Apple cider vinegar is a popular condiment. A lot of people use apple cider vinegar in salad dressings and marinades, but it has also become a popular home remedy touted for its array of health benefits.
It is made with crushed apples that are fermented using yeast, and acetic acid. It is commonly consumed by diluting 1–2 tablespoons (approx. 15–30 mL) of apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water (approx. 237 mL) during earlier times of the day or just before bedtime. **Important note: Taking undiluted apple cider vinegar is not recommended as it contains high acidity levels.
From alleviating minor aches and health conditions to strengthening the immune system, this quintessential beverage provides both immediate and long-term relief. Here are 5 health benefits you can get from apple cider vinegar or ACV!
1. Apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight.Apple cider vinegar has become a popular choice for those looking to lose weight and improve their overall health. Apple cider vinegar may help reduce the glycemic index of food which can be beneficial in managing blood sugar levels.
Moreover, studies have shown that consuming apple cider vinegar can help reduce body weight, body fat percentage, and waist circumference while improving metabolism.
The most commonly used reference for this is the study conducted in 2009 featuring 175 people who consumed a drink containing 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day for three months. After the said period, participants who consumed the apple cider vinegar were found to have had a modest weight loss (2 to 4 lbs) and a decrease in their triglyceride levels.
2. Apple cider vinegar can help you improve your digestive health.
In relation to the aforementioned benefit, apple cider vinegar is also popular as a natural remedy for a variety of issues, including digestive health. Specifically, it is commonly used as a remedy for bloating.
Studies claim that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before meals can help reduce symptoms such as bloating and indigestion. One theory (and probably the most famous one) on this is that since apple cider vinegar has acids, taking it may help increase stomach acid which can result in an increase in digestion. It also helps improve nutrient absorption and balance the gut microbiome.
While apple cider vinegar is being treated like a miracle worker for digestive health, there are still a limited number of studies to prove these claims.
3. Apple cider vinegar can help you clean your teeth.
Another claim about the benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it can help clean or whiten teeth. Studies have shown that brushing with apple cider vinegar can help reduce plaque buildup, whiten teeth, and freshen your breath.
The apple cider vinegar and water mixture is often used when brushing your teeth, as straight apple cider vinegar may be too acidic for some people. Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a mouthwash, although it may cause temporary tooth sensitivity if used too often.
It is important to note, however, that drinking apple cider vinegar, especially when undiluted, may be harmful to your teeth. In fact, apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, with a reported average pH of 2.5 to 3.0 (for comparison: distilled water has a pH of 7.0). This acidity is enough to weaken your tooth enamel and increase risk for tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and cavities.
4. Apple cider vinegar can help you reduce inflammation.Apple cider vinegar has been gaining popularity as an anti-inflammatory remedy. It contains acetic acid, which has been found to be effective at reducing inflammation in the body. Studies have also shown that it can be beneficial in relieving joint pain and reducing swelling.
Additionally, its antibacterial properties can help to fight infections and boost immunity. All these benefits make apple cider vinegar a great addition to any health routine.
5. Apple cider vinegar can help you boost your immune system.
Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a health and wellness elixir, and its purported benefits include helping to boost the immune system. Studies have shown that regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can help maintain the body's natural defenses against sickness by providing a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. In addition, apple cider vinegar's acidic nature helps to balance the body's pH level. It also helps reduce inflammation, which helps prevent disease. Incorporating apple cider vinegar into your daily routine is an easy way to promote optimal health and help keep your immune system functioning properly.
To test these claims, let's take a look at the science behind them. Apple cider vinegar is a natural source of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which is known to play a role in boosting the immune system. Additionally, it is thought to contain antioxidants that can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Studies have also shown that apple cider vinegar can help improve digestion. It can also help boost the immune system and improve the body's absorption of essential nutrients.
Finally, some research has suggested that apple cider vinegar may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which could help protect the body against infection. Taken together, these various benefits suggest that apple cider vinegar may indeed help to boost the immune system.
In short, there is some evidence that ACV can help you lose weight, clean your teeth, improve your digestive health, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system. However, there is not yet enough evidence to make a definitive statement about any of these claims.
Apple cider vinegar and Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a killer, chronic disease in many countries, including Canada. It has been reported that over 3 million Canadians (8.9% of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes; 90% of these being Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, it has also been reported that 6.1% of Canadian adults have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where when the pancreas makes insulin (a hormone that helps glucose to enter or cells) and our body or cells do not respond to the insulin as they should, which then leads to sugar build up in our blood stream. It can also be a result of not having enough insulin in our bodies.
Type 2 diabetes is often managed with medications, diet, and exercise. With some studies saying that apple cider vinegar can help control type 2 diabetes, it surely made a stir. After all, it is a common household item.
Using rats, a study showed that apple cider vinegar helped lower LDL and A1C levels. (LDL is more commonly known as “bad cholesterol” while A1C or “Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) test” is a blood test that determines the average blood sugar level of a person in 3 months)
In the said study, the rats were fed with “standard animal food containing apple cider vinegar” in the span of 4 weeks. The results were no significant change in the rats’ fasting blood glucose, but there was a significant decrease in their HbA1C. The study also found that the levels of triglyceride in the blood of the diabetic animals were reduced and their levels of HDL-c (or "good cholesterol") were increased.
A small study in 2007 featuring 11 participants also found out that by taking 20 mL apple cider vinegar diluted in 40 mL of water with 1 tsp of saccharine can also lower blood sugar levels after meals.
In conclusion, while these studies show promising results on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, particularly for those with diabetes, these studies are quite small, both in terms of scope and number. It is still best to consult your physician as apple cider vinegar may also have negative effects on your body. Some reported side effects of apple cider vinegar are delayed stomach emptying, unpleasant digestive symptoms, increased risk for acid reflux, low potassium levels and bone loss, and esophageal burn.
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