So, you probably knew about how amazing and magical apple cider vinegar is. Well, it is practically present in the cupboard just in case we need it before bed time. Sure, we heard about its role in getting our skin cured from sunburn and is a great help to get rid of acne. It can even solve our dilemma, which is, losing weight. It is very interesting to know that such a simple apple cider vinegar we see just anywhere can do these wonderful stuffs. This brings us to know more apple cider vinegar and what benefits the body can get out of it.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented juice made from crushed apples (1). It undergoes fermentation to turn into alcohol and then the bacteria makes the alcohol into acetic acid which gives vinegar its sour taste and strong smell. It is said that ACV has only three calories per tablespoon and has almost no carbohydrates. It’s a popular ingredient in many detoxifying and cleansing recipes because it contains so many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, it contains small amounts of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium (2). It also possesses powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols (3). Just like apple juice, apple cider vinegar may contain pectin, vitamins B1, B2 and B6; biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C. Acetic acid, an active compound found in apple cider vinegar, is responsible for its powerful numerous health benefits including weight loss.
5 benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Helps to get rid of acne*. Washing your face daily can help remove oil, dirt, and other debris, but apple cider vinegar is an effective way to cleanse the skin of bacteria and debris (4). Since apple cider vinegar has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties, it can be used as a toner to treat a breakout. According to Michael Kassardjian, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, board-certified dermatologist at Coast Dermatology in Torrance, California, ACV can be used as a toner because of its anti-inflammatory properties and consists of acetic acid and alpha hydroxy acid that has keratolytic effects, basically helping unplug blocked pores while alpha hydroxy acid helps to exfoliate the skin and help in smoothing and improving skin texture, and also helps to absorb excess oils of the skin (5). ACV can help balance your skin’s pH levels and by reducing pH levels of the skin, it can help dry up acne spots and remove dead skin cells. It also can lighten sun and age spots, can improve acne and acne scars, and lastly, it removes excess oils and makeup (6).
- You will have greater chances at lowering sugar levels. A 2018 research reveals that there is a connection between apple cider vinegar and reduced blood glucose (7). Some scientists suppose that ACV has the potential to impact different types of diabetes in a variety of ways. This leads some people to believe that apple cider vinegar could provide benefits for people with diabetes who need to manage their blood glucose levels (8). ACV, based in various clinical studies, is said to have shown numerous benefits for blood sugar and insulin levels. Specifically, it claims to improve insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19–34% and significantly lower blood sugar and insulin responses, reduce blood sugar by 34% after eating 50 grams of white bread, reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning by 4% with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime, improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels after meals (9). Another study from Iran speaks about how ACV might reduce blood sugar levels and have positive effects on blood cholesterol levels as well (10).
- Helps with weight loss. Scientific studies show that apple cider vinegar has wonderful health properties that can help you lose weight. An apple cider vinegar weight loss plan affects how blood sugar is regulated. According to a study by Carol Johnston, PhD, at Arizona State University that drinking this vinegar before eating actually led to a decrease in change of blood glucose post meals which is good for weight loss (11). Researchers think that ACV for weight loss helps achieve blood-sugar regulation in a few different ways wherein the acetic acid in the vinegar blocks disaccharidases – an enzymes that break down starches for digestion – from being absorbed into the bloodstream (12). If the disaccharides from the carbohydrates we eat cannot be digested then we avoid the rapid increase of our blood sugar level (13). ACV also combats overeating as it gives us a feeling of fullness after a meal and keep us from reaching for that evening snack a couple of hours later. A small Swedish study found when individuals consumed vinegar with a meal, they reported feeling a higher level of satiety after eating than those who did not consume vinegar (14).
- Lowers the risk of heart disease. Acetic acid is one of the main components of all vinegars (15). In a study conducted among rats subjects, it shows that a diet high in acetic acid prevents hypertension in animals, and intake of apple cider vinegar also reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides in rats fed a high cholesterol diet while similar results have also been found in humans, with the intake of 15 mL of vinegar daily associated with lowered blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol (16). The results correspond with better heart health and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. ACV can increase the good cholesterol so you maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system (17). A 12-week study investigated the effects of taking apple cider vinegar in people on a low-calorie diet and the researchers found that participants who took apple cider vinegar not only lost more weight than those who took a placebo but also had lower triglycerides and total cholesterol (18). In addition, the people who took ACV also had significantly raised levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or “good cholesterol” that can help lower the risk of heart problems.
- You will have a better digestion. Apple cider vinegar provides solution to help your digestive issues by reducing gas using a diluted ACV with a cup of water or tea, and drink before a meal. Since the vinegar stimulates digestive juices that help your body breakdown food, the ACV combats constipation (19). It is also good for heartburn symptoms as it brings up the stomach acid level. When it increases the acidity of your stomach, it helps your body create more pepsin, the enzyme that breaks down protein (20). ACV can help stimulate production of hydrochloric acid, which helps the digestive process and balance pH levels, reducing the occasional burn of backflow from the stomach into the esophagus (21). HCI also helps break down protein into amino acids by converting the proenzyme pepsinogen into the enzyme pepsin and aids the liver in its production of bile, which in turn helps the body absorb carbs, fat and vitamins (22). ACV can deliver a host of gut bacteria benefits along with improved ability to absorb nutrients (23).
Final Thought on Apple Cider Vinegar
Surely, the apple cider vinegar brings a lot of health benefits to us. But like other types of vinegar, it is like acid to the body. Never drink it straight up! Dilute a certain amount with water before taking it. Otherwise, it’ll be too acidic for your esophagus and can cause harm than good. Having apple cider vinegar is good but it is always safe to take it in moderation. It is also important to remember see the doctor to discuss medications or other treatments that can relieve symptoms which do not show any positive response to ACV remedy.