Apple cider vinegar. By now, you should have heard of it. A morning tonic made with this sharp liquid that is said to boost digestion, support immune-health, and provide many beauty benefits. Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV is an ancient folk remedy and has historically been used with good reason, it’s now said to have 101 uses, and counting!
If you’ve tried a tonic with this stuff before, you know it tastes as strong as it smells. It’s bound to wake you up faster than you can say ‘apple cider vinegar’.
Made from fresh, crushed, organically grown apples that have been fermented in tanks. When this natural vinegar matures, it develops a web-like substance called the “mother”. This mother in ACV is what makes it different than other kinds of vinegar. The mother, which consists of mainly acetic acid bacteria helps to create vitamins and living enzymes that are only found in the raw, unfiltered ACV. When enjoyed raw you will benefit from this fermentation, more so than in any processed versions. You also shouldn’t fear the cloud like clusters at the bottom of your bottle, it’s just some naturally occurring pectin and apple residue.
There are many claims about the miraculous healing properties of ACV, but there isn’t a science to back up all of the pseudos. Even so, raw ACV still deserves a spot in your pantry and remedy cupboard. Here are 5 science-backed ways that ACV can benefit you.
Blood Sugar Management and Type 2 Diabetes
We can all benefit from keeping our blood sugar levels within the healthy range. We can work on this daily by eliminating refined carbohydrates and sugars and replacing them with healthier fats, proteins and low-glycemic carbohydrates. However, the inclusion of apple cider vinegar may also provide some positive effects.
When added to a meal with complex carbohydrates, ACV can provide blood sugar regulating properties. Natural acetic acid within vinegar prevents some of the starches from being absorbed from your meal, which in turn supports the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels and indirectly, supports weight management .
Other studies show that vinegar may also improve insulin function. Which can be beneficial for many of those with type 2 diabetes.
If you’re currently taking any blood-sugar management prescriptions, check with your doctor before increasing your intake of vinegar.
Supports Healthy Digestion and Relieves Heartburn and Acid Reflux
ACV is a simple and effective way to naturally support the healthy production of stomach acid. Healthy levels of stomach acid are an overlooked digestive aid. Required to not only effectively break down food, but also the next stages of support nutrient absorption and assimilation. Taking ACV before or during your meals may support your ability to absorb important minerals by positively supporting proper digestion.  Vinegar has even shown some promise in treating ulcerative colitis. Animal models have shown that vinegar can suppress inflammation-inducing proteins and positively influence the microbiome.
Can Reduce Triglycerides and Cholesterol
Having high triglycerides, LDL or total cholesterol levels can put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Daily practices such as staying hydrated, getting in enough movement, decreasing stress levels, and eating your colorful vegetables are some of the most beneficial preventative habits to form, and there are also some simple supporting practices.
There is evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar can further support you in naturally lowering both total cholesterol and triglycerides. A 12-week study in the Journal of Functional Food investigated the effects of taking apple cider vinegar in combination with a low-calorie diet. Not only did participants lose more weight than those in the placebo group, but they also achieved lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, with increased “good” HDL cholesterol .
One study showed that a daily intake of 15 grams of apple cider vinegar for 90 to 110 days was associated with the restoration of ovulatory function . This may be of interest to women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the main causes of irregular menstruation. Although the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, there are many symptoms associated with the disorder and insulin resistance is one of them. ACV has shown to positively influence insulin sensitivity.
Perhaps one of the most well-known benefits of ACV is its antimicrobial effects, thanks to the ‘mother’ and acetic acid content. It’s no wonder Hippocrates used vinegar to aid wound healing over 2000 years ago. ACV may provide some protection from certain pathogenic yeasts and bacteria. Natural acetic acid has been shown to affect several species of common pathogenic bacteria and yeast such as E. coli, S. aureus and C. albicans .
Acetic acid has also been shown to be effective at eradicating bacterial biofilms . Biofilms are a glue-like substance produced by bacteria as a survival strategy to help them adapt to their new living environment. Biofilms are otherwise extremely tolerant to antibiotics, but the properties in ACV are remarkably effective.
As a comparison, apple cider vinegar has been shown to be as effective as 5% sodium hypochlorite, better known as bleach. However since ACV does not have the negative effects and toxicity of sodium hypochlorite, it can be safely used both internally and externally.
If you’re looking to add apple cider vinegar to your daily routine, here are a few simple ways:
- Digestive Support: Dilute one tablespoon or apple cider vinegar in one cup of warm or room temperature water daily, 10-20 minutes before a meal
- Make it into a homemade salad dressing. Combine it in a jar healthy oils such as olive, hemp, pumpkin, sesame or flax, include some herbs, spices, pepper and himalayan salt
- Add it to sauces, mustards, and dips.
- If you make your own sauerkraut or fermented vegetables, you can add a few tablespoons to support the fermentation process
- Use it to tenderize beef, lamb, chicken, and other meat in slow cooking
- Soak your dried legumes with warm water and apple cider vinegar to increase the digestibility
- Add it to bone broth to aid in leeching the gut-healing minerals from the raw bones
Always purchase a glass bottle of raw, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized ACV that contains the mother. This will ensure it contains the beneficial probiotics, minerals, and enzymes which relate to this article!
ACV should always be diluted in water or fresh juice before consuming. ACV is highly acidic, so drinking it straight and undiluted can damage the enamel of your teeth, your throat, and the tissues in your mouth.
Examination of the antiglycemic properties of vinegar in healthy adults
- New Evidence That Vinegar May Be Natural Fat-fighter https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622103820.htm
- Low Stomach Acid: A Surprising Cause of Indigestion Symptoms https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/digestive-health/low-stomach-acid-the-surprising-cause-of-many-indigestion-symptoms/
- The Nutrition Source Vinegar https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/vinegar/
- Vinegar could potentially help treat ulcerative colitis https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2016/acs-presspac-february-10-2016/vinegar-could-potentially-help-treat-ulcerative-colitis.html
- Beneficial effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on weight management, Visceral Adiposity Index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464618300483
- Intake of vinegar beverage is associated with restoration of ovulatory function in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23666047
- Antibiofilm Properties of Acetic Acid https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486441/
- Antimicrobial efficacy of apple cider vinegar against Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans: An in vitro study https://www.speronline.com/japer/Articlefile/c/24_JAPER_47_2017_20171031_V1.pdf
- “Vinegar” as Anti-bacterial Biofilm formed by Streptococcus pyogenes Isolated from Recurrent Tonsillitis Patients, in vitro http://jjbs.hu.edu.jo/files/v6n3/Paper%20Number%203m.pdf
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