You may have heard of some of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, but what makes it so healthy, and are those benefits real? This article explains the real scoop on apple cider vinegar.
Some of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar that are often touted in natural health forums included improved digestion, detoxification, weight loss, shiny hair, better skin, and more. Sounds too good to be true? Some research suggests it may not be.
Unlike white distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a fermented liquid made from apple cider, which contains proteins, enzymes, amino acids, pectin, and active probiotic bacteria. These elements form a cloudy sediment called the “mother.”
Some apple cider vinegar is filtered and pasteurized, destroying many of these health benefits. For the best quality, be sure to choose vinegar that is organic, raw, and unfiltered. Bragg’s is a good brand, and Thrive Market also has an excellent raw apple cider vinegar.
Here are a few of the purported health benefits of apple cider vinegar:
1.) Acetic acid makes ACV special
Despite some claims, ACV hasn’t exactly been found to contain high levels of nutrients and minerals. (However, some believe it may contain phytochemicals, which exist in plants to help them endure environmental stress; potentially these phytochemicals could do the same for humans.) But, one thing ACV is high in: acetic acid.
Acetic acid is naturally antimicrobial, which means it can kill bacteria and pathogens. This is what gives ACV such power to clean and disinfect. Some body ailments that it can purportedly cure, when used topically, are:
- Nail fungus
- Ear infections
Acetic acid is known to inhibit E.coli, which means ACV makes a great ingredient in preserving and pickling foods such as garlic and cucumbers. But acetic acid has tons of health benefits, too.
2.) ACV aids weight loss
While the research on apple cider vinegar’s direct effect on weight loss are inconclusive, there are a number of processes it can affect that ultimately help with dropping pounds:
- Lowers blood sugar
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Aids digestion
- Helps to detoxify the body
3.) Lowers blood sugar
…High blood sugar occurs when the body either can’t make insulin or can’t respond to it properly—and the condition can accelerate aging and increase the risk of chronic diseases. People with diabetes may experience a glucose build-up in the blood (hyperglycemia), which can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve issues.
But research suggests ACV might help lower blood sugar. One study in the American Diabetes Foundation’s journal, Diabetes Care, found that diabetic individuals who ingested two tablespoons of ACV at bedtime experienced lower blood sugar levels upon waking.
4.) Increases insulin sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body absorb nutrients from food to use as energy. Eating carbohydrates increases blood sugar, and then the pancreas releases insulin to carry the sugar from the bloodstream to the organs. But a diet with excess carbs and sugars can decrease insulin sensitivity, meaning we need to produce higher-than-normal levels of insulin just to keep blood sugar stable. This makes it difficult for the body to convert carbs into energy, and instead it stores them as fat.
ACV may help increase insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects, according to another study published in Diabetes Care.
5.) Aids digestion
Enzymes in apple cider vinegar, as well as the fiber from the “mother,” may help the digestive process. Just like other acids, acetic acid can help the body to effectively absorb minerals from food. Scientists also believe that ACV can inhibit the digestion of starch, leading to fewer calories entering the bloodstream.
“The antiglycemic effect of acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar, has been attributed to reduced starch digestion and/or delayed gastric emptying.” —Andrea M. White, PHD and Carol S. Johnston, PHD
The “mother” also contains pectin, which can help to firm up stool and allow for healthy bowel movements, too. Because of these digestive benefits, ACV helps the body detox and can potentially lessen the workload of the liver.
6.) Heart health benefits of ACV
As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar, which already provides benefits to heart health. But there’s more.
Excessive LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in the arteries increases the risk of serious cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and hypertension. The acetic acid in ACV has shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, according to a study published in the journal, Life Science:
“In general, the present study indicated that consumption of apple cider vinegar can reduce the LDL, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels in patients with hyperlipidemia. Besides, given that hyperlipidemia is a known risk factor for atherosclerosis, apple cider vinegar can be used to prevent and even treat this complication and probably other heart problems.”
7.) ACV’s effect on cancer
While effects of ACV on cancer are largely inconclusive so far, various studies purport that ingesting ACV can kill or slow the growth of cancer cells…
Read more about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar at ThriveMarket.com…
And for a limited time, get a FREE bottle of organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar!
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