Apple cider vinegar has a fairly lengthy history when it comes to natural home remedies. It has been touted as a cure-all for almost everything; from helping blood pressure issues, fungal infections, to sore throats and even weight loss.
Let’s get one big myth about apple cider vinegar out of the way first. Many erroneously believe that apple cider vinegar contains a lot of nutrients; it actually doesn’t. Apple cider vinegar is fantastic for all sorts of ailments, not because of it’s nutritional content but from its ability to acidify the body. ACV does have acetic acid, which is the one reason why it helps with so many conditions. Acetic acid is actually the key ingredient and has a pH of 2.5. This will help in the transportation of minerals, especially calcium, the digestion of protein and the stimulation of thyroid function. Interestingly, due to the common excessive alkalinity, a good portion of the population has, apple cider vinegar is a safe and healthy solution.
10 Healthy Benefits From Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar’s most common use may be for weight loss, however, it may work overall on a lot of conditions by balancing your gut microbiome. Because of the new and trendy “Give It a Shot” craze, many have found that “taking a shot” of ACV can have lasting effects on your health. Some of those benefits include:
- Antibacterial and Antiviral – Vinegar has been shown in studies to mildly lower the growth of gram-negative bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Gram-negative bacteria have an impenetrable outer wall and are more difficult to kill with antigens than gram-positive bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria are often more resistant to antibiotics making them culprits for “superbugs.” But bacterial colonies like these are higher in bacterial endotoxins called lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Higher levels of LPS are implicated in a whole of inflammatory health problems and leaky gut syndrome, so it’s great that apple cider vinegar could help keep the number of these bacteria down! ACV has also been shown to have antiviral and anti-yeast and -fungal benefits, all helpful in supporting microbiome and overall immune balance.
- Digestion and acid reflux – apple cider vinegar increases the acidity of your stomach, which helps your body create more pepsin, the enzyme that breaks down protein and aids in quality digestion of your food.
- Immune boosting – most germs can’t survive in the overly acidic environment created by ACV.
- Improves complexions and helps with skin disorders – although there are few studies to prove this, ACV can help with acne. ACV contains acetic, citric, lactic and succinic acid, all of which have been shown to kill acne. In one study, 22 people applied lactic acid lotion to their faces twice a day for one year. Most of them experienced a significant reduction in acne, while only two people experienced less than a 50% improvement.
- Weight loss as a hunger suppressant – ACV helps you feel fuller for longer. Because of that, you’ll consume fewer calories. The acetic acid acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
- Helps with Diabetes by reducing blood sugar – One European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, for example, found that those who consumed ACV before eating white bread experienced 31 percent smaller spikes in blood sugar than those who ate bread but no vinegar. Acetic acid, one of vinegar’s main components, decreases the activity of an enzyme that breaks complex sugars into simple sugars. It’s also been shown to increase levels of glucose-6-phosphate, a compound that helps convert glucose (the simple sugar in our blood) to glycogen (a form of sugar stored in our muscles and liver to be used as energy). Both effects contribute to vinegar’s potential blood sugar benefits.
- Reduces Inflammation – ACV is an anti-inflammatory, see #1.
- Pain relief – Since ACV helps eliminate inflammation in the gut, it can also help with pain relief. A healthy gut microbiome can help reduce inflammation in the digestive system, joints, and even other areas of the body such as the heart, blood, and more.
- Natural detox – an ACV detox may help your body function at optimum levels by removing toxins and “detoxing.”
- Headaches – using a compress of ACV helps to reduce the pain in headaches
THERE ARE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CONSUMING ACV
It’s incredibly important that you are aware of a few of the negative effects associated with apple cider vinegar. Please keep these in mind when consuming ACV, especially if you drink it straight or “take a shot” of it. Some of those potential negative outcomes are:
- Dental Erosion – Studies have found that weekly consumption of apple vinegar increased the risk of dental erosion. Acetic acid is the culprit. If you are concerned about your teeth enamel, consider taking ACV supplements.
- Stomach discomfort – The acids in vinegar can have a negative effect on those who have sensitive stomachs and can cause issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.
* DO NOT “take a shot” of ACV, or consume it straight. Mix “the shot” in a salad dressing or dilute it in more than 8 oz of water. “Apple cider vinegar has a strong effect on the teeth because of its acid content,” says holistic dentist Tom Valmadre, D.D.S. “Exposure can increase [the] risk of decay, sensitivity, and erosion.” Not to mention, it can rather unpleasantly burn the heck out of your throat and damage its lining over time.
The best type of ACV to purchase is perhaps in an already made drink. This one from Bragg’s is organic. If you’re buying ACV itself, look for organic apple cider vinegar with a cloudy bloom in it: this is the “mother” fermentation in the vinegar and is a sign of quality. This will afford you the freedom of making your own tonic, but again, we suggest heavily diluting the ACV. If you choose, more than 10 ounces of water can be used. Personally, I loathe the smell and taste of vinegar and ACV is not any different. I dilute 1/2 tablespoon of ACV in 20 ounces of water because I honestly can’t handle it any stronger. My dislike of the stuff actually helps keep me from consuming it more than every 10-15 days or so, which helps with minimizing the tooth enamel erosion risk.
ACV Tonic Recipe for Health
- 10 – 24 ounces warm water
- 1-2 tablespoon/s apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger, grated (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Add all of the ingredients to warm water. Do not use boiling water as it will destroy the vitamin C in the lemon juice. Add optional fresh ginger and cinnamon to help with the taste and give the body a little extra boost.
** This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any health concern or medical condition. Please see a qualified medical professional if you need treatment or diagnostics.