Olivia is a nutritionist, diet, fitness and weight loss consultant based in Texas, United States. A Bachelors in Food and Nutrition.
Overview Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
Apple cider vinegar has historically been used as a health tonic to cure a lot of health issues – from wounds and high fever to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Even the “father of medicine,” Hippocrates used apple cider vinegar to clean and heal the body.
Homemade or organic apple cider vinegar is made from fresh apples that have been fermented for a while until the vinegar is ready. Unlike processed vinegars, organic apple cider vinegar contains enzymes and minerals that help to ward off numerous illnesses and diseases.
While ACV isn’t a miraculous potion and it does have its side effects, when you use it correctly, you’re going to experience the following fabulous health benefits. Just make sure you buy a raw, unpasteurized, organic, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar and never use it undiluted. It’s recommended to dilute a tablespoon of ACV in a cup of plain water.
List of Apple cider vinegar Benefits for your Body
1. Improve your lymphatic system
Apple cider vinegar aids in breaking up mucus and cleansing the lymph nodes. Due to its powerful ability to decrease sinus and mucus congestion, ACV can relieve the symptoms of different types of allergies. When weakening the effects of the allergy symptoms, it may also help to fight sinus infections and the symptoms related to it, including headaches and sore throats.
2. Combat bacteria
A study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that vinegars, including apple cider vinegar, can help to fight pathogens, such as bacteria. The vinegar has traditionally been used for disinfecting and cleaning, as well as treating lice, nail fungus, ear infections, and warts. Hippocrates used the vinegar to clean the wounds and kill bacteria more than two thousand years ago.
Nowadays, people use ACV as a food preservative since it has been shown to inhibit bacteria, such as E. coli from spreading in the food and ruining it. The major substance in ACV, acetic acid, helps to ward off bacteria, preventing them from multiplying and affecting the body organs.
3. Alleviate heartburn
Although it sounds ridiculous to treat heartburn with vinegar high in acid, it actually works well. Apple cider vinegar helps to fix low acid, alleviating heartburn. The effect of ACV depends on the source of heartburn, though.
If your heartburn usually comes from something you consume for lunch or dinner, a bit of diluted acetic acid in your stomach will help to fix the problem by neutralizing the acid in there and providing an instant pain relief. However, if you suffer from erosive heartburn, which is caused by lesions in your stomach ulcers or esophagus, apple cider vinegar will only worsen the symptoms.
4. Control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes
The most successful usage of apple cider vinegar has been shown in people with type 2 diabetes due to its ability to lower blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the increased levels of sugar in the blood - either due to an inability to produce insulin or in the context of insulin resistance. But the high glucose level in the blood can also be an issue for people who don't suffer from diabetes. Elevated sugar in the blood is linked to many chronic diseases and premature aging.
Keeping blood sugar levels in control lowers the risk of diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that any vinegar, including apple cider, has benefits for reduced blood sugar levels and improved insulin function. The researchers from the Arizona State University found that vinegar aids in improving insulin sensitivity when having a high-carb meal by about 19-34% and can significantly reduce insulin and blood glucose responses.
Another study done by the University of Milan, Italy, have proven that vinegar decreases blood sugar by about 34% when consuming 50 g of white bread. According to the researchers, 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water right before bed can lower fasting blood sugars by around 4%.
There are many other studies and reviews that claim that apple cider vinegar is beneficial for people with pre-diabetes, diabetes, or those who keep their blood sugar levels in control to prevent the development of diabetes.
5. Strengthen your bones
Even though apple cider vinegar is acidic, it provides a neutralizing effect in the stomach, making your body's pH more alkaline. Since studies have shown that people who follow alkaline diets (less meat and more veggies) are more likely to have a bigger bone mineral density. The vinegar provides a similar effect, meaning it can help to strengthen your bone health if taken in moderation.
6. Balance the pH of your skin
Dilute a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar with half cup water. Use a cotton ball to spread the concoction over the face instead of your regular toner. Do it in the morning before applying your day moisturizer or at night after washing your face. If you need to fade acne scars or age spots, leave a dab of the diluted vinegar on the problematic skin areas.
ACV is also an effective agent for treating warts. Soak a cotton ball in the vinegar, fasten it over the wart with a sticky tape, and leave overnight. If you have any allergies or sensitive skin, talk to a doctor before using this method. The skin around the wart may swell some time as it reacts with the acid solution. Once the wart falls off, continue the treatment for several more days to ensure the wart won’t return.
7. Boost your hair health
Apple cider vinegar is also used as an all-natural rinse for hair after shampooing instead of conditioner. Not only does the vinegar help to improve the hair's body, but also makes it shiny. Take an old shampoo bottle, and fill it with 1 cup of cold water and ½ tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar. After shampooing, pour the vinegar solution carefully through your hair. Be careful and avoid contact with the eyes. Let the solution sit for a minute and rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do it 2 to 3 times a week to boost your hair health.
8. Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart disease, are currently the biggest cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The risk factors are different, but mostly they are high cholesterol, stress, sleep deprivation, and poor nutrition, among the others.
A number of studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can reduce these risk factors and improve your overall cardiovascular health. The vinegar helps to reduce the triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Moreover, it contains the chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to prevent LDL cholesterol particles from getting oxidized. That’s an essential step in the heart disease process.
The vinegar has also been shown to lower high blood pressure, which is also one of the major risk factors. You don’t have to drink apple cider vinegar water, but using a tiny bit of it in your salad dressing can go a long way.
9. Reduce cancer risk
Characterized by uncontrolled growth of harmful cells, cancer is a horrible disease that can kill you in a matter of a few weeks. Although there are no scientifically proven facts that apple cider vinegar – just like any other vinegar – can cure or ward off cancers, some researchers suggest that ACV has powerful anti-cancer properties. It’s believed that vinegar can shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. However, more studies are required to prove this fact.
10. Speed up the weight loss process
A small yet thorough Swedish study has revealed that individuals that consumed vinegar before having a breakfast that included white bread felt full 90 minutes after breakfast in comparison with those who only consumed a piece of the bread.
In another study published in 2009, in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry magazine, it was shown that people who took acetic acid for twelve weeks had a significant decline in abdominal fat, triglycerides, and waist circumference. The triglycerides increase the bad cholesterol that leads to heart disease.
In order to speed up your weight loss process, mix 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of plain water. Sip the concoction throughout the day. But don’t overdo it.
11. Boost your energy level
The body craves a state of equilibrium to function well. Apple cider vinegar helps to keep a proper alkaline pH level. The lower pH level (the higher acid levels) leads to higher incidences of infection, a lack of energy, and chronic fatigue. If you experience a drop of energy, add a teaspoon of ACV to your glass of water and sip your way to a more energized you.
12. Fight yeast infections
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent source of natural enzymes that help your body fight candida – a yeast-like parasitic fungus that can lead to thrush. Furthermore, candida can also contribute to creating the harsh symptoms, such as yeast infections, chronic fatigue, insomnia, poor memory, and intense sugar cravings.
13. Improve the benefits of nutrients in food
When the stomach fails to produce enough acid, it negatively affects the absorption of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin B6, iron, and calcium. This can lead to various nutrient deficiencies and health issues. Consult your doctor to find out the reason for a certain nutrient deficiency. You may need to consume more acid in the form of apple cider vinegar to help your body use all the vitamins and minerals along with antioxidants you consume daily.
14. Get rid of bad breath
Apple cider vinegar boasts the potent antibacterial properties that can combat microorganisms causing bad breath. Since the vinegar has a high concentration of acetic acid and malic, it creates an environment that’s not friendly to bacteria. Erase bad breath by combining 1 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar and swishing the mixture around in your mouth before you spit it out.
© 2018 Olivia Philips