an apple cider vinegar tablet got stuck in the throat of a woman who was swallowing it. She said that she experienced throat burn and had difficulty with swallowing for six months after that.
There are even cases of skin burns reported when apple cider vinegar was applied directly on the skin.
In one case, a female applied a few drops of the vinegar on her nose to get rid of two moles on her skin. She got erosions on the affected area.
Another 6-year-old experienced skin burns when his mum tried to treat an infection on his leg by using apple cider vinegar.
There are some drugs that interact with ACV.
- Diabetes Medication. If you take insulin medication or drugs that stimulate insulin and you also take ACV, it might lead to very low levels of blood sugar and potassium.
- Digoxin (Lanoxin). Since this drug reduces your potassium levels, if you take it together with ACV, it can dangerously lower your potassium levels.
- Diuretic Drugs. Since some diuretic drugs lead to the excretion of potassium from the body, taking ACV with the drugs can lead to a drastic decrease of potassium.
How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely
Here are some guidelines that can ensure that you take ACV safely:
- Take small amounts of the vinegar. Don’t go past two tablespoons in a day.
- Reduce chances of acetic acid coming into contact with your teeth by diluting the vinegar with water and then drinking it with a straw.
- Always rinse your mouth with water after you take it and then brush your teeth after half an hour.
- If you have gastroparesis, then don’t take ACV or limit the intake to 5ml when used as a salad dressing.
- In case you have an allergic reaction to it, stop using it with immediate effect
There are so many advantages of using apple cider vinegar. However, take the necessary measures to stay safe and protect yourself from the side effects by controlling how much of it you consume. Just because a little bit of ACV is good, it doesn’t mean that you should take it in large quantities.