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Apple cider vinegar is an extremely trendy item in the health and wellness space lately, but it has actually been used medicinally for thousands of years. There is so much information out there about apple cider vinegar and it can be hard to know where to start if you want to incorporate it into your wellness routine and take advantage of its various health benefits. We’ve written this post to help you learn more about this health product before you get started.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar—as the name suggests—is a vinegar made from apples. The apples are crushed, the juices are extracted, and the sugars from the juice begin to ferment. Good types of bacteria and yeast are then added, causing the sugars to change or ferment into alcohol. More specifically, they convert the sugars into acetic acid. If you’re worried about sugar or alcohol, don’t worry! The final product no longer has sugar in it and although acetic acid is called an “alcohol” it is not the same as what we normally think of in wine or beer. Acetic acid is what gives apple cider vinegar its strong taste and smell.
The cloudy stuff that is often found at the bottom of the bottle of apple cider vinegar is called the “mother,” and is a collection of the probiotic yeast and bacteria that were used to make the vinegar. Some believe that the mother is the source of many of apple cider vinegar’s health benefits.
Benefits of apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many culinary uses in cooking and baking, but it also may have many health benefits. It is acidic and can cause harm if used or consumed in large quantities. But when used in small quantities or diluted in water, it is generally safe and effective.
Supplementation with apple cider vinegar has been shown in some studies to improve insulin activity and lower blood sugar response after meals. High blood sugar responses can cause cravings for sugary snacks and overeating. The stabilizing effect of apple cider vinegar may help some people feel more full after eating and better control their cravings and portion sizes, therefore aiding weight-loss.
Furthermore, animal studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can lower LDL cholesterol (largely thought of as the “bad cholesterol”) and blood pressure, which can lower the risk of heart disease. While this is encouraging, more studies are needed to determine if it has similar effects in humans.
In addition to acetic acid, vinegar also contains micronutrients that are known as polyphenols. Polyphenols contain antioxidants and may help prevent cell damage that can lead to issues with digestion, weight management, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. However, more studies are needed on the benefits of polyphenols in vinegar.
Finally, apple cider vinegar also has benefits for topical application. Since it is mildly acidic, it can help restore the natural pH balance of your skin, which can help with moisture retention and preventing acne. Its antimicrobial properties can also help soothe irritation and eliminate the bacteria that cause breakouts. It can get great for your hair too. Vinegar rinses are used as a natural hair conditioner, as it is gentle on your hair, helps lock in moisture, leaving you with healthy, shiny, and smooth hair.
Does apple cider vinegar help you lose weight?
Supplementing with apple cider vinegar is not a one-stop solution and it will not cause you to magically lose weight by itself. However, it does have many potential health benefits that can assist you with weight loss and help set you up for success. As a generally safe-in-moderation supplement with potential effects like improved insulin response, easier weight management, and improved heart health—adding vinegar to your routine may be part of a recipe for success. If you’re interested in adding apple cider vinegar to your health and wellness routine, check out our selection of top-quality products on our website.
This article is for general information, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Readers are cautioned not to enact or change treatments based on this article. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.