Apple cider vinegar (also known as ACV) is commonly used as a salad dressing and a flavoring agent. But what you may not know is that it is also packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can improve one’s well-being. Apple cider vinegar is highly prized in the natural health community. It has been widely used over hundreds of years as a folk medicine.
Notably, as years go by, various scientific studies continue to prove that apple cider vinegar leads to wide-ranging benefits. These benefits range from killing bacteria up to improving heart health. Among the numerous elements and vitamins found in apple cider vinegar are vitamins B1, B2, B6, vitamin C, biotin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid. Notably, it also contains a bit of sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, acetic and citric acid. Made from the fermented juice of apples, apple cider vinegar has been branded by many as a ‘wonder food.’ It is used both inside and outside the body. Here are some of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar backed by scientific study:
Apple cider vinegar kills pathogens
Acetic acid makes up about 5–6% of apple cider vinegar, killing pathogens like viruses and bacteria. The acetic acid destroys the cell structures of these pathogens. That’s why apple cider vinegar has been popular in the household uses like cleaning, disinfecting, and removing stains.
When consumed, ACV can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus in the digestive tract. The acetic acid in ACV can help kill even pathogenic bacteria like as E. coli. On the other hand, some proponents apply apple cider vinegar to the skin to treat acne, sunburn, shingles, insect bites and prevent dandruff as well. Notably, apple cider vinegar has traditionally been used to help get rid of warts and ear infections. Meanwhile, with its antifungal properties as well, apple cider vinegar is used to prevent the growth of candida. Candida is group of yeasts that can cause fungal infections in different parts of the body. Apple cider vinegar is also used for vaginal yeast infections.
Apple cider vinegar enhances nutrient absorption
ACV can boost the nutrients absorbed from other foods due to acetic acid. Proper stomach acid levels are necessary for nutrient absorption. Apple cider vinegar can encourage production of hydrochloric acid, which helps in the process of digestion. Without adequate acid in the stomach, food is digested incompletely and nutrients are not properly taken in. Also, apple cider vinegar has probiotics that help in absorbing the nutrients from the food more easily. Of particular note is iron (a key component of hemoglobin and myoglobin).
Apple cider vinegar helps fight diabetes
Apple cider vinegar enhances the efficiency of insulin in lowering sugar, even after eating a meal that is high in carbohydrates. This is revolutionary especially to those who have Type 2 diabetes. After all, Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high levels of blood sugar due to insulin resistance.
A study among Type 2 diabetes patients has found that taking in apple cider vinegar before bed can lower the glucose levels by morning, and drinking a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water before eating a high-carb meal can lower blood sugar afterward.
This makes proof that vinegar can be useful both for those with diabetes and for those who want to lower their blood sugar levels for other reasons. Nonetheless, although apple cider vinegar has powerful effects on bringing down the blood sugar, there is no scientific study supporting that ACV can be a total replacement for insulin.
Apple cider vinegar helps in weight management
ACV is best-known to helping in weight loss. A study evidenced that drinking apple cider vinegar can burn fat by enhancing the amount of fat burning genes in the body. Notably, it has been found to reduce belly fat storage.
What’s responsible for this is, yet again, the acetic acid, which acts to suppress the appetite, enhance the metabolism, and cut down water retention. Also, apple cider vinegar helps in reducing appetite and maintaining fullness for a longer time.
Apple cider vinegar may improve heart health
A study among humans has found that daily intake of apple cider vinegar is associated with diminished blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol due to acetic acid. This then may correspond with a reduced risk of having cardiovascular disease. Although many studies were done in animals, it has been proven that ACV can lower blood sugar levels as well, which can also lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Apple cider vinegar may prevent cancer
It has been found in that tumor cells died while exposed to acetic acid. However, the ACV’s ability to slow the growth of cancer cells or kill tumors has only been limited to studies in laboratories. It has been noted, however, that finding ways to deliver acetic acid directly to tumor tissue may be helpful. Nonetheless, further research is needed to prove this.
Despite this, ACV has the ability to balance the pH (acidity level) of the body. Too much acid in the body can cause certain diseases like cancer. Stabilizing pH levels may indeed have an effect to prevent cancer, which thrives in an acidic environment.
Other health benefits of apple cider vinegar:
- Aids in stuffy nose: ACVcontains potassium which thins mucus. The acetic acid prevents germ growth that contributes to nasal congestion.
- Cures hiccups: Apple cider vinegar is believed to overstimulate the nerves in the throat accountable for the spasms that create hiccups.
- Expels bad breath: Apple cider vinegar can help kill bad breath. It’s advised to dilute ACV with water while gargling it.
- Helps soothe sore throat: Germs can’t hold up in the acidic environment vinegar creates.
- Reduces night-time leg cramps: Low potassium Iis associated with leg cramps, and apple cider vinegar is notable for being high in potassium.