In this article we are going to discuss about the benefits of a super liquid – apple cider vinegar that has been scientifically proved to improve heart health, lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, support fat burning and weight loss and reduce cholesterol level in blood.
Apple cider vinegar has been used for medicinal purposes for the past 2000 years. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine prescribed apple cider vinegar to his patients for over-all healing of the body.
So, what makes apple cider vinegar so effective? Well, there are research-based studies and evidences that prove that apple cider vinegar is really capable of healing various diseases and conditions.
One of the most researched and most promising benefits of apple cider vinegar is treating type 2 diabetes. Several studies have found out that apple cider vinegar can lower blood glucose levels.
A study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation’s publication Diabetes Care in 2004 shows that taking apple cider vinegar before meals dramatically reduced insulin and glucose spikes.
In a study of 175 obese people done in Japan, the candidates were divided into two groups. Both groups consumed similar meals, but one group drank apple cider vinegar as a part of their daily diet. It was seen that those who drank apple cider vinegar for 12 weeks had lost 1 to 2 pounds over the 3-month period.
But, all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar depend on the type of vinegar you are using. It is always recommended to opt for organic, raw and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother of vinegar in it. The mother is the brown cob web like stuff that floats at the bottom of the bottle and contains all the live bacteria and enzymes that makes it so healthy.
How is apple cider vinegar prepared?
Apple cider vinegar is prepared by crushing and fermenting the apples. The apples are crushed along with their stem, skin and seeds to create a substance called apple must. The must then goes through oxygenation and fermentation process which turns the natural sugar in the apples into alcohol. The alcohol is further fermented to turn it into acetic acid, which supplies all the health benefits to the vinegar. Unpasteurized and organic apple cider vinegar has a pale to medium amber color.
Health Benefiting Components of Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar as a home remedy contains all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are found in apples. But there are a few specific compounds that contribute to its health benefits.
Acetic acid – Acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid is the main component of apple cider vinegar that has numerous health benefits. It is an excellent antibacterial agent that kills harmful bacteria and promotes the growth of good bacteria.
Potassium – Potassium is an important mineral that reduces stress boosts metabolism, maintains electrolyte balance and reduces blood pressure. It also reduces the risk of stroke and heart and kidney disorders.
Magnesium – Magnesium plays an important role in over 300 biochemical functions in the body and is essential for cellular health. It is necessary for blood sugar control, protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation, proper nerve function and energy metabolism.
Probiotics – Probiotics help to improve over all health by supporting a stronger immune system and improving digestive health. It also helps to treat mental health illness and neurological disorders.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Lowers blood sugar levels
The most successful use of apple cider vinegar to date has been seen in patients with type 2 diabetes. Elevated blood sugar can be caused by either insulin resistance or the body’s inability to produce insulin. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity when you consume a high-carb meal and significantly reduces blood glucose and insulin response. Vinegar can also increase insulin sensitivity of the cells. It is recommended to consume 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8oz of water before bedtime to reduce fasting blood sugar level. If you are taking blood sugar lowering medications then consult your doctor before consuming apple cider vinegar.
2. Supports weight loss
Various studies concerning apple cider vinegar and weight loss prove that vinegar increases satiety so that you eat 200-275 fewer calories throughout the day. Reduced calorie intake translates to reduced weight. Regular consumption of vinegar leads to reduced belly fat, waist circumference and lower blood triglycerides. Acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar slows down fat accumulation in the body. Apple cider vinegar also reduces sugar cravings, improves detoxification and boosts metabolism – all of these factors contribute to weight loss.
3. Reduces cholesterol
According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it has been found that consuming just 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every morning can naturally lower your cholesterol level by increasing bile production and supporting liver functions. Bile produced by the liver plays an important role in processing and creating cholesterol as well as breaking it down. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that lab rats that were given apple cider vinegar along with a high cholesterol diet have lowered VLDL and triglycerides levels.
4. Lowers blood pressure
This is yet another effective health benefit of apple cider vinegar. A study in rats revealed that acetic acid in apple cider vinegar significantly reduced blood pressure and renin activity. Renin is a type of protein and enzyme that increases blood pressure. A human study performed from Harvard also shows that those who consumed vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease. Further research is required to understand exactly how apple cider vinegar helps to lower blood pressure but consuming it can make a modest difference.
5. Improves heart health
Apple cider vinegar supports cardiovascular health in several ways. Polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid present in apple cider vinegar inhibits the oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol and prevents cardiovascular diseases. A research done of laboratory rats shows that apple cider vinegar lowers cholesterol in the rats thanks to the acetic acid content of apple cider vinegar. Moreover, apple cider vinegar also decreases triglyceride levels and VLDL levels – the damaging from cholesterol.
6. Improves digestive health
Acetic acid, the main component of apple cider vinegar supports digestive function and relieves acid reflux thanks. Apple cider vinegar increases the level of acidity in the stomach that promotes digestion of food and helps to propel it to the small intestine. Slow digestion is a main cause of acid reflux and apple cider vinegar helps to prevent it. The probiotics in apple cider vinegar restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and treats symptoms of GERD and acid reflux. Pectin, the soluble fiber present in apple cider vinegar helps to cure intestinal spasms. Mix 1 teaspoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before your meals to prevent indigestion.
7. Kills Candia yeast and bacteria
Candida yeast affects millions of people around the world and cause digestive problems, thrush, bad breath, lack of energy, poor memory and urinary tract infections. The probiotics and a type of acid in apple cider vinegar promote the growth of healthy bacteria that kills Candida. Apple cider vinegar also kills a number of pathogens and bacteria, prevents them from multiplying and speeds up the healing of wounds. It inhibits the growth of E.coli bacteria.
8. Regulates the pH of the body
Apple cider vinegar is a naturally acidic liquid that balances the pH of the body by neutralizing the effect of acids inside the body which makes the body’s pH more alkaline. It promotes cardiovascular stimulation, bowel movement and lymphatic drainage. It works as a liver and lymphatic tonic that flushes out toxins from the body. Maintaining the pH of the body in the alkaline state also supports better bone health.
9. Cures cold and sore throat
The anti-bacterial properties of apple cider vinegar fights bacterial infection that causes cough, cold and cold sores. The acidic nature of the vinegar neutralizes the excessive acidic pH of the tissues and prevents the growth of bacteria. Prebiotic inulin in apple cider vinegar increases the count of white blood cells and T-cells that strengthens the immune system. It is a natural expectorant that breaks down and thins the mucus in the throat. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of lukewarm water and gargle using this mixture.
10. May provide protection against cancer
This benefit of apple cider vinegar is based on undocumented proof such as tests done on rats and test tubes but there are chances that apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy that can keep cancer at bay. Tests done in labs show that apple cider vinegar has the ability to shrink tumors and slow down the growth of cancer cells. Regular intake of apple cider vinegar can cut down the number of cases of esophageal cancer.
Side Effects of Using Apple Cider Vinegar:
A lot of people claim that apple cider vinegar can boost energy levels, whiten teeth, etc, but there are no scientific researches to support these claims. Consuming food amounts of apple cider vinegar is safe and there are no side effects in most adults. But excessive consumption over a long period of time can lead to low potassium level, osteoporosis and inflammation of the throat. Because, there is not enough information about the safety of consuming apple cider vinegar during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so it is best not to use it.
Undiluted apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and it can create discomfort in your mouth and throat and damage your tooth enamel and mouth tissues. So, it is recommended to consume it in diluted form mixed with water. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in your salad.