Ready for a shot of vinegar to start your day? Health connoisseurs may swear by it, but is it worth it? Apple cider vinegar has grown in popularity lately for many reasons.
It feels like you can buy ten types of apple cider vinegar gummies at the drop of a hat these days. The potent vinegar is known for several health benefits that plague the world, especially Americans.
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice and has grown steadily in popularity over the last several years. Apple cider vinegar, also commonly known as ACV, has been a tool for centuries as a way to ward off illness and much more.
But it may not be the best option for everyone. One size does not fit all for any food, including vinegar.
Table of Contents
- Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Are There Any Risks or Side Effects to Apple Cider Vinegar?
- How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar?
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
See how apple cider vinegar can benefit your health below. Plus, find out how to get more into your diet and why it may not be the best choice for everyone.
1. It May Help You Lose Weight
Apple cider vinegar grew in popularity over the last several years for one major reason-it can help you shed fat faster. Americans have the highest BMI among any other country for several reasons. Food quality in the United States has dropped and continues to, stripping food of crucial nutrients necessary for a healthy metabolic system (1, 2). While apple cider vinegar may assist in weight loss, there are many factors at play.
When weight loss products hit the shelves, they fly off fast for that reason. Americans tend to want a quick fix to a long-term solution. In reality, weight loss can only sustain long-term when there is a balance between healthy foods, lifestyle, emotional health, and movement (3, 4).
Many believe apple cider vinegar is the go-to weight loss product, but there is more research necessary to prove that it is entirely effective at weight loss. However, some studies do show it holds some promising benefits to reduce body fat and lower the risk of obesity (5, 6, 7). Consuming apple cider vinegar typically has no harmful side effects, but the best way to lose weight and keep it off is by relying on a balanced diet and lifestyle.
2. It May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Elevated blood sugar levels are a growing problem worldwide, but especially in the U.S. Including more apple cider vinegar in your diet may contribute to healthier blood sugar levels, in combination with a healthy balanced diet (8).
In some studies, there were significant improvements in blood glucose levels about a half-hour after consuming apple cider vinegar (9).
Type 2 diabetes is constantly growing in the U.S., affecting more than 37 million Americans, approximately one in 10 people. In order to consistently have healthy blood sugar levels, it’s important to improve your eating habits, manage stress, and get enough movement in your everyday routine.
3. It May Help Fight Some Infections
Apple cider vinegar may even have the capacity to fight infections like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans (E-coli, staph infections, and Candida). These are some of the most prominent infections, and there is some research suggesting apple cider vinegar may be beneficial as part of the treatment (10).
That is because apple cider vinegar contains antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It can have a powerful effect on suppressing microbes from infections like these. The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar may be beneficial in the long run to ward off and even help fight common infections.
Another popular way to utilize apple cider vinegar is by using it to help fight off colds. Hippocrates was known to use this for centuries to ward off the common colds. While more research is necessary, many people swear by adding apple cider vinegar to honey and even lemon for an immune-boosting, antimicrobial defense.
4. It May Help Lower Cholesterol
High cholesterol is one factor in the high prevalence of heart disease, which is the number one killer in the United States. It turns out, that consuming some apple cider vinegar can even be beneficial at maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Nine different studies from the National Institutes of Health discovered a significant benefit to blood lipid level health overall (11).
If apple cider vinegar is a good option for you and you are trying to decrease your bad cholesterol levels, it is likely a safe option to add to your routine.
5. It Can Lower Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is a disruption in oxygen levels throughout the body, also known as a buildup of free radicals. Too many free radicals in the cells lead to damage in the body in some way, through pain, inflammation, and even chronic disease.
Lowering oxidative stress is beneficial in preventing disease, and apple cider vinegar may even show some promise in doing just that. There is even some research that suggests apple cider vinegar may be beneficial in antitumor growth (12). Although, more research is necessary to determine just how much apple cider vinegar can minimize tumors and cancer risk.
Vinegar like these contains high amounts of polyphenols, plant compounds that contain potent antioxidant levels to help achieve maximum health benefits. Antioxidants are necessary to defend against the growth of free radicals.
6. It May Help Improve Digestion
Digestion issues plague many, affecting over 70 percent of Americans. Issues with gut health or digestion, in general, can range from diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and much more. Promoting gut health can prove to be effective at improving overall health throughout the body.
Apple cider vinegar may even benefit a crucial area of human health, the gut. This vinegar can help to nourish good gut bacteria, which helps to boost the immune system. Humans have nearly 50 trillion bacteria present in the gut. It is essential to replenish good bacteria regularly to improve and sustain long-term health (13).
Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet may promote better digestion and even help your good gut bacteria thrive for improved brain health, weight control, and much more.
7. It May Help Fight Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic Dermatitis is a common skin condition that often leads to redness, stubborn patches, and dandruff. It can occur on the face, nose, eyelids, and chest, but it is common on the scalp. Treatments are available for this condition, but some may need to stay away from them due to potential side effects and contraindications.
For those people, there may be some hope. Apple cider vinegar shows to be a promising solution when diluted in water and used as a pre-wash in the shower (14). The best way to try this out is by adding it to a spray bottle with water and spray on the affected area. Then, let it sit for five minutes and rinse well.
This solution can work well for those sensitive to harsh chemicals in topical lotions and has very little to no side effects.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects to Apple Cider Vinegar?
While apple cider vinegar is typically a safe solution for most, there are some risks that may not make it beneficial for everyone. Since vinegar is acidic, certain populations and at-risk individuals may need to stay away from it.
Below are some potential risks:
- Potential stomach upset
- Possibly erode tooth enamel (best to always dilute it or mix to prevent this from happening)
- Burning of the throat or skin burns
- Potential drug interactions
- Can make heartburn worse
For many, heartburn and acid reflux is a daily struggle. Some find that apple cider vinegar can make heartburn worse, so be cautious of how your body agrees to it. Like anything else, always find out what works best for your unique body. Consult with your trusted healthcare practitioner if you are taking any medications to be sure adding this is right for you.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar?
It can be easy to add more apple cider vinegar to your daily routine. Whether you want to add it to your favorite salad dressing, purchase a gummy version, or mix it into recipes, there are several ways to get creative with it.
Here are some ideas:
- Apple cider vinegar salad dressing: Mix a tsp. of apple cider vinegar with honey, salt, pepper, and olive oil for a quick option.
- Quick immune booster: Add some lemon, honey, apple cider vinegar, and even cayenne for an immune shot when you feel a cold coming on. It may even benefit a sore throat.
- Use it as a facial cleanser or pre-rinse (see above): Due to its antimicrobial properties, apple cider vinegar can even come in handy as a cleanser to ward off acne and keep skin plump.
- You can even use apple cider vinegar to wash your fruits and veggies. Vinegar is an excellent way to get pesticides or residue from fresh produce.
Apple cider vinegar is just one way you can work to improve your overall health. From boosting your immune system to fighting infections and even helping with weight loss, there are many potential benefits to this popular vinegar.
Keeping up with a regular routine of eating a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle is crucial for long-term health. But along the way, it usually does not hurt to include some helpful additions to support your longevity.