Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is popular for use in food preparation, but it also has a number of health benefits. It is rich in bioactive components like acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid and others, making it an potent antioxidant and antimicrobial agent. Natural health experts recommend you use vinegar that contains “the mother,” a cobweb-like amino acid-based substance present in unprocessed, unfiltered vinegar.
Here are some of the most popular health uses for apple cider vinegar:
Vinegar is considered anti-glycemic and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. The acetic acid in vinegar may lower blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates. One study found using vinegar improved insulin sensitivity in 19 percent of individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and 34 percent of those diagnosed as pre-diabetic.
• Heart Health
Research shows that vinegar lowers cholesterol in laboratory rats, as well as lowering blood sugar. It has been found to decrease triglyceride levels and the levels of VLDL (the most damaging form of cholesterol) in animal studies.
• Weight Loss
Vinegar appears to help with weight loss by making you feel full, thus reducing the total amount of food you consume. In one study, participants consumed a small amount of vinegar with a high-carb meal, and they consumed between 200 and 275 calories less than usual during the rest of the day. This would result in a monthly weight loss of up to 1.5 pounds.
• Sinus Congestion
Apple cider vinegar breaks up and lessens mucus in your body. It helps clear your sinuses and is useful in fighting infections.
• Sore Throat
The antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar also fights sore throats. ACV can be mixed with warm water and used as a gargle.
• Digestion and Acid Reflux
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, acid reflux usually results from too little acid in your stomach. You can improve this situation by taking a tablespoon of ACV in a large glass of water each day. ACV also contains pectin which can soothe intestinal spasms.
• Skin Irritations
Apple cider vinegar soothes many skin ailments, from bug bites to poison ivy to sunburn. Apply it directly to the irritated area or soak in a bath with about one cup of vinegar added.
Apply ACV directly to warts. You can also soak a cotton ball in vinegar, put it on the wart, cover it with a bandage and leave on overnight.
• Energy Boost
Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that fight fatigue, and its amino acids are believed to prevent the buildup of lactic acid in the body. Drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of ACV added.