“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is popular saying that almost all of us have heard. No doubt Apple is a wonder fruit and there are many benefits of eating apples regularly, but there are also other ways of reaping benefits of this wonder fruit. One such way which is getting popular day by day is “Consumption of apple cider vinegar”. In this article, we will talk about benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider vinegar and its formation
Apple cider vinegar is made from the fermented juice of apples or apple must. It is prepared by cutting freshly grown organic apples into quarters and allowing them to dry until they turn brown in color. When they turn brown then they are placed in a wide mouth glass jar and water enough to cover the apples is poured into the jar. This jar is then covered with the cheesecloth and is placed in a warm and dark room for about six months (while stirring the mixture once a week).
At the end of six months fermentation period, it is retrieved and filtered into another glass jar and is gain kept in a warm and dark place for four to six weeks. By now, fully fermented apple cider vinegar is ready and the same can be stored and refrigerated in small containers. It is important to remember that, the first time it is covered with cheesecloth lightly to allow oxygen to enter into the jar but when it is again kept in a warm place for four to six weeks, and then cheesecloth is tied tightly.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Health benefits of apple cider vinegar
(1) Lowers Cholesterol
Studies have proved that apple cider vinegar is very good in reducing blood cholesterol levels. Apple cider vinegar is good not only in keeping the bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides at a low level but is equally good in keeping good cholesterol (HDL) at a higher level.
As per a study published in 2012, consumption of apple cider vinegar over an eight-week period can significantly help the people suffering hyperlipidemia (too much fat in the blood).
(2) Fights Diabetes
Apple cider vinegar is very helpful for people suffering from Type-2 diabetes. This is because apple cider vinegar helps in lowering glucose levels in the blood. As per a study conducted in 2007, taking 2 two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 30-gram cheese before bed can reduce the fasting blood sugar level by 4 to 6 percent.
(3) Controls carving and reduce appetite
Apple cider vinegar is helpful in keeping us feel fuller for a longer duration. As per a Swedish study conducted in 2005, people who eat bread with apple cider vinegar feel fuller for a long time compared to those who eat bread without apple cider vinegar.
This appetite reducing the power of apple cider vinegar is because of the presence of acetic acid in it, which helps in reducing the glycemic index of foods, which slow down the rate at which sugars are released into the blood.
(4) Helps in losing weight
Apple cider vinegar is helpful in losing weight. As per a study conducted in 2009, obese people who consumed 15 ml to 30 ml of acetic acid (apple cider vinegar) diluted with water for about 12 weeks, experienced a significant decrease in weight gain, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides.
Another reason apple cider vinegar helps in maintaining weight is its ability to reduce appetite, which again is because of the presence of acetic acid in it.
(5) Improves digestion
Apple cider vinegar is useful for people suffering from the digestive problem and stomach issues like reflux, bloating and indigestion. This benefit of apple cider vinegar is because of the presence of pectin in it.
Pectin creates fibrous materials which break up diarrhea and also coats the lining of the colon which prevents intestinal spans. To achieve this benefit, it is advisable to take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal.
(6) Boosts Energy
Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium and enzymes. Because of this, consumption of apple cider vinegar can result in awakening feeling, the same one that we get from sipping caffeine. Consuming apple cider vinegar along with a little bit of honey and water can keep us feel refreshed and energetic throughout the day.
(7) Reduces Nighttime cramping
Apple cider vinegar is helpful in reducing nighttime cramping. This power of apple cider vinegar is because of the presence of potassium, calcium and other minerals in it. These minerals are essential for our body joints and hence reduce cramping. Taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar along with a glass of water also helps in dissolving acid crystals of our blood.
Suggested Read- 7 Healthy Meal Plans for a Busy Lifestyle
(8) Helps Bad Breath
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature and because of this it is very effective in fighting against bad breath and halitosis (chronic bad breath) as the acidic nature of vinegar kills off and break down the bacteria that causes bad breath in our mouth. Taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water can immediately give relief from bad breath and it can also be used as a mouthwash.
(9) Controls Blood Sugar
Apple cider vinegar helps in controlling blood sugar levels in our body and is good for people suffering from diabetes. It breaks down the sugar in the body and creates an anti-glycemic effect. Apple cider vinegar is also found to be helpful in improving insulin sensitivity.
(10) Keeps Heart Healthy
Apple cider vinegar helps in reducing blood pressure (as per a study done on rats) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), and at the same time increase good cholesterol (HDL). Because of this, apple cider vinegar also helps in keeping our cardiovascular system in good condition and provides a healthier heart.
(11) Whitens Teeth
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar not only helps fighting bad breath but can also help reduce stains from teeth and improves its whiteness. Apple cider vinegar diluted with water can be used as a mouth wash to enjoy this benefit. Dilution of apple cider vinegar is necessary as the acidity of apple cider vinegar also damages teeth enamel.
(12) Fights Cancer
Apple cider vinegar increases the alkalinity of our body to prevent the occurrence of diseases like cancer. Apple cider vinegar reaches with some of the toxins in our body and converts them to a less toxic substance, and thus helps in getting rid of diseases.
Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
(1) Skin Detoxification
Apple cider vinegar is very good in detoxifying skin because of its acidic nature. Apple cider vinegar is used for cleaning the skin by mixing it in equal proportion with fuller’s earth and a teaspoon of honey. The mixture can be applied on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes. This will clean the skin by removing all dirt and grime from the face.
(2) Skin Toner
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a regular toner to clear complexion, diminish discoloration and clear away spots and freckles from skin. Regular application of apple cider vinegar diluted with a cup of water on the skin can give toned, glowing and moisturized skin.
(3) Reduces Inflammation
Apple cider vinegar has an astringent property and this makes it suitable to treat skin inflammation and conditions like Psoriasis.
(4) Fights age and Freckles
Apple cider vinegar is rich in sulfur which helps to fight the signs of aging like age spots and freckles. It also tightens skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. To achieve this, apply apple cider vinegar directly on skin before going to bed, and leave it overnight. It is advisable to dilute it with water if you have sensitive skin or if you feel a stinging or burning sensation.
(5) Reduces pimples and acne
Apple cider vinegar is also helpful in reducing pimples and controls acne breakout. Problems like pimples and acne are the result of toxins hidden deep inside our skin and because of excess skin oil. Apple cider vinegar absorbs the excessive oil from the skin and maintains the skin’s Ph level in good condition and thus helps in controlling acne breakout.
By now, we know all the major health and beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar and we have enough reason to consume it in our life, but there are also some side effects that may arise because of consumption of apple cider vinegar. So, let’s take a look at those side effects.
Side effects of apple cider vinegar
(1) Tissue Disruption
Consumption of apple cider vinegar in undiluted form can damage the esophagus and other sections of the body. So, it is advisable to dilute it with water or honey before consuming. Similarly, direct application of undiluted apple cider vinegar on skin or hair can cause irritation, rashes or burning sensation, and again it is better to dilute it with water or before applying on skin or water.
(2) Lowers Bone Density
The high acetic acid in apple cider vinegar reduces the potassium level of our blood and thus reduces bone density. So, it is advisable to consume apple cider vinegar in moderation and people suffering from Osteoporosis should first consult with their physician before consuming apple cider vinegar.
(3) Reactions with Drugs
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature and can easily react with certain drugs like a laxative, diuretic, and insulin. Apple cider vinegar has a direct effect on insulin and blood sugar level, and it is advisable to consult with a physician before consuming apple cider vinegar if you are taking blood pressure and diabetes medication.
(4) Gastrointestinal problems
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic in nature and can cause serious diarrhea, indigestion, and heartburn. These side effects are very common if you are using apple cider vinegar for detoxification. These side effects can be reduced by diluting apple cider vinegar with water but if side effects persist then it will be better to reduce the dosage or eliminate consumption of apple cider vinegar completely.
(5) Damaged Tooth Enamel
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic in nature and undiluted form can destroy the enamel of teeth. It is advisable to use a straw while consuming apple cider vinegar so that it doesn’t come in direct contact with teeth. Other important to remember is to dilute it with a little water to reduce its acidic nature.
Points to Remember
Nothing is perfect in this world and the same is true for apple cider vinegar. Although there are many health and beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar consumption of apple cider vinegar can also cause some side effects so it is better to keep below-mentioned points in mind.
- Consume apple cider vinegar in moderate quantity as an overdose of it can cause bad effect on our health.
- Dilute apple cider vinegar with water or honey before consuming orally, or before applying on skin or hair. This will reduce the acidic nature of ACV and will lower the side effects.
- Use a straw for oral consumption of apple cider vinegar. This will protect your teeth enamel from damaging.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
P.S- Consider sharing this post, if you find it useful and/or interesting