You know what they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
But what about a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?
Anecdotal evidence for this popular home remedy is strong. ACV is filled with raw enzymes and beneficial bacteria from the fermentation process. It has a number of healthy properties, including both its antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. ACV is made by fermenting the sugar from apples, creating a liquid high in acetic acid, which is a main active ingredient in vinegar which is likely responsible for many of it’s healthy qualities. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains a substance called the mother, a fungus which consists of proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria that contribute to it’s healthy effects. While research is still new, evidence suggests there are a number of possible health benefits to be reaped from this humble fermented liquid.
- Balances Gut Bacteria
The gut is composed of a host of beneficial bacteria which help not only to keep the digestive system running smoothly, but also help to fight off harmful bacteria which might otherwise make us fall ill. Drinking ACV replenishes the gut with fresh good bacteria to help protect the body, restoring balance to the gut which naturally needs a boost from time to time. Additionally, vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent as well, giving an extra boost to your immunity.
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels Helping to Manage Diabetes
Consumption of ACV has been shown in studies to effectively lower blood sugar and to improve insulin sensitivity by 19–34%. This makes it an effective natural remedy in balancing blood sugar levels both in those with and without diabetes. Managing blood sugar levels is important for slowing the aging process and preventing disease.
- Aids in Weight Loss
ACV is a natural laxative as well as helping to increase a sense of satiety. Evidence shows that those affected by obesity who consume ACV showed reduced belly fat and improved weight loss. Studies show that ACV with a meal resulted in 200–275 fewer calories consumed throughout the rest of the day. ACV itself only contains about 3 calories per tablespoon, so this combined with its ability to lower blood sugar and reduce insulin levels helps manage body fat. ACV after a meal also helps to reduce heartburn and bloating in those with digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Because of these two properties, many people find that this home remedy is helpful in the weight loss process.
- Improved Heart Health
ACV may also help defend against one of the major causes of death in the US: Heart Disease. ACV Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing stress on cardiac and vascular system, improving heart health.
- Improves Skin Conditions
ACV is also effective for treating dry skin, eczema and acne. The skin naturally has a slightly acidic pH level. Using topical apple cider vinegar could help rebalance the natural pH of the skin, improving the protective skin barrier and its ability to lock in moisture. Additionally, ACV’s antibacterial properties help prevent skin infections and bacteria in pimples, which are linked to eczema and other skin conditions.
- May Inhibit Cancer Cell Growth
Animal studies have shown that ACV may not only slow but also inhibit the growth of cancer cells. While the mechanisms behind this are still unknown, it is likely that ACV bolsters gut health and immunity which may help the body defend itself or even exert epigenetic effects which turn off cancer-signaling genes. More research is needed to determine this but the preliminary results are fascinating.
- Anti-Aging and Reduction of Free Radicals
Lastly, but certainly not least, ACV’s antioxidant properties serve to slow the effects of aging and preserve health of both mind and body. Antioxidants reduce the effects of free radicals, harmful compounds which are linked to the development of neurofibrillary tangles and the development of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Consuming ACV helps to protect against chronic illness of both body and mind.
How to Use ACV
Consuming ACV can be as simple as adding it into a recipe such as balsamic vinaigrette or pouring a shot into some lemon ginger tea each morning. Topical application is also appropriate for skin conditions, and a small bit of ACV can be added to toners or skin cleansers.
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