7 Amazing Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
There are so many wonderful health benefits when including vinegar regularly in the diet. People have been consuming vinegars (sour wine) for centuries for its digestive benefits and for its many other medicinal properties. It dates back to 5000 years BC and it is said that Hippocrates often prescribed it for coughs and colds, when mixed with a touch of honey. Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar (ACV), has a long list of uses and benefits.
Here are the many reasons why the next time you make a trip to the store, you’ll want to purchase this.
Apple cider vinegar contains small amounts of amino acids, probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. The main ingredient in ACV is acetic acid which offers many of its health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting apples with yeast which produces alcohol, then bacteria is added to this solution which further ferments the alcohol that is produced into acetic acid.
I highly recommend purchasing an organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar to reap as many benefits as possible. You want your vinegar to contain floaty lumps and bits, as this is the live yeasts and bacteria found in the vinegar. I always recommended giving it a shake up before pouring.
Apples unfortunately are high on the dirty dozen list of fruits that contain pesticide residue from the EWG lists that are re-evaluated yearly so its extra important to consume an organic vinegar.
7 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Reduces and modulates blood sugar levels.
Irregular blood sugar levels are correlated with aging and various other chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and eye and nerve health. ACV has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity during a high carbohydrate meal by up to 34%, reduces blood sugar levels and when taken before bed can reduce fasting blood sugar levels during the night.
- Helps Weight Loss
ACV has been shown to improve satiety and reduces the appetite. It has been shown that people can consume up to 250 less calories per day. It also improves the glycemic index of foods by slowing the release of the sugars down.One study showed obese subjects were given 1 or 2 tbsp of ACV or placebo over a 12 week period. Results showed that 1 tbsp. of ACV was associated with a loss of 2.6 lbs while 2 tbsp per day was associated with 3.7lb loss. Body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower in both vinegar intake groups than in the placebo group.
- Improves Digestion
ACV has been shown to improve the digestion of your meal by improving your stomach acid environment which then increases your gastric acid secretions thus reducing bloating, indigestion, reflux and improves nutrient absorption.
- Promotes a Healthy Gut
ACV has been shown to kill unhealthy bacteria and other microbes in the digestive tract such as candida along with the promotion of healthy bacteria. This is one of the reasons why vinegar is used for cleaning, due to its ability to kill pathogenic yeasts and bacteria in your home and even under your arms (it can be used as a natural deodorant).Due to the pectin content it also helps soothe an upset stomach. I have also recommend apple cider to help reduce gallbladder discomfort and improve gallbladder emptying with much success. Vinegar also shows significant improvement of higher populations of healthy gut flora in studies.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
ACV is a good source of polyphenols that provide antioxidant properties. ACV helps reduce triglyceride levels as well as reducing high blood pressure in animal studies.
- Reduces Inflammation
It has been used in traditional medicine for the reduction of pain and stiffness in arthritis. Consumed by many with the addition of honey as a daily drink.
- Fights Allergies
ACV can be used to help break up mucus in sinusitis, allergies or post-viral infections when consumed daily.
Other uses include: home cleaning, facial toner, gargle for bad breath, hair conditioning, natural deodorant, foot soak, teeth whitener and fruit and vegetable wash/soak. It can also be sprayed on your pets to aid in flea control. Many of these health benefits are true for many types of high quality vinegars.
Ways you can include ACV in your diet:
- Salad dressing
- Homemade mayonnaise
- Sipped in a glass of warm water with main meals (1-3tsp.) – honey can be added
- Include in your daily juices
- Add to sparkling mineral water (it gives it a nice apple flavor)