Arguably, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the most popular of the vinegars. While uses for white vinegar are plenty, apple cider vinegar possibly has more applications. Not only is it used in cooking but also an ingredient in salad dressings and sauces.
Apple cider vinegar is also one of the most healthful substances out there, offering a number of benefits for health and personal care. We shall look at some of these uses shortly.
Natural Apple Cider Vinegar
Before we get into the health benefits of ACV, it is important to note that what you see is not always what you get. Natural apple cider vinegar is made from fresh crushed apples that are fermented in wooden barrels. In order to get the full health benefits of ACV, you want to go for this type.
Natural organic ACV may not be all that attractive to the eye, being unfiltered and cloudy. This type also has “mother”, a cobweb-like substance, floating in it. But it is packed with healthful goodness. For health-conscious individual, the health benefits outweigh aesthetics.
Natural, organic ACV also contains probiotics, which offer a myriad of health benefits by themselves. Not surprisingly, this type of vinegar costs more than other “watered down” types.
Health Benefits Of ACV
Following are some health and personal care benefits associated with apple cider vinegar.
1. Weight Loss: Apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight. It can help increase satiety, therefore reducing your appetite and possibly helping you eat less. It may also increase metabolism. Not only that, this vinegar may also turn on certain genes known to breakdown fats. ACV is also among the natural foods and compounds that block carbs.
2. Healthy guts: Not only does ACV contain probiotics which may help promote a healthy digestive system, it may also support a healthy digestive system. The acids in the vinegar may help improve digestion and promote regularity. For people with gluten intolerance, taking two to three teaspoons of the vinegar in water before a meal may help combat the effects of gluten. It may also help eliminate toxins. Adding a little honey to make the “drink” can help make it more palatable.
3. Blood sugar balance: Various studies have shown that ACV may help improve insulin sensitivity maintain healthy blood sugar levels. As previously mentioned (see #2 above), it can help block carbs which cause a sugar spike in the body. One study showed that ingesting apple cider vinegar before bedtime may help moderate waking blood sugar concentrations in people with type 2 diabetes.
4. Teeth whitening: Various ways have been suggested for using ACV to whiten teeth. The good thing is most if not all are simple and quick. One way is simply gargle with it in the morning, then brush your teeth normally. However, some experts advise against using it straight, due to its high-acid nature. Therefore you may want to add about half teaspoon in a cup of water, gargle, and then brush teeth normally.
5. Reduce bad breath: Also called halitosis, bad breath can be embarrassing when you know you have it. Many people don’t even realize they have it. The anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of ACV can help reduce this. Use it the same way as for teeth whitening (#4 above) to freshen up your breath.
6. Cure hiccups: It is not easy to get scared out of your hiccups, if that even works. Remedies for hiccups differ almost to an individual, some of them outright ridiculous. Next time those pesky hiccups get you, try 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water.
7. Cold and sore throat remedy: Instead of salt water gaggling for sore throat and laryngitis, try 1 teaspoon of ACV in half glass of water. Do this every hour, reducing the frequency as your throat improves. Adding 1 teaspoon of the vinegar in a glass of water may help prevent and treat colds and flu.
8. Get rid of dandruff: One cause of dandruff is excessive yeast growth on your scalp. The acidity of ACV changes the PH of your scalp, making it difficult for yeast to grow. Mix equal parts of ACV and water in a spray bottle, and mist on hair and scalp (avoiding the eyes and ears). Wrap head 15 minutes to an hour, and then wash hair normally.
9. Boosts energy: Need a quick energy burst? While ACV does not have the stimulating properties of coffee, it can be used as a quick pick-me-up. Combine the vinegar and honey in a glass of water and mix well. Drink. You can also add it to a glass of chilled vegetable juice.
10. Cholesterol lowering: Regular consumption of ACV may help reduce cholesterol levels. One study showed that regular consumption of the vinegar may reduce total cholesterol by 13% as well as significantly reduce triglycerides.
11. Relieve cramps: They come suddenly. Especially at night while sleeping or during a physical activity. And boy can they hurt! Virtually anyone who lifts weights has experienced the seizing up of legs after a legs workout. Cramps can be a sign of low potassium, and ACV is high in it. Mix two teaspoons of ACV and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water and drink.
Disclaimer: The above tips and remedies are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be used replace medical or professional advice.