drinking apple cider vinegar benefits

Did you know that vinegar has been used for centuries for many purposes? According to legends, Cleopatra once dissolved a pearl in a measure of vinegar before drinking her concoction. Real or not, the truth is vinegar has been used since time immemorial.

In fact, the Babylonians used it as a preservative and condiment while Hippocrates commended the medicinal qualities of vinegar. Later on, people have discovered the apple cider vinegar.

Since then, experts started to uncover its wonders, whether you use it in the kitchen or for your health. So what exactly can apple cider vinegar do? Apple cider vinegar has many amazing benefits. Whether you are after a tonic or

Apple cider vinegar has many amazing benefits. Whether you are after a tonic or weight loss and detox aid, discover how it can help improve your health and wellbeing. Read on to find out.

What Is an Apple Cider Vinegar?

Vinegar is a product of fermentation or the process wherein sugars in a food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. Apple cider vinegar or ACV is a type of vinegar that is produced from the fermentation of apple cider.

During this process, the sugar from the apple cider will be broken down into alcohol and then into a vinegar. It contains acetic acid, which is the main ingredient, and also lactic, citric and malic acids.

[pullquote align=”right”]Apple cider is something everyone should integrate into their healthy living routine. [/pullquote]

Apple cider became known in the United States when it was promoted by D.C. Jarvis’ book, Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health in the late 1950s. Since then, the popularity of this type of vinegar rose and several studies were conducted to find out and test the many benefits it can bring. Are you ready to find out apple cider vinegar’s uses and benefits?  

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: Weight Loss, Detox and General Health

Maybe you already have a bottle of apple cider vinegar stashed away in your cupboard for the occasional salad dressing.

Well, take it out and use it because apple cider is something everyone should integrate into their healthy living routine. From soothing sore throats to helping in diabetes, it is known for its countless benefits and the best part about it is that these benefits are backed up by numerous studies and experiments.

Here is a list of the different apple cider vinegar benefits and what it can do for your health and body.

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  • It tames down your tummy troubles. Did you know that the pectin content in apple cider vinegar can help treat diarrhea? Yes, you read that right. The pectin content of this type of vinegar forms into a bulk fibrous matter and protective coating to soothe the colon lining and intestinal spasms. So if you are having that tummy trouble, just mix one or two tablespoons of ACV to your water or apple juice and you are good to go.
  • It prevents indigestion. Again, apple cider vinegar is a big help when it comes to your tummy issues. So before you have the as if last meal of your life, add one tablespoon of honey and apple cider vinegar to warm water and drink it at least 30 minutes before the meal to avoid indigestion.
  • It gives relief to tiredness and exhaustion. There are days when you just want to lie down and sleep from exhaustion and too much stress. The good news is apple cider vinegar can relieve you from that. ACV contains potassium and enzymes that can give you relief from that tired feeling. The next time you feel that your energy is at its lowest, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your vegetable drink or water to get your energy back.
  • It is a good cure against yeast infection. Forget douching. Did you know that one of the best home remedies for yeast infection is apple cider vinegar? Just add one and a half cups of ACV in a tub filled with warm water and soak for 20 minutes during the first three days of the infection. After three days of soaking, mix one and a half cups of water and two tablespoons of ACV and use it as a vaginal douche twice a day for five days. Then drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar once a day to prevent the occurrence of yeast infection.
  • It removes bad breath. Move over mouthwash, apple cider vinegar is here to help you get rid of bad breath or halitosis, thanks to its acidic properties. Simply add a half tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water and gargle it for 10 seconds. Some even say that it is a good way to freshen your mouth too.
  • It helps clear a stuffy nose. Can’t sleep at night because of your stuffy nose? If you want a relief from your sinus drainage, then apple cider vinegar can help too. Just mix a teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water and drink it. You will see the results in no time.
  • It fights the itch. Whether it is a mosquito bite or any other insect bite, apple cider vinegar can be a great solution to stop the itch. Using a cotton ball, simply dab the affected areas with apple cider vinegar to relieve itching. Just a quick note: it may sting a bit.
  • It can fight foot or skin fungus. Apple cider vinegar can fight yeast infection. Just apply the apple cider vinegar directly on your skin to help kill the bacteria in your body. If you have a smelly feet, simply add 2/3 cup of this type of vinegar to a pan of warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
  • It controls your blood sugar. Did you know that apple cider vinegar can be of great help when you have diabetes? This is perhaps the most researched and most promising of apple cider vinegar’s health benefits. According to studies, ACV has anti-glycemic effects that can help improve insulin sensitivity which is essential in maintaining your blood sugar levels.

In fact, a 2007 study published in the Diabetes Care showed that taking two tablespoons of ACV before bedtime lowered the glucose levels by 4% to 6% in the morning. It may not be that much but up to 6% reduced glucose level is already a considerable amount.

  • It lowers your blood cholesterol. According to a 2006 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, rats that were fed with acetic acid for 19 days showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Also, various researches show that ACV can improve the lipid profile of your blood by lowering the triglycerides and LDL (or bad) cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol.
  • It slows down the growth of cancer cells. A few laboratory studies show that vinegar can help kill or slow down the growth of cancer cells. There is even a study that showed that taking ACV reduced the risk of esophageal cancer and bladder cancer.
  • It aids in weight loss. Good news, boys and girls. Apple cider vinegar is said to boost weight loss and speed up one’s metabolism. For centuries, vinegar has been used for weight loss and help people feel full. According to a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry in 2009, obese people who took acetic acid for 12 weeks saw a decrease in their body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides.  Be aware that you can also try this best detox tea for weight loss.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that acetic acid can help prevent the build up of body fat and certain liver fats. Science still has to conduct further studies on the effects of apple cider vinegar and weight loss. However, it won’t hurt if you mix two teaspoons of ACV into a glass of water and drink it before you eat.

  • It treats acid reflux. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a type of condition when the food, acid contents and pancreatic juices travel up into your esophagus that makes you want to throw up. Surprisingly, one of the ways to treat this type of condition is by taking one to two teaspoons every day. You can even mix it with tea and manuka honey.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin and Hair

woman drinks apple cider vinegarThe list will not be complete without outlining the many beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar. Here are the different apple cider vinegar uses and what it can do to your skin and beauty needs.

  • As a cough suppressant. Check out these amazing, easy-to-prepare apple cider for cough recipes to make a homemade cough and phlegm syrup.
  • As a hair rinse. It's not a secret that styling and hair care products contain numerous harmful chemicals. The good thing is that the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar can remove the build-up of the harmful ingredients in these products. At the same time, it balances your hair’s pH level, stimulates the scalp to promote hair growth and a good cure for dandruff. Who says apple cider vinegar and hair can’t be combined?
  • As a skin toner. Do you know what Scarlett Johansson’s secret is in keeping her skin flawless? You guessed it right, apple cider vinegar! Even people who suffer from psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions praise ACV for reducing inflammation. Just apply a few drops on a cotton ball and rub it on your face to prevent breakouts and minimize blemishes.
  • As an acne treatment. Retinoids may be one of acne’s enemies but did you know that apple cider vinegar can be used to get rid of it, too? In fact, some alternative practitioners recommend ACV as an acne solution because of its ability to kill bacteria, absorb excess oil and balance your skin’s pH level. All you need is to combine one part of apple cider vinegar with three parts water and dab in on affected areas. However, take extra precaution when using this since the strength of the vinegar on the face can cause skin damage and burns.
  • As an age spot remover. Good news ladies, apple cider vinegar is one of the ways to remove age spots, liver spots and other types of spots that comes with aging. This is because apple cider vinegar contains sulphur that fights the effects of aging. However, if you feel a stinging sensation, add water and ACV and don’t forget to wash it in the morning.
  • As a deodorant. Why waste your money on antiperspirant deodorants? Sweat is one of the body’s ability to detoxify which is important in order to remove the toxins and wastes inside. Don’t worry about the smell. Just rub a bit of apple cider vinegar in your underarms and it will dry off and absorbed by your skin before you know it.
  • As a wart remover. Warts are definitely annoying to look at. If you don’t have budget for surgery to get rid of warts, then apple cider vinegar can be of great help. Soak a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar, place it on top of the affected areas and secure it with a bandage. Leave it on overnight and remove it in the morning. Do this for a week and you will be surprised with the results. Just make sure not to pick at your skin once the wart dries up.
  • As a sunburn remedy. Do you love to hit the beach during summer? There’s nothing more fun than basking under the sun and enjoying the sand on a hot weather, right? However, this can cause painful sunburn. The good thing is apple cider vinegar can help you relieve the pain of sunburn and minimize peeling. Simply apply a wash cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar and apply it diluted on the affected areas.
  • As a foot soak. Your feet are one of the most used and abused parts of your body. If you want to soothe your aching and swollen feet, then apple cider vinegar can be your natural relief. This is ideal for those who love to wear heels, runners, pregnant women and flip flop wearers.

How about Pregnant Women? Is It Safe for Them to Take Apple Cider Vinegar?

This is a common concern among pregnant women today. Despite the many health benefits of apple cider vinegar, the question is can they drink it? It depends on the type of apple cider vinegar to be taken.The truth is there are only a few clinical trials that study the relationship between apple cider vinegar and pregnant women.

Still, keep in mind that apple cider vinegar comes in supplements form too and apparently, this is not recommended for pregnant women. However, small amounts of apple cider vinegar used in cooking are harmless. Still, here are some things every pregnant woman should remember when it comes to apple cider vinegar.

  • Choose pasteurized apple cider vinegar. Unpasteurized may contain harmful bacteria and toxins which may not be good for you and the baby. And when it comes to this type of product, choose Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. It is safe to take during and after pregnancy because it helps the body get rid of toxins and at the same time, supports regularity and promote digestion.
  • Stay away from apple cider vinegar supplements. Some tablets and pills may contain contaminants or unlisted ingredients which, again, can be harmful.
  • Make it a point to talk to your doctor. When you plan to use one, consulting your doctor before taking any supplements is a MUST. At the same time, discuss whether using apple cider vinegar poses risks or complications.

Where Can It Be Used?

There are so many uses of apple cider vinegar. Despite being an acidic solution, some proponents of ACV believe it has an alkalinizing effect on the body. As such, they recommend a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water as a daily tonic. Other people even talk about going on apple cider vinegar diet for weight loss or detox, which by the way is not a good idea. Let's look at just a few of the benefits that are supported by research.

  • In the kitchen. Toss it in your salad or other dishes, apple cider vinegar can be a great way to add some punch on your ordinary meals.
  • Body and skin care. I use Sensé skin care line every day because it has no added toxic preservatives and has amazing and natural ingredients but if you use cosmetics that are full of chemical nasties, then there are other options. Apparently, you don’t need expensive products with harmful ingredients to get that flawless and glowing skin. As a matter of fact, all you need is an apple cider vinegar and you are good to go.
  • Hair care. Why opt for expensive styling products and treatments only to find out a damaged and dry hair in the long run? One of the many ways to care for your hair is by using apple cider vinegar.
  • As a medicine. There may be few studies conducted to prove the medicinal abilities of apple cider vinegar. Nonetheless, the current studies show that indeed, apple cider can help fight diseases. However, if you are currently on medication or you are suffering from a certain condition, make sure to consult your doctor first before you take ACV.
  • As a drink. Drinking apple cider vinegar can be done in many ways. You can add it on tea, mix it with honey, juice or simple as water and apple cider vinegar. This can already bring a lot of benefits. Find out below the many benefits and how to use and incorporate apple cider vinegar in your daily life.

Are There Any Side Effects or Precautions When Using or Drinking ACV?

Generally, taking or using apple cider vinegar is harmless. Still, here are some things you need to keep in mind. 

  • Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. The main ingredient of ACV is acetic acid, which from the name itself, already sounds harsh. Hence, it is advisable to dilute it with water before using it.
  • Long term use can result to low potassium levels.
  • It may not be advisable to use as a medical treatment. ACV does help relieve symptoms of diabetes and other medical conditions. However, always consult your doctor first before using anything.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Be Used Regularly?

It all depends on how you will use it. If you are going to use it as a salad dressing or to relieve you from leg cramps of exhaustion, then tablespoon of apple cider vinegar won’t hurt. However, if you are thinking of using it as a medical treatment, then maybe it’s time to hit the red button.

Keep in mind that the health benefits enumerated have only a number of studies conducted to prove and support such claims. Although vinegar has been used for centuries, it does not guarantee that there are no risks involved in it when taken. Also, the safety and effectiveness of ACV supplements are continuously being studied – and this is what you need to watch out for.

Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about your intention to use apple cider vinegar, especially when you are pregnant or suffering from a medical condition. Use the apple cider vinegar based on the recommended intake mentioned and only when applicable.

Apple cider vinegar is certainly a great product so use it wisely and enjoy its numerous benefits.

About the Author

Barbara is the founder and owner of www.leanhealthyandwise.com. She is a former research scientist with a serious passion for health. She enjoys writing about nutrition, wellness and lifestyle and empowering people to take control of their health.

  • I had NO idea ACV had so many uses – thanks for the great info!

  • Apple Cider vinegar is an excellent detangler as well. I keep some diluted in a spray bottle and use it on my daughter’s very curly hair. Her hair comes out soft and silky

  • My sister just called me last week. She has been touting the benefits of apple cider vinegar and told me about a friend who began taking it and was able to lower his triglycerides. This has been a big problem for my husband, so he is going to give it a try. Great article, very informative.

  • Wow.. and I thought i knew the reasons for Apple Cider vinegar.. I have a love hate relationship with it but do like it as a salad dressing.. now I will use it for bites and stuffiness !

  • My first choice is always to try natural remedies so I’ve been using ACV for years. Love it.

    I try to protect my teeth by sipping from a straw or rinsing with water after drinking. I also usually rinse the skin after about 10 minutes to avoid sensitivity. I have tried it as deodorant too but prefer coconut oil 🙂

    Great tips, thanks Barbara.

  • I’ve been meaning to give this a try for months and I would be embarrassed to share how many times I’ve added apple cider vinegar to my grocery list and never made it home with it. I’ve book marked this post so I can make sure I follow up this week. Thank you!

  • Emily Stoik says:

    This is a great post! I love Apple Cider Vinegar and drink a detox drink with ACV, lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne and stevia every day- love it! I’m going to share this on my fitness fan page: Energetic, Fit and Healthy 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/energeticfitandhealthy

  • Theresa Brown says:

    Absolutely amazing post. I had no idea ACV is so good for so many things.
    From the evidence available, I think that apple cider vinegar may be very useful
    and is definitely a good candidate for some self-experimentation
    Thank you

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