Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for centuries in both medicine and cooking. Believed to have many healing properties, recent scientific research proves its magic is more than just hearsay.
The vinegar, made by fermenting the sugars from apples, has been shown to provide various advantages – from improved metabolism to gut health.
Read on to discover the multitude of health benefits of apple cider vinegar and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
Contains gut friendly bacteria
The fermentation of apples used to create AVC turns them into acetic acid. And exactly these acidic properties are thought to contribute to the majority of health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
There are many ways ACV can help your gut. Its naturally acidic properties can help those with low stomach acid levels and aid digestion. Not only is this good for the stomach, but it can also help with chronic bloating and discomfort after eating.
However, you don’t have to have low acid levels to reap the benefits of ACV. It contains Lactobacillus bacteria – one of the most useful probiotics often found in fermented foods – and this is extremely beneficial to your overall gut health.
Helps aid your metabolism
Recent research has shown the promising effects of ACV on metabolic health. The review of nine studies concluded that ACV helped with decreasing cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels.
Maintaining good metabolic health is essential as it reduces your chances of health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, as well as other metabolic disorders.
Reduces oxidative stress
‘Oxidative stress’ refers to the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants within your body. Free radicals are oxygen molecules with an uneven number of electrons. They can be found in polluted areas, cigarette smoke and certain pesticides. This imbalance is known to negatively affect the human body and can lead to a myriad of issues.
The flavonoids in apple cider vinegar have antioxidant properties which help combat the free radicals, benefitting your health significantly. Antioxidants reduce the damage caused by oxidisation and can prevent diseases such various cancers, heart disease and other illnesses.
ACV is also commonly used to treat dry skin conditions such as eczema, as its acidic properties align with the skin’s natural acidity and, therefore, help rebalance its natural pH levels.
However, you don’t have to suffer with eczema to benefit from ACV – the antibacterial properties of the vinegar can also help with pimples and reduce inflammation.
It’s important to note, before applying apple cider vinegar to the skin, you need to dilute it. A general rule of thumb is one tablespoon (5ml) mixed into at least 600ml of water. Otherwise, undiluted apple cider vinegar can cause burns to the skin.
Helps regulate blood sugar
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is essential for preventing serious health problems such as kidney disease, vision loss and heart issues.
There are several ways to regulate your blood sugar. Most include cutting out carbs and refined sugars. However recently a small study found apple cider vinegar can also help lower blood sugar levels by up to 34% and further highlighted the positive effects of ACV contributing to lessening the effects of diabetes.
How to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your everyday diet
Whilst many people simply drink a diluted tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day to reap its many health effects, there are various other ways to ramp up your ACV intake whilst masking its strong, acidic flavour.
ACV is extremely versatile and can easily be added into salad dressings and smoothies. To sweeten the taste, you could also try mixing one tablespoon of ACV in a full glass of water with one teaspoon of honey, and the juice of half a lemon.
Or, if you are looking for something to grab and go, try a functional drink that includes an ACV hit, such as Living Soda, which is refreshing and contains all the benefits of ACV, as well as added properties to give a boost to your health.
The perks of apple cider vinegar are endless – from lowering your blood sugar, to aiding metabolic health.
Adding just a small amount to your diet everyday can do your body a world of good but, remember, the wonders of ACV work best alongside an overall balanced and healthy diet.