Apple Cider Vinegar – Ultimate Guide

Apple Cider Vinegar has become very popular in recent years used in home remedies and as a natural alternative to weight loss in your healthy diet.  One of the main reasons is that Apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is made from apple cider that has undergone fermentation to form healthy-promoting probiotics that help speed up your health and weight loss goals.

13 core benefits of apple cider vinegar are:

  • Weight Loss: Breaks down fats quicker to use as energy
  • Diabetes: Regulates blood sugar
  • Improved digestion
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Rich in potassium
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Improves skin health
  • Dandruff treatment
  • Balances pH levels
  • Pet care
  • Household cleaning
  • Natural health supplement
  • …And Many More

 

First, What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apples and has a pale to medium amber color. (1)  There’s a two-step process in its creation:

First, manufactures of the cider vinegar add yeast to crushed apples. The yeast ferments the apples by eating the sugars that naturally derive from the apples and turns them into alcohol. (2)

Once the apples begin fermenting, manufacturers will add more acid-forming bacteria to mix. This process turns the fermented liquid into an “acetic acid” – the main compound in ACV. Bacteria will begin to convert the alcohol into a vinegar. (3)  Acetic acid and malic acid is what gives ACV its bitter taste.

apple cider vinegar nutrition facts

Apple Cider Vinegar nutrition facts

ACV contains a low amount of calories but contains many nutritional properties that have gotten the attention of the health community. It’s overall vitamin and mineral content is low, however, it does contain trace amounts of iron and is rich in potassium. (4)

High quality raw organic apple cider vinegar ( unpasteurized and unfiltered) can contain many beneficial strands of proteins, enzymes and bacterias or probiotics that are good for your health. These can be found in the ‘cobweb-like’ substance called “the Mother” that floats near the bottom of ACV bottles. (yes that stuff is edible)

In summary, most of the nutritional value of apple cider vinegar comes from the acetic acid itself alongside the enzymes and other nutrients found in the unpasteurized organic ACV.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar good for you?

Absolutely – If you’ve gotten this far then you know that ACV packs a mean punch! Since it’s a natural supplement that can be added to your diet there are many beneficial properties that make this product hard to ignore.

Keep in mind that ACV is known for acidic properties which if consumed too much can do more damage than good. So like anything, as long as you limit your daily consumption and consume the recommended daily doses to just a few tablespoons a day – you’ll be reaping its amazing benefits!

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Weight Loss

Suppressed Appetite

 

Studies have found that taking apple cider vinegar with a balanced diet has been shown to increase participants satiety (feelings of fullness). (5)  Subjects who took ACV ended up consuming fewer calories throughout the course of the day..without consciously trying to.

This means that without even knowing it you are consuming fewer calories throughout the day, and those missed calories can stack up over time to achieve your weight loss goals.

Another study of obese people found that a daily consumption of apple cider vinegar resulted in significant weight loss. Participants showed less body fat, lower blood triglycerides, and smaller waist circumferences.(6)

Take that body fat!

Low Calories

One tablespoon of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar has ZERO calories…that’s right ZERO calories. (7)  Not only that but one tablespoon of ACV packs a lot flavor. So rest assured you’re not sacrificing taste for decreased inches on your waistline.

When it comes to losing weight – the combination of zero calories and its immense flavor is one of the main reasons why apple cider vinegar is the best choice to flavor your favorite foods.

Apple cider vinegar is a fantastic option for those homemade salad dressings, marinades, and drinks. Why load up on high-calorie ranches and mayos? When you can skip the calories all together with flavor-packed- zero cal ACV.   

Increased Metabolism

Trying to burn fat faster? Well, your metabolism is a driving force in speeding up that process. If you want to lose weight from fat cells, those cells need to store fewer calories than they release. (8) What this means is that you need to get your body into a ‘fat burning’ state instead of a ‘fat storing’ state by consuming the foods that help lower the concentration of glucose in in your body.

The acetic and malic acid in apple cider vinegar when consumed before a meal has been shown to help increase your metabolic rate, ensuring that your body is in a ‘fat burning’ state while digesting the foods you just consumed.

Disease Prevention

Diabetes: Blood Sugar Control

Many people that are curious about apple cider vinegar are interested in its effects with type 2 diabetes. Various studies have shown that ACV along with many other kinds of vinegar is proven methods to control blood sugar and insulin levels in your body. (9)

The scientific community believes that this is due the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar that aids in lowering blood sugar levels by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbs. What this means is that your body insulin levels can be properly regulated, preventing huge spikes as sugar is released more slowly and evenly in the bloodstream. (10)

ACV’s benefits are also great for people without diabetes. One of the main causes of premature aging and other chronic diseases are due to elevated blood sugar levels. Introducing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your diet is a great way to keep your levels under control.

Heart Disease

The #1 cause of death in America is Heart disease.(11) It is the leading cause of death for almost every ethnicity in the United States. One of the many key properties and benefits of apple cider vinegar is its positive effects on fighting heart disease.

Introducing ACV to your diet has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your body. Multiple studies have confirmed the link between consuming ACV and improved heart health. (12)

The theory behind the study is that apple cider vinegar contains two antioxidants called “chlorogenic acid” and “alpha-linolenic acid” which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels (13) by preventing LDL cholesterol from being oxidized in your body.  

One observational study found that woman who consumed a higher intake of oil and alpha-linolenic acid (which can be found in ACV) in their salad dressings significantly reduced their risk of fatal heart disease. (14) 

Cancer Treatment

Although a lot more research needs to be done on the links between apple cider vinegar and cancer, many in the health-conscious community believe in ACV’s supposed anti-cancer properties. One study concluded that the physiologically active substances in apple cider vinegar act as an antitumor agent against mice that carried cancerous tumors. (15)

Now, even though studies like these produce seemingly positive results, bare in mind that these studies are done under very strict circumstances. Many times tests are done on isolated cancer cells in rats or mice…so it impacts might not be significant (or exist at all) in humans.

Improved Digestion

Being rich in acetic acid, ash, and malic acid is what makes apple cider vinegar a powerhouse for your digestive system. Some of the most common health issues today stem from your digestive system which includes heartburn, acid reflux, stomach ulcers and other digestive problems. Millions of people suffer from digestive problems everytime they have a meal – relying on potentially harmful pharmaceutical drugs to alleviate their symptoms. However, that’s just it – these drugs alleviate they don’t get rid of the problem at its core.

Taking apple cider vinegar with meals can give your digestive system and stomach the extra needed acid to break down food properly without causing any issues. Most common digestion issues stem from the stomach not having enough acid in the first place to properly do its job.

One of the main properties of the cobweb-like substance found in raw ACV is called “apple pectin fiber”, which prepares the entire gastrointestinal tract. Easing your bowels helps take care of bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and constipation. To boot – the acetic acid in ACV also help your digestive system absorb all the key minerals in your food.

Other Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

Antibiotic Properties

One of the most popular uses for centuries of apple cider vinegar has been to treat wounds. (16) The acetic acid aids in killing contaminants and prevents infections from spreading or reaching harmful levels.

ACV also helps slow down and stop bacteria from spreading making it a natural food preservative when added to your favorite dishes. Imagine… you can use apple cider vinegar to not only pickle your foods but also treat athlete’s foot or other warts and funguses.

Household Cleaning

Apple cider vinegar offers many of the same benefits as plain white vinegar but with a more pleasant smell….APPLES! That being said just like with regular white vinegar, you can use ACV as a natural alternative for household cleaner without harming the planet.

The acidity level in apple cider vinegar has been used to clean and disinfect around the house, on everything from floors to drains. It is a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning agent perfect for removing dirt, mineral deposits and harmful bacteria from some of the following surfaces around your home:

  • Kitchen Surfaces
  • Countertops
  • Glasses
  • Microwaves
  • Ovens
  • Toilets  (Just pour it in the bowl and let it sit overnight)
  • Windows

Skin Care

If you scour the web, you’ll be quick to find that ACV can be used for skin care and acne treatment. Raw apple cider vinegar contains ‘alpha hydroxy acids’ that will remove dead skin and reveal healthy and vibrant new skin. It can help balance the pH levels in your skin – Imbalanced pH levels is one of the main reasons for skin blemishes, acne, age spots and clogged pores. (17)

Try this simple homemade toner:

Ingredients:

  • One part apple cider vinegar
  • Two parts water

Directions

  • Use a cotton ball to spread the mixture all over your face, which helps clear up trouble spots.

 Hair Care

Many people have been using apple cider vinegar as a natural hair conditioner for years. Just like with your skin, people use ACV as a natural hair care product because of is close acidity of human hair. Not only that some studies show apple cider vinegar used for dandruff relief.

Directions

  • Just mix a ½ tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water and VOILA!

Use it to rinse your hair after shampooing a few times a week and see the results come in!

Secret: You can make a large batch of this stuff and store in an old shampoo or conditioner bottle and leave it in the shower.

Apple cider vinegar for pets

Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help keep fleas away? ACV can help strengthen the slightly acidic film on the surface of the skin of your pet, which can act as a barrier to viruses, bacteria and other pests like fleas.

Directions

Make a flea spray with equal parts water and ACV – spray it on your pets fur and bedding and let it dry – it’s really that simple.

TIP: Apple cider vinegar is completely safe for your pets fur and you don’t have to worry about them licking it off and getting sick.

Side effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

Although there are copious amounts of health benefits of apple cider vinegar, it important to not abuse its consumption. Like everything – use in moderation. That being said you should limit yourself to ingesting one teaspoon to two tablespoons a day.

Apple cider vinegar is extremely safe, however, too much can deplete your body of key nutrients (not eating proper foods because of its filling effects on your stomach) and strip the enamel of your teeth (because of its strong acidic content).

If you plan on consuming more than the recommended levels of two tablespoons a day you should consult your doctor to make sure this won’t affect any other medications or symptoms you might be exposed too.

If you’ve never tried apple cider vinegar before the taste can be very bitter and intense – it’s definitely an acquired taste. Always start small and make sure you dilute with water and try to shop for organic apple cider vinegar if you have the opportunity.

SOURCES

  1. “Apple cider vinegar – Wikipedia.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_cider_vinegar.
  2. “Apple Cider Vinegar – | Paleohacks Blog.” 27 Jan. 2018, https://blog.paleohacks.com/apple-cider-vinegar/.
  3. 15 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day”https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html.
  4. “Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16015276.
  5. “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum … – NCBI.” 7 Aug. 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687.
  6. “Calories in Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar – Calories and Nutrition Facts ….” https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/178621882.
  7. “The Science Behind Fat Metabolism – KetoSchool.” 2 Jan. 2016, https://ketoschool.com/the-science-behind-fat-metabolism-60f7a3f678d0.
  8. “Functional Properties of Vinegar – Budak – 2014 … – Wiley Online Library.” 8 May. 2014, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12434/full.
  9. “How to Lose Weight with Apple Cider Vinegar | Avocadu.” https://avocadu.com/how-to-lose-weight-with-apple-cider-vinegar/.
  10. “Heart Disease Facts & Statistics | cdc.gov.” 28 Nov. 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm.
  11. “Functional Properties of Vinegar – Budak – 2014 … – Wiley Online Library.” 8 May. 2014, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12434/full.
  12. “Chlorogenic acid exhibits cholesterol lowering and fatty liver … – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22674675.
  13. “Dietary intake of alpha-linolenic acid and risk of fatal … – NCBI – NIH.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232627.
  14. “Generation of antitumor-active neutral medium-sized alpha … – NCBI.” 7 Sep. 2007, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17827702.
  15. “35 Awesome Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar | Young and Raw.” 18 Jan. 2014, https://www.youngandraw.com/35-awesome-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar/.
  16. “5 Reasons To Wash Your Face (& Skin) With Apple Cider Vinegar.” 14 Dec. 2015, https://www.naturallivingideas.com/5-reasons-to-wash-your-face-with-apple-cider-vinegar/.
  17. “Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Dandruff Treatment – Health Ambition.” https://www.healthambition.com/apple-cider-vinegar-for-dandruff/.
  18. “7 Side Effects of Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar – Healthline.” 10 Aug. 2016, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-side-effects.
  19. “What is Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother? Wellness Mama.” 11 Jan. 2018, https://wellnessmama.com/121495/apple-cider-vinegar-mother/.

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