Have you heard about apple cider vinegar's impressive health benefits and wondered what the buzz is all about?
Apple cider vinegar, popularly known as ACV, has been used for centuries as a remedy to treat coughs, boost weight loss, clean and disinfect wounds, and even improve scars from acne. But science has uncovered even more benefits of ACV, leading many health-conscious people to enjoy the benefits of ACV every day.
Does that mean you should go grab the ACV from your cupboard and pour a big glass? Wait! Some of us enjoy the refreshing acidic taste of drink ACV, while others might find it too acidic. That’s why a great way to start taking ACV is to dilute it with water (1 tbsp in ½ glass of water). Commercial sources of ACV produced for cooking uses may not use the careful manufacturing processes that preserve all of ACV's innate health benefits. That’s why its best to rely on high-quality ACV that is naturally fermented as a liquid or capsules to get your daily dose of ACV.
Are you wondering if taking ACV will help you? Let’s unearth the evidence behind the distinctive health benefits of ACV.
What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar Beneficial?
What makes ACV, a naturally fermented substance, work so well that has been used for centuries? ACV contains nutrients similar to those found in apple cider, such as vitamin C and B vitamins. Good quality apple cider vinegar also contains active amino acids, which may prove effective against undesirable bacteria. ACV also contains malic acid, a substance with antiviral properties.
However, the main component in ACV that offers us the best health benefits is acetic acid. In fact, 5 to 6% of ACV is composed of acetic acid. This body-friendly, but potent acid helps us better absorb beneficial vitamins and minerals from the food we eat.
6 Top Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
In scientific studies, apple cider vinegar shines in its ability to help address a broad range of health issues. Did you know that ACV can help support healthy blood sugar levels, weight loss, heart health, and skin and hair health? We sure appreciate the many hats that ACV wears. Here’s the top six health benefits of ACV:
1. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
ACV is great for managing healthy blood sugar levels. The acetic acid in vinegar suppresses the activity of the enzymes that break down starch and complex sugars.
This means that after a big helping of pasta or any other starchy meal, ACV can help slow down the rate at which your blood absorbs sugar, moderating sugar spikes. Taking ACV at bedtime can help promote healthy fasting blood sugar levels during the night for those with type 2 diabetes.
2. Amps Up Weight Loss
To help shed unwanted pounds, give ACV a try. Taking ACV before or after a meal can increase the feeling of fullness and improve digestion. This helps you eat less and consume fewer calories throughout the day.
In some studies, ACV has shown to help suppress body fat and lower body mass index (BMI). It may even work to reduce belly fat often caused by the not-so-good visceral fat in your midsection.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver, and found in the blood as well as in all cells of your body. When “bad fats” are eaten, this cholesterol can start to build up in the arteries, causing them to constrict and harden. When your blood cholesterol levels are too high, it puts a strain on your heart, forcing it to push harder to circulate blood throughout the body.
To promote heart health, ACV can help keep cholesterol levels low. One animal study showed that by giving rats some ACV, it was able to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). To help lower your cholesterol, include one to two tablespoons of ACV in your diet every day (mixed in water or just used on salads). Other critical factors to help lower cholesterol include reducing (or eliminating) sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet. Get a good variety of healthy fats in your diet, such as avocadoes, organic olives and eating a few servings of fatty fish each week.
4. Improves Skin and Hair Health
Do you ever experience itchy skin and unsightly breakouts? You can use ACV as a secret weapon to promote clear, healthy skin.
Your skin is naturally acidic in its healthy state. Harsh chemicals and alkaline soaps can alter its pH, making it too alkaline. The acidic nature of ACV may help to rebalance the pH level of your skin and restore your skin to a better state, which helps protect against bacterial infections and skin disorders. Simply swab some ACV on your skin (50/50 solution of purified water and ACV) and let dry.
To improve the appearance of your hair, natural bounce, and shine, use an ACV wash to help restore the damage caused by alkaline shampoos.
5. Helps Digestion Issues
Bloating, gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Just the thought of those uncomfortable digestive symptoms can make you cringe.
Unfortunately, some of us may be more susceptible to these distressing conditions. An imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract can throw your digestive system out of balance. Even worse, too much overgrowth of bad bacteria can lead to chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis.
High-quality ACV contains live-source good bacteria. When you introduce good bacteria into your gut, it supports your gut microbiome and enhances the health of your digestive system.
Good gut bacteria also supports healthy immune system function as well as healthy digestion. Some studies have shown that consuming ACV before meals can help naturally increase your levels of natural stomach acid, which helps prevent the backflow of food and heartburn.
Another benefit of top-quality ACV is that it provides post-biotics, which can help support a healthy microbiome. However, products made with high heat can destroy these post-biotics, so opt for an unheated supplement for the healthiest benefits.
6. ACV Can Promote Health and Wellness
From supporting heart health to a balanced gut biome to bouncy hair to clear skin, ACV has a sparkling range of powerful health benefits. Please consume ACV consistently (daily, if possible) to get the best results.
Whether you take ACV as liquid or capsules, you can enjoy all the healthy benefits of ACV. Adding ACV to your daily regimen is an easy, delicious step towards better health and wellbeing. We actually enjoy the “vinegar-y” taste of ACV. Do you?