Apple cider vinegar is comprised of crushed apples, yeast and sugar. It has long been used as an ingredient marinades, salad dressings and more.
Today it has gained newfound popularity for its potential health benefits that include everything from alleviating heartburn to stabilizing blood sugars.
In this post our panel of experts will provide the low-down on the many benefits of apple cider vinegar.
18 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
It sounds like an ingredient in salad dressing, and it is! But it’s also so much more. The following are some of the most important benefits of apple cider vinegar.
1: Apple cider vinegar is good for your heart.
Of all the benefits of apple cider vinegar, perhaps none is more important than its ability to lower blood pressure and reduce the strain on your heart. Studies have shown that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar reduces blood pressure and renin activity (1). Renin (2) is a hormone produced by the kidneys that regulates blood vessel dilation, which also plays a role in determining blood pressure.
2: Apple cider vinegar may help prevent osteoporosis.
When not enough calcium is absorbed by the body, but instead expelled via urine, it can lead to a weakening of the bones known as osteoporosis. Studies on laboratory animals suggest that apple cider vinegar improves calcium absorption (3) in the digestive tract and helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
3: Apple cider vinegar may aid in weight loss.
There are a couple of ways apple cider vinegar can be helpful to those seeking to lose weight. First, a teaspoon before dinner will make you feel full and should reduce the amount you eat. Second, it increases nutrient absorption. That means a person does not need to eat as much to obtain the same nutritional value from their food.
4: Apple cider vinegar is rich in antioxidants.
Free radicals are unbalanced atoms that attack healthy atoms in an effort to harvest electrons from them. In doing so, they create yet more damaged atoms, which ultimately leads to the death of formerly healthy cells. This process is known as oxidative stress (4), and it is a major cause of disease. The only antidote to free radicals are antioxidants. As it turns out, apple cider vinegar is rich in antioxidants.
5: Apple cider vinegar contains valuable nutrients.
Beside being rich in antioxidants, apple cider vinegar is also loaded with valuable nutrients. These include the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and manganese, as well as amino acids that are the building blocks of muscle tissue. This is important for seniors who will lose muscle mass with age (5) unless they take steps to halt the process.
6: Apple cider vinegar can aid digestion.
Above, we mentioned that apple cider vinegar aids in nutrient absorption. It does this by helping to improve conditions in the digestive tract. The acetic acid in this type of vinegar helps break down food so that the nutrients can be more efficiently and effectively separated and absorbed in the digestive tract.
7: Apple cider vinegar is good for your skin.
The health of our skin is reliant on maintaining a certain balance between acidity and pH levels. Too much of either can lead to a breakdown in the appearance of your skin and its ability to protect you from atmospheric pollutants and the like. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps restore this delicate balance. For that reason, many use it to help them deal with skin conditions.
8: Apple cider vinegar may help regulate blood sugar levels.
There is compelling scientific evidence that it can do just that (6). Many diabetics have a hard time keeping their blood glucose levels in check. Many other people who are prediabetic will go on to develop type 2 diabetes if they don’t do something to rein in their blood glucose levels. Apple cider vinegar can help. Talk to your doctor about making it part of your dietary routine.
9: Apple cider vinegar may help prevent cancer.
Let’s be clear: there is no direct correlation between consuming apple cider vinegar and cancer prevention. The effect is indirect. That is, making apple cider vinegar part of your diet should result in more effective digestion, better nutrition, fewer free radicals wreaking havoc in your body, and better overall health. It is that improved overall health that will reduce your risk of cancer.
10: Apple cider vinegar is a natural product.
So many of the foods we ingest as a matter of course these days are highly processed. The long-term effects of all that processed food (7) are obesity, inflammatory conditions, digestive problems, and cancer, among other things. Apple cider vinegar is an all-natural product produced using natural methods thousands of years old.
11: Apple cider vinegar may help boost the immune system.
Probiotics are the beneficial microorganisms that live in your digestive tract (8). One of their jobs is to extract nutrients from the food you eat and deliver them directly to your immune system. Over time, probiotic levels in the gut can decline. As a result, the immune system weakens. Apple cider vinegar is a natural probiotic that can help restore immune system function.
12: Apple cider vinegar can be used as an emergency disinfectant.
Not many foods can also be used as a disinfectant. But apple cider vinegar can. It’s actually the acetic acid in this type of vinegar that can prevent bacterial infection (9). So if you cut yourself and do not have anything else available to disinfect the wound, whip out the apple cider vinegar and pour some on the cut.
13: Apple cider vinegar boosts energy levels.
It is not like drinking a double espresso, but because apple cider vinegar can increase nutrient absorption, it makes more vitamins and minerals available to your muscles and nerves and helps increase blood flow. The result is that you feel more alert and have more energy available to apply to whatever task is at hand.
14: Apple cider vinegar can help hair look more lustrous.
Many of the shampoos sold today end up disturbing the pH balance of the hair. This leads to breakage and frizziness and makes hair difficult to control (10). Mix a bit of apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and use it as a final rinse to restore the pH balance. The result will be thicker-looking, more lustrous hair. There is a good chance it will help reduce the itchiness of your scalp as well, which is often caused by bacteria.
15: Apple cider vinegar may lower cholesterol.
High levels of LDL cholesterol are a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke. That’s the bad news. The good news is that numerous studies have confirmed that apple cider vinegar can be useful in lowering the amount of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood (11). At the same time, it increases the amount of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. This restored cholesterol balance will pay short and long term benefits.
16: Apple cider vinegar may have antifungal properties.
Clinical tests have proved its effectiveness in battling candida, otherwise known as yeast. Candidiasis infections can attack the mouth, throat, vagina, penis, and skin and are experienced by both men and women. Apple cider vinegar can neutralize candida overgrowth (12) and prevent these fungi from producing troublesome infections.
17: Apple cider vinegar may alleviate menstrual cramps.
While there is not a lot of clinical evidence to support the notion, many women believe apple cider vinegar can reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. The standard treatment is to mix a tablespoon of vinegar with a full glass of water (hot or cold) and drink. Do this once a day (no more than that) for the duration of your period.
18: Apple cider vinegar improves overall health.
The best reason of all to make apple cider vinegar part of your daily diet is because you will look and feel better if you do. Your digestive tract will be running more efficiently and effectively. Your immune system will be operating at full capacity. It may help you lose weight and keep it off. And you will not be as prone to bacterial and fungal infections. You are also likely to feel more alert and energetic.
Some people use it to bolster cardiovascular health. Others use it to ward of osteoporosis. Some use apple cider vinegar to stabilize their blood glucose levels and still others use it as a disinfectant. The fact is no matter how you measure it apple cider vinegar stands tall as a simple, safe and natural way to bolster your overall health.