Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries in cooking and medicinally. Hippocrates is believed to have prescribed ACV for a variety of ailments.
In order to get the health benefits from ACV, it has to be raw and unpasteurized which keeps the beneficial enzymes and trace minerals intact.
Raw apple cider vinegar contains strands of enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance. This part is referred to as the “mother”.Many people believe the “mother” is responsible for its health benefits. You can see it as darker cloudy strings in the bottom of the bottle.
How is Apple Cider Vinegar made?
ACV is made in a two-step process. First, the apples are crushed and liquid is squeezed out. Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the fermentation process. The sugars are turned into alcohol.
In the second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar with bacteria that turn it into acetic acid — the active compound in vinegar.
Acetic acid is not vinegar, it is a bacteria found in vinegar that is a byproduct of the fermentation process. This bacteria is responsible for the benefits you’ll read about in this article.
Apple cider vinegar is good for your body in many ways. Here are 6 benefits of apple cider vinegar that really work.
1. It balances blood sugar.
ACV has been shown to have numerous benefits for improving insulin function and blood sugar levels. This is the benefit with the most scientific data.
1 tablespoon of ACV in water before meals increases insulin sensitivity and significantly lowers blood sugar spikes during meals. It has an anti-glycemic effect.
Improves insulin sensitivity in high carbohydrate meals.
Reduces blood sugar when eating bread.
2 tablespoons of ACV in water before bed reduces fasting blood sugar levels and may help you sleep better.
2. It helps in healthy weight loss.
The acetic acid in ACV has been shown in studies to increase satiety, helping you eat less food, resulting in weight loss.
3. It reduces cravings.
The blood sugar balancing aspect of ACV can reduce cravings for sweets. If you’re having a sugar craving, drink 8 ounces of water with 1 tablespoon ACV and your craving should go away.
4. It improves cholesterol.
Studies have shown that ACV can protect cholesterol from oxidation or damage, which is the main risk of high cholesterol.
ACV contains chlorogenic acids that help lower LDL or bad cholesterol, preventing it from accumulating and crystallizing in the bloodstream.
5. It balances pH and boosts stomach acid.
Even though acetic acid, the major component in apple cider vinegar is acidic outside the body, like lemon water, it has an alkalizing effect on your body. It helps balance your pH.
The acetic acid in ACV has been clinically shown to boost stomach acid production in people with low HCL production. It can increase the body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods we eat.
6. It is a fantastic disinfectant and bacteria killer.
Hippocrates used vinegar to treat wounds over 2000 years ago. Modern research has shown it can kill certain types of bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus. It may not be as effective as Clorox but it is a much safer product to use in your home.
How do you use Apple Cider Vinegar?
I like to drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water before meals to improve digestion and keep my pH levels balanced for better health in my whole body.
To use apple cider vinegar for weight loss: Mix 2 tablespoons of ACV in 2 cups of water and drink before your lunch and dinner.
ACV is a good for washing vegetables: Fill up the sink or a bowl with water, add a few big splashes of apple cider vinegar and soak for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse and dry.
For an effective all natural household cleaner: Mix equal parts ACV with water.
Use apple cider vinegar in salad dressing for a healthy tangy taste.
Be sure to use raw and unpasteurized ACV, such as Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. It contains all of the enzymes and beneficial bacteria found in vinegar that are destroyed during pasteurization.
Some precautions to keep in mind:
ACV is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
ACV may lower blood sugar levels, therefore, patients on diabetes medications should consult with their primary care physician before using ACV medicinally.
If you’re taking Digoxin (Lanoxin), Insulin, or Diuretics consult with your doctor as these medicines can lower potassium levels. Large amounts of ACV can decrease potassium levels as well, and the combination may result in a potassium deficiency.
While apple cider vinegar is not a miracle cure it is a wonderful tonic for better health. One of my favorite recipes that use ACV is a watercress and avocado salad.
Ingrid DeHart is a Nutritional Coach, Food Blogger and founder of Eat Well, Enjoy Life. Visit her website for delicious, healthy, easy recipes and powerful transformational processes or CLICK TO SIGN UP for her weekly email newsletter of recipes and tips for you to eat well, stay healthy and enjoy your wonderful life.