Apple cider vinegar nutrition facts

Contents

All About Apple Cider Vinegar: How It Can Affect Your Health, How to Cook and Clean With It, and More

What Are the Possible Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?

ACV has garnered superfood status, and fans of the vinegar say that it can cure nearly everything that ails you (weight gain, digestive issues, skin woes). Truth is, there are few studies that support these uses, so while you can add it to your diet without significantly upping your risk for weight gain, it’s best to stay realistic about it.

One way ACV is weight loss friendly is it has very few calories. However, you may also have heard that some people take a shot or tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to stimulate fat burning. The fact of the matter is, taking ACV will likely do little to actually change your body composition or weight. As registered dietitian Katherine Zeratsky points out for the Mayo Clinic, this thought doesn’t have scientific support behind it — and the only way to actually lose weight is through a generally healthy diet and by incorporating fitness into your routine. (6) The advice is far less flashy than supplementing with something as trendy as ACV, but it’s exactly what really works.

That said, there is some preliminary research suggesting that ACV may be beneficial for health. One animal study showed that obese rats who took apple cider vinegar daily saw a reduction in total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels due to its antioxidant benefits. (7) It’s important to note, however, that this study was done only on rats, so it’s not known if these findings hold up when applied to humans.

One plus about vinegar is that it’s been shown to possibly help people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, one study in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found that taking 2 teaspoons (tsp) of vinegar with a meal containing complex carbohydrates reduced postprandial glycemia (a spike in blood sugar after a meal) by 20 percent compared with a placebo. That measure is important when it comes to managing the disease. (8) What’s more, a randomized, placebo-controlled study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that looked at acetic acid (vinegar) found that people taking vinegar before a meal had an improved insulin response. (9)

That said, research isn’t in agreement across the board. An earlier small study found that ACV didn’t decrease the body’s glucose response following a carb-rich meal. (10) All that is to say, the effect isn’t so clear.

Another piece of evidence for vinegar’s effects for diabetes: A study in Diabetes Care found that people with diabetes who drink 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of ACV before bed with an ounce of cheese had reduced fasting glucose levels the next morning compared with a control group who ate the cheese snack with water. (11) As promising as that sounds, it’s important to note that this research involved only 11 participants. It’s an extremely small sample to generalize to the public. And it goes without saying that if you have type 2 diabetes, you should work closely with your healthcare team (doctor, registered dietitian) on the best way to control the condition, rather than relying on ACV.

Finally, beyond weight and diabetes, ACV may have some surprising properties. In a case study in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, doctors cured a 32-year-old woman suffering from chronic yeast infections with topically applied apple cider vinegar. (Researchers mentioned that other integrative treatments weren’t successful.) (12) That said, experts caution against putting anything in your vagina, as it can disrupt its natural pH balance. Do not try this on your own without consulting your gynecologist first.

Apple cider vinegar drink recipes you’ll actually enjoy drinking! Four flavors including: Limeade, Ginger Spice, Honey Cayenne and Apple Pie.

The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are undeniable so I’m always looking for ways to include it in my diet that I actually enjoy. I started with basic recipes (like this apple cider vinegar dressing, apple cider vinegar coleslaw and apple cider vinegar chicken) and then I found the Bragg’s apple cider vinegar drinks at Whole Foods and other natural markets!

These drinks are a game-changer because they actually taste good.

I tried them a couple years ago and immediately became hooked and I decided to start creating my own at home. My first recreation went live almost four years ago (see my grape apple cider vinegar drink recipe here) and I’ve since expanded my testing to come up with four delicious and easy combos that I absolutely adore. I now make one of these apple cider vinegar drinks every day!

WATCH HOW TO MAKE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR DRINKS:

Yup, I’ve created four apple cider vinegar drink recipes that you’ll actually enjoy drinking and with four flavors to choose from you’re bound to find one that you love. You might find yourself finishing these quickly because they’re delicious, not because you feel like you need to chug them down to get it over with.

Important notes for making your own apple cider vinegar drinks:

  • Be sure to use unrefined, unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar “with the mother”. I always buy Bragg’s apple cider vinegar.
  • Three of the four drinks are sweetened with stevia. I’ve tried a ton of different brands, but for these drink I really like using the Wholesome Sweetener organic stevia blend with organic erythritol and stevia. I’ve also used the NuNaturals liquid stevia drops and like those as well. If you use another brand or liquid stevia you’ll likely have to play around with the amount to meet your taste preference. I’ve found that 1 teaspoon of powdered stevia is equivalent to about 10-12 drops, but brands differ so I’d recommend experimenting.
  • I usually make these drinks in a pint size mason jar. Just add the ingredients, top with a lid and shake.
  • I find that the drinks taste best when they’re really cold. Feel free to shake with ice (like a cocktail) or chill in the fridge before drinking.

See all the flavors and recipes below:

If you like lemonade or citrusy drinks, this one will definitely be your jam because it legit tastes like limeade. My husband, Isaac, requests that I make this one for him all the time.

Limeade Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 2 cups of cold water

Mix together and serve cold.

It’s hard to pick favorites because all the flavors are good, but this one is probably my absolute favorite. The ground ginger adds a hint of spice, it’s perfect for soothing an upset tummy and I love how easy it is to whip up with the ground ginger.

Ginger Spice Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 2 cups of cold water

Mix together and serve cold.

The apple pie flavor is a classic in my mind because it’s very similar to my original apple pie drink. It’s extra sweet with the apple juice and cinnamon so it’s the perfect way to kick an craving for sweets. I love to enjoy this one right after dinner or as a way to get through the afternoon munchies.

Apple Pie Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons organic apple juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon stevia
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups of cold water

Mix together and serve cold.

The honey cayenne flavor is great for anyone who prefers not to use stevia and doesn’t mind a little natural sugar. It has a hint of cayenne, which gives it a metabolism boosting effect. I recommend making this one with warm or hot water because otherwise the honey doesn’t really dissolve. Once the honey has dissolved you can drink it warm/hot or put it in the fridge to chill before drinking! I love serving it up warm as a relaxing drink before bed on a cold, winter evening, but it’s also great for soothing a sore throat. And feel free to leave the cayenne out if you don’t want the added spice.

Honey Cayenne Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (ideally raw and local)
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups of warm/hot water

Mix together until honey has dissolved. Serve warm or pop in the fridge to chill.

PS: Don’t take shots of apple cider vinegar!

Every time I hear someone say they take apple cider vinegar shots I cringe. Unless you’re diluting that vinegar, shots are not a good thing! Undiluted apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can damage your teeth and esophagus. Always, always, always dilute apple cider vinegar when you’re drinking it, ideally using a 10:1 ratio. If you’re using a shot glass with the 10:1 ratio, just do 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and fill the rest of the shot glass with water. And let’s be honest here. Shots of apple cider vinegar (even when diluted) are similar to taking a shot of alcohol. They’re tolerable, but they’re certainly not fun and they taste pretty awful. Make one of these apple cider vinegar drinks instead!

Description

It’s hard to pick favorites because all the flavors are good, but this one is probably my absolute favorite. The ground ginger adds a hint of spice, it’s perfect for soothing an upset tummy and I love how easy it is to whip up with the ground ginger.

Ingredients

Limeade Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon stevia or other natural sweetener*
  • 2 cups of cold water

Ginger Spice Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon stevia or other natural sweetener*
  • 2 cups of cold water

Apple Pie Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons organic apple juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon stevia or other natural sweetener*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups of cold water

Honey Cayenne Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (ideally raw and local)
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups of warm/hot water

Instructions

Mix together, taste and add more sweetener if needed. Serve cold over ice.

Notes

  • I’ve found that 1 teaspoon of powdered stevia is equivalent to about 10-12 drops, but brands differ so I’d recommend experimenting.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: apple cider vinegar drink

I can’t wait to hear what you think of these apple cider vinegar drink recipes! Let me know how they turn out in the comment section or share a photo on social media. Just be sure to tag me (@eatingbirdfood + #eatingbirdfood) so that I see it!

This Super-Ingredient Offers Endless Health Benefits

The above statement reflects the glowing recommendation that introduced me to apple cider vinegar (ACV). I heard about the ACV craze from a friend at the climbing gym, raving about the super ingredients health benefits. Following her recommendation, it didn’t take long to hook me. So I guess it contains healthy bacteria? And it targets multiple systems in the body? It only takes a tablespoon a day to keep the doctor away? I had to know more. A few days later my curiosity piqued and a Google search yielded more praise for ACV. The super ingredient promised plentiful results regarding heart health and skincare, to name a few benefits.

ACV’s long list of endorsements was impressive, including a shout out from Olympian Gabby Douglas. I had to try it for myself. I pulled the Braggs ACV out of my pantry and poured a capful into a small glass, noting the sharp aroma that filled the air. My first thought upon swallowing? It was a regrettable decision — my throat burned, my eyes watered and mouth filled with a taste that lingered. Not to mention it was sourer than initially anticipated. I consulted Google once again, wondering where I went wrong. It turns out that while I was busy researching the health benefits of ACV, I missed the caveat: ACV needs to be diluted. Its acidic properties make it too potent on its own — it’s pretty severe; it can burn your throat and esophagus and damage your teeth.

Lesson learned, but I was still convinced of its health benefits. The super-ingredient worked its way into my diet, included in small amounts in dressings, marinades and cleansing drinks. A few months later, I stumbled across Pressed Juicery’s line of health and wellness shots. Their Digestion Shot consisted of ACV, as well as ginger, probiotic, parsley, aloe vera, celery and moringa. Unfortunately, the product is temporarily discontinued for the time being, but the lime-green rendition was petite and delightful. It was just the boost that I was looking for.

Thinking about adding a dash of ACV into your daily routine? You can try this easy drink recipe at home:

Perfect Summer Watermelon Shrub

Ingredients:

  • 5 Cups ripe Watermelon
  • 1/3 Cup light Honey
  • ½ Cup raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bubbly Water

Method: Puree watermelon until liquefied and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add the honey and apple cider vinegar and stir well. Chill for 1-2 days in the refrigerator. (This process will dilute the vinegar taste, so you can play around with the time chilled.) Add ice cubes and bubbly water to dilute the mixture to your desired taste. Enjoy!

A Brief History

Now that you know my history with ACV, allow me to backtrack and give you a history about this delectable ingredient known as vin aigre. Venerable and divine, vin aigre, otherwise known as French sour wine, has a rich and diverse history. According to an old legend, the discovery of vinegar was accidental: old wine that turned sour yielded its result and its name. In 5,000 BC the Babylonians made vinegar from the date palm fruit and used it as a preservative and a condiment, mixed with herbs and spices. Traces of vinegar found in Egyptian urns and vases suggest its use in 3,000 BC too. The Chinese first recorded the use of rice vinegar for cooking in their history books in 1,200 BC, demonstrating vinegar’s vast reach across the globe.

Well-used and beloved by many cultures, vinegar is a versatile super-ingredient, made from fruits, grains, rice and wine. Today, eleven essential kinds of vinegar exist, according to Food & Wine. Light or heavy, sour or sweet, you’re sure to find many uses for vinegar. It interacts with other foods well, making it a great addition to your favorite recipes. A vinegar-based marinade coagulates protein, which in other words, means that it tenderizes meats without additional heat — but be careful, too much vinegar can overcook meats. For Italian food lovers, a touch of vinegar in pasta salad keeps the noodles from sticking together and it thickens pasta sauces.

If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, enjoy a Crunch Roll with rice vinegar, spicy tuna, crispy seaweed, and tempura or finish a feast with a Hungarian classic: roasted pears drizzled in balsamic vinegar and topped with honey. ACV, in particular, is the perfect addition to classic American cuisine too. A homemade vinaigrette drizzled over a garden salad—or my personal favorite, a cucumber salad—adds sharp flavor to a healthy fix, while a dash of vinegar added to a spicy steak sauce brings piquant interest to your classic family-style barbecue.

All About Apple Cider Vinegar

By now you’re probably wondering what makes ACV, in particular, so special. ACV’s claim to fame comes from the liquid’s medley of tart and sweet flavor. The vinegar is the result of a lengthy process: the liquid from crushed apples is combined with bacteria and yeast, causing the liquid to ferment, turning the sugary substance into alcohol. From there, a second fermentation process occurs, transforming the alcohol into vinegar. This process results in quite the ubiquitous taste: a mixture of potent acidity and sweet-and-sour flavor. Today ACV is a common ingredient in salad dressings, marinades and chutneys. Its distinct and tangy flavor packs an unforgettable punch, making it a choice ingredient that adds a little kick to any dish.

“Apple cider vinegar is perfect for slaws, as the apple flavor adds a touch of sweetness that nicely compliments veggies and holds up well with cabbages. It’s also essential for barbecue sauce, to complement and balance the sweetness of black-strap molasses,” says Chef Eric Miller of Bay Kitchen Bar.

When selecting ACV at a grocery store, choose organic and unpasteurized ACV for the best results—a fan favorite is Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, which is cheap and unfiltered. Filtered ACV looks clear, rather than colored. The key to selecting ACV is to look for a murky amber-colored liquid with a cloudy substance near the bottom of the bottle. This cloudy substance, known as “the mother,” contains the healthy and beneficial bacteria in ACV. This bacteria makes ACV a superstar; a super-ingredient.

Can’t wait to add it to your diet? Then by all means, give apple cider vinegar a try with this dinner recipe:

Smothered Vinegar Pork Shoulder with Apples and Kale

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 (1 ½-pound) Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast (Boston butt), trimmed
  • ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 ½ Cups sliced Onion
  • ½ Cup fat-free, lower-sodium Chicken Broth
  • ¼ Cup Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons ground Cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon ground Allspice
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 Cups chopped fresh Kale
  • 1 Teaspoon Canola Oil
  • 2 peeled Apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and coat with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook for 7 minutes and turn to brown evenly. Remove the pork and cover it to keep it warm.
  3. Coat the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add onion, stir occasionally, and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned. Add chicken broth, rice vinegar, cumin allspice and garlic cloves. Bring the pan to a boil and stir. Place the pork back in the pan, cover, and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Add kale, cover, and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat the pan with canola oil. Add apples and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar and cook for 1 minute or until dissolved. Drizzle the apple and vinegar dressing over the pork and kale to complete the dish. Enjoy!
The Super-Ingredient, Explained

ACV is always helpful to have around the home. In the kitchen, ACV is an effective produce cleaner, fighting bacteria and pesticides—but beware; this method will leave a lingering taste of vinegar on your veggies and fruits. ACV compliments some produce more than others. Pickling squash, cucumbers and carrots with ACV can lead to a delicious and well-preserved vegetable medley. It can also be used to preserve meats and poultry.

In terms of health benefits, ACV contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and folic acid, which helps the body convert food into fuel and energy, boosts the immune system, and assists with protein and red blood cell metabolism. ACV is good for your cardiovascular system too: chlorogenic acid reduces LDL cholesterol levels, fiber maintains blood glucose levels and fights pre-diabetes, while acetic acid lowers blood pressure. Acetic acid is a particularly important component in ACV, as it reduces the absorption of carbohydrates and starches, so consider drinking a tall glass of water with a teaspoon of ACV (and lemon to taste) before consuming starch-heavy courses.

Dying to try it out? Here’s one more dinner recipe that we love:

Apple Cider Vinegar With Watermelon Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • 3 Cups (400g) Watermelon, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 large Zucchini, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander seeds, toasted, crushed
  • 1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Mint, leaves chopped
  • 1/4 Cup pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 x 1 1/2 (200g) Cup Skinless Salmon Fillets, pin-boned, cut into 2cm-wide strips
  • Lemon Wedges, to serve

Method:

  1. Combine and stir 1 teaspoon salt, sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Thread uncooked salmon onto skewers and brush pickling liquid over salmon. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. To make the watermelon salsa, combine and toss 1 tablespoon pickling liquid with watermelon, zucchini, coriander, seeds, onion, mint, olives and 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss.
  3. Preheat a barbecue pan to high. Drain salmon, dry with a paper towel and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Cook salmon skewers for 2 minutes or until crisp, flip, and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Top with salsa, serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!
Does The Super-Ingredient Live Up To The Hype?

Certainly, if you’re considering incorporating ACV into your diet for its health benefits, it’s important to consider its proven benefits. A Google search yields results in favor of the ACV craze, but sometimes scientific trials are taken out of context and cited incorrectly. One common myth about ACV is that it aids weight loss, but closer examination reveals that ACV has minimal impact on weight loss. Scientists believe that using ACV as part of a diet inspires people to eat healthier overall. It is also a general belief that ACV aids digestive health, but as of yet, there is no definitive proof to support this claim. On the other hand, many people claim that ACV causes acid reflux due to its highly acidic properties.

Many studies confirm the vast benefits of ACV, but many offer inconclusive results. So we still have a lot to learn about this wild and wacky, sweet and tangy super ingredient. There isn’t substantial evidence to confirm that weight loss correlates with the use of ACV, but, made from the ever-nutritious apple, it’s guaranteed to help your heart, boost your immune system and benefit your metabolism. The sour wine offers a host of confirmed health benefits, not to mention subtle flavor in every bite. Add a twist to your favorite salad with a new vinaigrette, or reinvent your BBQ wings with a touch of ACV. Introduce the super-ingredient into your diet in petite amounts, and prepare for nutritious and delicious results.

Historical + Fun Facts
  • The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, suggested mixing apple cider vinegar and honey to cure the common cold and chronic sore throats.
  • By the 19th century, vinegar was established as a necessity in the home and a hallmark of fine dining. Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello, particularly his gardens and vineyards, bear witness to the history of vinegar.

  • As a dressing on veggies, apple cider vinegar can reduce your risk of chronic disease.
  • Drinking it alone won’t help you lose weight and may irritate your digestive system.
  • Use vinegar for salads, not as a supplement.

Apple cider vinegar has gotten some serious hype lately for its supposed health benefits — and if you love apple cider vinegar so much that you’re using it as a salad dressing or produce topping, by all means, go for it! Vinegar contains zero calories, enhances flavor, and poses a low health risk, except for acid reflux-sufferers and diabetics.

But if you’re solely sipping the stuff for its purported effects, science says you’re out of luck. Those claims that ACV will reverse everything from diabetes to weight gain simply don’t have the research behind them — at least for now — so there’s no need to swallow spoonfuls or waste money on apple cider vinegar pills. You’re probably better off just eating an actual apple instead, which will provide fiber and high levels of antioxidants.

Here’s what apple cider vinegar actually can and can’t do for your health.

The Best Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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Using it as a dressing may reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Using apple cider vinegar regularly may improve your health overall, but it’s not for the reason you think. When splashed on vegetables, it’s the antioxidant compounds in the produce that actually help reduce the risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular illness, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive decline.

With that in mind, it’s difficult for scientists to determine the amount of beneficial antioxidants in the vinegar itself, which is made by adding bacterial cultures and yeast to apple juice. Since produce, pulses, nuts, and seeds provide a slew of well-established benefits, you’re 100% better off getting your immune-boosting nutrients from nature’s best foods.

It could lower cholesterol.

Due to acetic acid’s possible link to reduced cholesterol levels, fruit-based vinegar may help prevent cardiovascular disease, especially clot formation. However, the science isn’t substantial enough to make a definitive statement. Researchers don’t fully understand role of polyphenols, the antioxidants found in plant-based foods that protect cells from damage. Your best bet is swapping creamy, sugary dressings for apple cider vinegar instead.

What Apple Cider Vinegar Won’t Do

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It doesn’t give you a free pass on carbs or fat.

Sorry, but drinking apple cider vinegar doesn’t mean you can go all in on bagels and chicken fingers. Some small studies linked the liquid to limiting the negative effects of high-carb, high-glycemic-index meals and reducing fat production in the liver, but you should avoid those processed carbs and fried foods anyway!

It won’t significantly lower your blood sugar.

It could help, but don’t bet on it. Some studies linked acetic acid with a mild reduction in blood sugar spikes after meals. However, current research relies on hyper-specific populations, small sample sizes, or rats, not humans. Diabetics should proceed with caution when using vinegar since it may affect how much insulin is needed for a meal or snack.

Drinking apple cider vinegar won’t make you lose weight.

While I wish it were true, just one tablespoon or shot glass of apple cider vinegar cannot help with weight loss. The only research linking vinegar to weight loss used a tiny sample size and poor controls. Plus, the subjects in the study were on a weight-loss diet to begin with.

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And it won’t make you eat less.

Sorry, but nope! In fact, drinking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach can be tough on your digestive system and cause heartburn or nausea. Steer clear of supplements, tonics, and elixirs that make this hunger-killing claim, and fill up on breakfasts that combine fiber and protein instead.

Apple cider vinegar is not a recommended cure for constipation.

Some people recommend apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for, um, getting a little backed up, but no research supports this usage. Take caution before using any food to treat a medical condition, and speak to your healthcare provider if you have concerns.

It won’t keep you from getting sick.

Simply because “acid” is a byproduct of vinegar production doesn’t mean vinegar is a germ-killer, nor does it “detox” any vital organs. The antimicrobial claims made about apple cider vinegar stem from the fermentation process. Science can point to a reduced risk of foodborne illness, not the colds, infections, and stomach bugs caused by bacteria and viruses. Staying hydrated, sleeping well, and filling up on veggies will stave off sickness much more effectively.

It doesn’t contain a lot of probiotics.

Probiotic properties of apple cider vinegar are minimal at best. Since most commercially available vinegars are highly processed, good bacteria is hard to come by. Foods like Greek yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, and tempeh are all better sources with the added benefit of filling you up.

The Bottom Line: Vinegar is for salads, not supplements. Your best bet is to fill up on plant-based foods, which will provide everything you need to stay healthy.

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Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute Director, Nutrition Lab A registered dietitian with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, Jaclyn “Jackie” London handles all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation.

Top 12 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar You Need to Know (Backed by Science)

by: Yuri Elkaim

Salad dressing ingredient … natural home remedy … and now, superfood.

Apple cider vinegar is kind of a big deal if you haven’t already noticed, and lately it’s been getting even more attention due to acknowledgment of its wide-ranging health benefits.

I’m going outline a dozen of the benefits apple cider vinegar – or ACV, as it’s commonly called – can offer you and your family.

ACV gets many of its ultimate superfoods superpowers from the fact it contains acetic acid, which, in addition to being an amazing natural remedy, is also what gives it its signature sour taste.

The Remarkable Health Benefits of Acetic Acid

Acetic acid is produced by bacteria during the fermentation process and is a natural remedy that’s been used for thousands of years to help get rid of warts, ear infections, and fungal and bacterial infections (such as yeast infections).

In fact, it’s even added to pharmaceuticals.

The reason acetic acid is so good at killing off harmful bacteria is because it has what’s called mycobactericidal activity (1). In simple terms, this essentially means acetic acid can destroy certain types of bacteria that lead to infections.

And it’s also been shown to prevent fat gain when taken on a regular basis (2).

While acetic acid is found in all types of vinegar, ACV’s benefits top other varieties of vinegar – like rice or malt vinegar – for several reasons.

First, we already know apples are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, giving us fiber plus vitamins and minerals, like potassium and vitamin C.

When a food is fermented (which means it’s been broken down by friendly bacteria), those vitamins, minerals and enzymes can become even more concentrated (3).

Second, fermented foods also contain probiotics, which help promote gut health (4).

The concentrated nutrients and the gut-healthy properties mean that fermented foods provide a double-whammy of health benefits.

You know the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?

Based on the widely studied health benefits of ACV, taking a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day can likely do an even better job at keeping the doctor away.

Want to know some specific ways apple cider vinegar can make you healthier? Here are a dozen to get you started.

Top 12 Proven Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Alkalizes the Body’s pH

Our bodies have what’s called a pH balance, which measures the acidity in our blood on a scale of 0-14. Zero is considered the most acidic, while fourteen is highly alkaline.

To be in an optimal state of wellness, our ideal blood pH is around seven, and the body will do everything it possibly can to remain near the seven pH mark.

That being said, many foods in our modern diet are far too acidic (like sugar, grains, alcohol, meat and dairy products), and our diets often lack a sufficient amount of alkaline foods (such as dark leafy greens, fruit and vegetables).

Chronic stress adds to the acidifying lifestyle.

And when the body becomes too acidic, it creates the perfect environment for illness and disease, which is why it’s so important to include alkalizing foods in your diet.

Here’s where ACV comes into play. But first, it’s important to note that some vinegar varieties – like rice or red wine vinegar – have acidifying effects.

However, raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has been shown to be alkalinizing because it contains alkalizing minerals like potassium.

ACV’s nutrients can help buffer acidity and restore the pH balance. It also has also been shown to offer protective effects against oxidation and cellular damage, which can result from increased acidity (5)(6).

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Kills Pathogenic Bacteria

As I mentioned earlier, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been studied for its ability to kill harmful pathogenic bacteria. This even includes dangerous bacteria such as E.coli (7).

It’s also been documented that acetic acid is a natural antimicrobial, which means it can protect the body against yeasts, bacteria and viruses (8).

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Aids in Natural Weight Loss

ACV isn’t a “miracle pill” for quick weight loss but its acetic acid has been studied for it’s ability to keep your appetite satiated.

Because it can keep you feeling “full,” it helps reduce the overall amount of calories you’re taking in, promoting slow and steady weight loss. ACV may even help curb cravings for sweets and other processed foods that can lead to weight gain (9).

In a study that compared two meals – one of just white bread, and the other of white bread and vinegar – researchers found a lower metabolic response when the vinegar was added. Plus, subjects felt more satiated compared to those who didn’t have vinegar (10).

They theorized the acetic acid present in both regular and apple cider vinegar is responsible for these effects.

To help with weight loss, it’s best to consume 2 tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water before each meal (11).

4. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Digest Protein

There’s currently a lot of emphasis on eating protein to build muscle and be healthy.

In my opinion, it’s quite rare to be protein deficient, especially since all plant foods contain amino acids.

But here’s something to think about: your body might need less protein when it can better absorb the protein you’re eating. ACV might be able to help you get even more benefit from the proteins you eat.

In general, proteins need acids to digest (12). Since apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, it can boost the body’s ability to digest protein and break it down into amino acids.

This is one of the really important apple cider vinegar health benefits, because amino acids are critical to nearly every function in the body, including digestion, metabolism and cell repair (13). Amino acids like tryptophan also help synthesize our neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which promote a happier, stable mood (14).

To get the most out of the protein-digesting benefits, you can take ACV the same way you do for weight loss, in a cup of water about 20 minutes before you eat. The “dose” needed for this effect is slightly lower, at 2 teaspoons.

5. ACV Boosts Nutrient Absorption (Especially Iron)

Acetic acid has been shown to improve the body’s nonheme iron uptake, a remarkable health benefit for vegetarians and vegans.

There are two different types of iron: heme iron and nonheme iron. We get heme iron from animal products, and it’s typically easier for the body to digest and absorb because it has already been predigested by the animal.

Nonheme iron follows a different absorption pathway, making it more difficult for the body to assimilate (15). Nonheme iron is found in plant foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, and dark leafy greens, and is less bioavailable to the human body.

However, the acids in apple cider vinegar (acetic, malic, and ascorbic) help improve the body’s ability to uptake nonheme iron (16).

This means that adding a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to your vegetables – for example, in salad dressings – can help increase the amount of iron your body is able to absorb from your meal (17).

Also, the ascorbic acid in apple cider vinegar has also been said to enhance copper absorption, and copper also helps the body absorb iron (18).

6. Apple Cider Vinegar Increases Energy

One of the reasons apple cider vinegar naturally increases energy levels is because it helps aid in iron absorption, as mentioned above.

Iron is needed to help transport oxygen between your muscle cells, which helps produce energy. That’s why many people who are iron deficient suffer from relentless fatigue (19).

So it makes sense that improving your body’s ability to absorb iron can reduce fatigue and promote energy.

Having 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water three times per day is recommended to help help you absorb iron, on top of adding it to meals that contain plant-based iron sources, like beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar Boosts Immunity

We briefly touched on apple cider vinegar as a natural antimicrobial, which helps kill off harmful pathogens such as E.coli (20).

But one of the most little-known health benefits of apple cider vinegar is that researchers found it has protective antiviral effects against the polio virus (21).

This suggests ACV offers big benefits to the immune system when taken daily.

By supporting the immune system, it could help reduce the body’s immune responses and reactions to allergens – so don’t forget to include apple cider vinegar in your diet during allergy season.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar Lowers High Blood Pressure

Apple cider vinegar can help lower high blood pressure because it helps reduce sodium levels.

Potassium works with sodium to maintain blood pressure levels, but when there’s too much sodium in the body (often due to a high-salt diet), blood pressure levels go up, which is dangerous to cardiovascular health.

Adding extra potassium to your diet through ACV can help balance the sodium in your blood and reduce high blood pressure (22).

9. Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Prevent Candida

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is an effective natural antifungal against candida (23).

Candida is a common digestive condition that upsets the body’s natural balance of friendly bacteria to bad gut bacteria.

When there’s candida in the digestive system, it means that an overgrowth of yeast (a type of bacteria) is present in the digestive tract.

Candida is often accompanied with symptoms such as food intolerances, fatigue, brain fog, and fungal infections.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar Balances Blood Sugar

ACV helps balancing blood sugar levels by slowing how fast starches are digested and lowering your body’s insulin response after you eat (24)(25)(26).

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar gets the credit when it comes to reducing the effects of carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, and potatoes) on blood sugar levels when it’s included in meals (27).

Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to delay your body’s gastric emptying rate, which also lowers the body’s insulin response (28).

If you’d like to learn more ways to naturally lower your blood sugar levels, here are 11.

11. Helps Reduce Acid Reflux and Improves Digestion

Since apple cider vinegar has a similar pH to stomach acid (apple cider vinegar is 3.075 and stomach acid ranges from 1.5-3.5), it mimics stomach acid, which can help stimulate digestion (29).

Many people think high stomach acid is the cause of acid reflux because of the burning sensation, but acid reflux can also be a sign that your body doesn’t have enough stomach acid to properly digest food.

Since ACV mimics stomach acid, it can help facilitate the digestive process and reduce symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. It might also help prevent gas and bloating.

12. ACV Can Help Eliminate Acne

Poor digestion can cause skin conditions like acne. This is because acne-causing toxins can get stuck in the digestive tract and become eliminated through the skin if digestion pathways are overloaded.

Imbalanced hormones are also considered a root cause of acne (30).

Since apple cider vinegar has proven to be effective for promoting digestive function – as well as increasing nutrient absorption– ACV can help clear up acne breakouts caused by poor digestion.

As I mentioned earlier, ACV can also help increase protein absorption. This is important because by improving protein absorption, ACV also encourages the rebalancing of hormones, since many hormones require amino acids to synthesize.

The Negative Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

With all the remarkable health benefits of apple cider vinegar listed above, you may be ready to run to the store and grab yourself a few bottles.

But before you begin adding ACV to your diet, here are some things you should know.

Before your body metabolizes apple cider vinegar, it actually has an acidic pH, of 3.075.

It only becomes alkalinizing after you digest it.

Its initial acidic nature means that unless you take precautions, when it passes through your mouth it can wear down or erode tooth enamel.

Now that’s no reason to avoid ACV. You just need to make sure to dilute it with plenty of water, and be sure to drink the apple cider vinegar tonic through a straw, so it has less of a chance at eroding your tooth enamel.

It’s also important not to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after you drink ACV because the tooth enamel can be sensitive once exposed to apple cider vinegar, and brushing right afterward might put it especially at risk.

Apple cider vinegar can also interact with some prescription medications, so be sure to check with your pharmacist or healthcare provider to make sure it’s safe for you to include it regularly in your diet.

How Much Apple Cider Vinegar?

The amount of apple cider vinegar you drink each day will depend on your health goals, but in general, a good place to start to promote optimal health is 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in 8 oz of water, three times per day.

And to get the digestive health benefits of apple cider vinegar, it’s best to drink it roughly twenty minutes before each meal.

For weight loss benefits, the recommended amount jumps to 2 tablespoons in a glass of water before each meal (31).

6 Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressings You Need to Try

You can also include apple cider vinegar in your diet by adding it to salad dressings and other recipes, like stir fries and baking.

If you’re in search of some ACV inspiration, I have several recipes that make apple cider vinegar taste delicious:

  • Hawaiian Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Soda Drink
  • Apple Cider Vinegar & Greens Detox Salad

When buying apple cider vinegar, be sure to look for the best possible quality as it will deliver the most health benefits. Purchase unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar that contains “the mother” because it shows that the most beneficial part of the vinegar is still present.

You’ll notice “the mother” floating around inside the bottle of ACV – it’s the bacterial culture that makes the fermentation process happen. No worries: you don’t have to drink it (although it’s super nutritious, so you might want to). Manufacturers leave the mother in the vinegar because it’s the most nutritionally concentrated part of the vinegar, packed with enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

When you shake the vinegar before using it, the nutrients from the mother filter into the vinegar.

Bragg’s Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is an inexpensive variety of quality apple cider vinegar that can be found at any grocery store, either in the condiments aisle or in the natural foods section.

Proven Benefits Galore

Those are just some of health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and there’s a good chance there are yet more to be discovered.

Even if you’re not in search of particular nutrition results, the health benefits of apple cider vinegar make it an ideal superfood for anyone of any age to consume each day for energy and overall well-being.

11 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Lives Up to the Hype

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of those buzzy wellness ingredients that people time and time again swear by. It’s not surprising why, though.

It almost like the holy grail of home remedies — for instance, a shot of it is said to help boost energy, control blood sugar, and promote weight loss. Topically, ACV may help improve your hair’s shine as well as the texture and tone of your skin by clearing up unwanted breakouts.

Mixed with other good-for-you ingredients like lemon juice or olive oil, ACV can be a potent booster for your daily routine. Here are 11 easy ways to boost your health with ACV.

1. Trouble with digesting roughage? Use ACV in your salad dressing

There are a few reasons ACV can help out with digestion issues, according to nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH, bestselling author of “The One One One Diet.”

The first is thanks to ACV’s antibacterial properties, which can lend help to common gut issues that can be caused by bacteria, like diarrhea. As a fermented food, ACV also contains probiotics that help regulate overall healthy digestion.

Try it

  • Mix ACV with apple cider and Dijon mustard in a pan over a simmer.
  • Add olive oil to mixture and toss it together with some of your favorite vegetables.

“Pairing an ACV-based dressing with vegetables does double duty for your digestion, as both the fiber in the veggies and the probiotics in the ACV can boost digestive health,” Batayneh points out.

2. Looking to curb your appetite? Make a daily ACV tonic

Sometimes the hardest part of recalibrating eating habits is restriction. According to Batayneh, drinking ACV can “be incredibly useful when trying to eat less and lose weight.” She refers to a study that found that ACV may suppress areas of the brain that control appetite, resulting in fewer calories eaten over time.

Try it, based on science

  • Round one: Dilute 15 milliliters (mL) of ACV in 500 mL of water and drink it every day for 12 weeks.
  • Round two: Dilute 30 mL of ACV in 500 mL of water and drink it every day for 12 weeks.

ACV may also help with fat storage, thanks to a special component: acetic acid. In rat studies, this acid has been shown to help reducefat storage.

After such positive results from animal studies, a 2009 study looked at 122 people with obesity and found that daily consumption of vinegar reduces obesity and aids weight loss.

3. Need natural energy? Sip an ACV-mixed tea in the AM

Skipping coffee? For Batayneh, a tea with ACV is a great alternative to other calorie-heavy, caffeinated drinks like lattes and sodas.

Besides fat storage, acetic acid also boosted how muscles in mice refuel on energy resources. It’s suggested to work similarly for humans.

Amp your morning drink

  • Batayneh suggests combining 2 tablespoons of ACV, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper in a glass of warm water. “Sipping on this may prevent you from reaching for heavier drinks or snacks in the early morning when you need an energy boost,” she says.

Lemon juice has many nutritional benefits, but specific research that links lemons to weight loss is sparse. However, drinking about four ounces of lemonade per day is suggested to help with kidney stone prevention. As for cayenne pepper and cinnamon, both have ingredients that provide therapeutic benefits to help boost your metabolism and reduce inflammation.

Not the Master Cleanse While this drink sounds very close to the Master Cleanse diet, we definitely don’t recommend drinking this as a substitute meal or in attempt to detox. It’s best to drink alongside a meal or as a morning tonic.

4. Sore throat? Mix ACV and honey into a soothing concoction

With antibacterial and antiviral properties, ACV can be incredibly beneficial.

With all that said, there isn’t much scientific evidence backing the claim that honey and ACV tea will completely get rid of a sore throat. The theory is that the ACV works to fight the bacteria while the honey can help suppress coughs by coating and soothing the throat.

3 ways to try it

  • In a large mug of warm water, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 2 tablespoons of honey for a throat tonic.
  • For something tastier, try ginger tea with 1 to 2 teaspoons of ACV, honey, and coconut oil.
  • Gargle 1 to 2 teaspoons of ACV with warm salt water for 20 to 30 seconds two to three times a day. Don’t swallow.

If your sore throat continues for days, you should see a doctor. They can prescribe antibiotics if it’s a bacterial infection.

5. Managing insulin levels? Drink ACV with water and a meal or snack

For people with diabetes, incorporating ACV may be a helpful step in managing the condition. “It’s thought that… acetic acid may slow down the conversion of complex carbohydrates into sugar in the bloodstream,” Batayneh explains. “This provides more time for sugar to be removed from the bloodstream, allowing the body to keep blood sugar levels constant and limit spikes.”

There’s not too much research to completely back this up, however one 2007 study with 11 participants found that people with type 2 diabetes who took 2 tablespoons of ACV with a bedtime cheese snack woke up with much lower blood sugar levels.

6. Worried about cholesterol? Try this ACV egg salad recipe

“Apples and vinegar work together in the form of ACV and naturally lend themselves to lowering triglyceride and cholesterol level,” explains Batayneh. A 2012 study found that ACV may be able to reduce bad cholesterol along with triglyceride in people with high cholesterol levels.

“The main reason being is that the acetic acid in apple-cider vinegar is what makes it effective in lowering low-density-level (LDL) cholesterol.”

Although evidence supporting these claims are mostly anecdotal, combining ACV with other heart-healthy options can only help! Getting your cholesterol and triglyceride under control is one natural way to lower risk of heart disease.

Sub ACV for mayo in avocado egg salad

  • This avocado egg salad remix is a great opportunity to get a serving of heart-healthy nutrition. Instead of mayonnaise as the binding ingredient, use avocados for the creaminess and ACV for the tartness. The texture of the avocado mixed with ACV will help get that creamy consistency that makes egg salad so delicious!

Just this year, a study found that a moderate consumption of eggs can actually lower risk for cardiovascular disease. Plus, avocados are also known to contain healthy fats that can help reduce risk for heart disease.

7. Preventive help? Combine ACV with other anticancer foods

There’s a theory that ACV can help make your blood alkaline, which can keep cancer cells from growing. However, it’s not a full shield against cancer since your body is typically able to maintain a pretty balanced pH.

It’s important not to treat ACV as your only course of treatment. Instead, rely on it for its other benefits, such as energy. The few studies showing that different types of vinegar can kill cancer cells are mostly animal studies.

Try it with other cancer-preventing foods

  • Broccoli. Try this broccoli salad with a cider dressing. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which has shown to reduce the size and number of breast cancer cells as well as kill off prostate cancer in mice.
  • Olive oil. Keep this ACV vinaigrette in the fridge. Olive oil also has been associated with cancer prevention. One big 2011 review showed that those who consumed a higher amount of olive oil had a lower risk for developing digestive or breast cancers compared to those who consumed lower levels.
  • Nuts. Snack on sea salt and ACV almonds. Nuts can be associated with a decreased risk for both cancer-related death and colorectal, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers.

8. Have a headache? Make a compress out of ACV

Similar to the sore throat benefit, ACV’s ability to reduce headaches is mostly anecdotal. While this trick may not work for everyone, you may benefit from ACV if you get headaches from:

  • digestive issues
  • blood sugar spikes
  • potassium deficiency

Not only will ingesting ACV help, but making a cold compress could also relieve headaches.

  • Rinse a washcloth in cold ACV for a few minutes and wring out before applying it to your forehead.
  • Add two drops of a pain-relieving essential oil, like rose oil, for an extra boost.

9. Boost hair shine with an ACV hair rinse

One of the most highly marketed beauty benefits of ACV is the ability to increase hair shine. “ACV can be used as a hair rinse to boost shine by temporarily flattening the cuticle,” says Batayneh. The acetic pH can close up the hair cuticle which in turn prevents frizzing and promotes shiny smoothness.

Try it (with caution)

  • Dilute ACV with water and splash the mixture into your hands.
  • Run the mixture through wet hair.
  • Let it sit for up to five minutes and then rinse out.
  • To avoid the DIY route, haircare brand Dphue has their very own Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, which you can get from Sephora for $15.

Use sparingly: Batayneh points out that you shouldn’t use ACV as a rinse more than three times a week or it might start to dry out your hair. Since the pH of ACV is so different, it could turn your hair brittle and make it look dull.

10. Remove dandruff by making an ACV spray

If your dandruff is a result of a yeast infection, ACV may be an affordable home remedy as it has antifungal properties. The acid in ACV can make it difficult for fungus to grow and spread.

  • Mix equal parts ACV and water in a spray bottle to disperse onto your scalp after shampooing.
  • Leave it on for about 15 minutes before rinsing out.
  • Do this about twice a week and you’ll notice a major decrease in unwanted white flakes.
  • Discontinue immediately if irritation occurs.

Don’t try this if your dandruff is caused by a dry scalp. An ACV wash may further dry out your scalp and make dandruff worse.

11. Make an acne potion with ACV

As previously mentioned, ACV has antibacterial benefits thanks to its acetic acid. In addition, it also has small amounts of citric, lactic, and succinic acid. These antibacterial acids have been shown to kill P. acnes, the bacteria that causes breakouts.

On top of the bacteria-killing acids, Batayneh points out that some claim ACV’s astringent properties may help fight acne. “However,” she cautions, “this hasn’t been scientifically proven.”

While ACV contains all the right properties, there hasn’t been direct research on this ingredient as a topical treatment. Even though acids can be a good thing, too much can irritate your skin, and may cause chemical burns on some people. See a dermatologist before you try any home remedy — some may be more harmful than helpful.

If you’re looking to try an all-natural treatment like ACV, remember to dilute the ingredient before applying directly onto your skin.

  • Mix one part ACV and three parts water to start off. How much water you use depends on how sensitive your skin is.
  • Keep the mixture in a bottle and shake before using. Apply to your face with a cotton pad.
  • Let it sit for 5 to 20 seconds, then rinse with water.
  • You can also use green tea instead of water, as green tea is suggested to help control oil production. However, you’ll want to throw out this mixture after two days to avoid bacterial growth.

4 things to never do with ACV

Never do this

  1. Drink without diluting it.
  2. Start off by taking as much as you can.
  3. Apply directly to your skin, especially for a long time.
  4. Mix with other strong, irritating ingredients.

1. Shoot it straight

No matter how you add ACV to your diet, make sure you never ever drink it straight. Doing so will most likely cause damage.

“It’s so acidic, it may actually cause damage to your tooth enamel, esophagus, or stomach lining, especially with chronic use,” warns Batayneh. “Always, always dilute it.” The safest method if you’re drinking it, according to Batayneh, is mixing 10 parts water or tea to every one part ACV.

2. Start out by taking a lot of it

When introducing ACV to your daily ingestion intake, you want to start off slow and steady. “See how your body reacts to it,” says Batayneh. “And if you tolerate it well, you can eventually work up to one tablespoon.”

She says to scale back if you experience an upset stomach or a burning sensation. If you’re nervous or unsure, see a doctor before introducing it to your routine at all.

3. Apply it directly to your skin

If you’re using ACV topically, there are a few things to know. First, you should never put it directly on your skin. It’s a potent ingredient so you should always dilute it with some water when using it as a toner or rinse.

Always try a patch test

  • Once you’ve diluted the ACV to create a good, tolerable balance, do a patch test to ensure that your skin can handle it as an acne treatment, even when it’s diluted.
  • “Do a patch test on your forearm before you apply it to your whole face to see how your skin will react,” recommends Batayneh.

4. Mix it with other irritating topical ingredients

People with sensitive skin should be wary of ACV. The acetic acid and astringent properties alone can irritate your skin.

However, a no-no for all skin types is to mix it with other harsh topical ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. You’re highly likely to experience a bad, irritating reaction if you do.

In praise of ACV

It’s safest to think of ACV like a little booster instead of a go-to miracle. In small doses, it can be incredibly beneficial and delicious. In large amounts, it could be dangerous and harmful to your health. It may even irritate your skin or erode your tooth enamel.

But with so many benefits, it’s no surprise many people turn to ACV for their ailments, but it’s also equally important to keep the facts first.

If you’re interested in upping your intake beyond the recommended serving of two tablespoons, talk to professional before going full speed ahead. After all, there’s a reason ACV is known to be a holy grail ingredient — you only need a little bit to feel the effects.

Emily Rekstis is a New York City-based beauty and lifestyle writer who writes for many publications, including Greatist, Racked, and Self. If she’s not writing at her computer, you can probably find her watching a mob movie, eating a burger, or reading a NYC history book. See more of her work on her website, or follow her on Twitter.

Apple cider vinegar pills: Health claims and evidence

Share on PinterestThere is little research into the health benefits of ACV pills.

Proponents of ACV claim that it offers numerous health benefits. We list some of the most popular claims below.

However, people should note that most research into ACV involves the vinegar in liquid form.

Very little information is available about ACV in pill form, and any findings relating to liquid ACV may not translate to ACV pills.

Controlling yeast and other fungi

People who promote ACV claim that it may help treat certain types of fungal infection, such as Candida infections. Candida is the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush. Candida inside the mouth can also infect dentures.

A 2014 study found that a denture soak containing 4% ACV could prevent Candida from sticking to dentures.

The 30-minute denture soak also did not affect the surface roughness of the dentures, nor did it change their color. This suggests that a denture soak containing ACV may be a safe and effective way to prevent fungal infections of dentures.

However, there is no evidence to suggest that ACV pills would have this effect.

Lowering cholesterol and reducing heart disease risk

Lipids are fatty substances in blood and body tissues. High levels of specific lipids in the blood can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Supporters of ACV claim that it can lower the levels of blood lipids that damage health, such as triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol.

A 2011 animal study investigated the effects of ACV in rats that ate a high cholesterol diet. Researchers found that ACV lowered the rats’ triglyceride levels. However, ACV also raised levels of LDL cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol.

So far, studies on ACV and heart disease have focused on animals. It is therefore not possible to conclude the effects of ACV on human health.

However, current research suggests that the benefits do not outweigh the risks. Many experts believe that lifestyle changes and medication are probably more effective.

Treating or preventing bacterial infections

A 2018 study found that ACV has antimicrobial properties that are effective against various strains of bacteria. This suggests ACV may be useful as a bacterial disinfectant. However, using ACV to treat wounds can irritate and even burn the skin.

Controlling blood glucose and diabetes

Share on PinterestConsuming ACV at mealtimes may help people with metabolic disorders.

Some people claim that ACV can cure diabetes. While there is no evidence to support this claim, several small studies suggest that ACV may help to control blood glucose.

A 2017 meta-analysis found that consuming ACV at mealtimes helped lower post meal blood glucose and insulin levels. This was the case for people with metabolic disorders, as well as healthy controls.

ACV may, therefore, be useful alongside standard treatments for diabetes. However, scientists need to carry out further research to confirm these effects.

Supporting weight loss

Some smaller studies suggest that ACV may improve weight loss. A 2018 randomized controlled trial found that taking ACV could increase weight loss among people consuming a reduced calorie diet (RCD).

Researchers divided the participants into two groups. The first group consumed a RCD along with 30 milliliters (ml) of ACV per day, and the second group followed the RCD only. After 12 weeks, the researchers compared the two groups.

Participants in the first group showed significant reductions in body weight, hip circumference, appetite, and the amount of fat surrounding the internal organs.

This data does not point to ACV alone as a remedy for weight loss. However, it does suggest that it might help people following an RCD lose more weight.

Reducing blood pressure

Supporters of ACV claim that the vinegar may lower blood pressure. One small animal study investigated this claim. The study involved feeding either ACV or acetic acid to rats with high blood pressure. Acetic acid is the main therapeutic component of ACV.

The rats that received the acetic acid showed more significant reductions in blood pressure compared with the other rats. These rats also had lower levels of renin in the blood. Renin is an enzyme that is involved in increasing blood pressure.

The researchers suggest that the acetic acid in the vinegar was responsible for reducing renin levels, which in turn, caused the drop in blood pressure.

ACV may indirectly lower blood pressure by helping people lose weight. However, there is no evidence that ACV alone causes weight loss.

As a result, people who are concerned about weight or blood pressure should focus on dietary and lifestyle changes. People can also talk to their doctor about medical treatments.

These Are the Real Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been touted as a cure-all for decades. I’ve seen claims that it can do everything from halt hiccups to whiten teeth, and even banish dandruff. Whether or not it’s capable of all those things, there is some solid research to back up apple cider vinegar as a healthy elixir, as long as you use it correctly.

One promising benefit: It seems to help regulate blood sugar. A study published in Diabetes Care looked at men and women with type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that when the participants downed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed with a snack (one ounce of cheese), they had lower blood sugar levels the next morning, compared to when they ate the same bedtime snack paired with two tablespoons of water.

Another study published in the same journal compared the effects of apple cider vinegar on healthy adults, people with pre-diabetes, and people with type 2 diabetes. Study participants in all three groups had better blood glucose readings when they consumed less than an ounce of apple cider vinegar with a high-carb meal (a white bagel with butter and orange juice), compared to when they the had the same meal and drank a placebo. People with pre-diabetes improved their blood glucose levels with vinegar by nearly half, while people with diabetes cut their blood glucose concentrations by 25%.

RELATED: You Should Probably Be Eating More Turmeric. Here’s How

Some research also suggests that apple cider vinegar may ward off scale creep. In a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, mice fed a high-fat diet along with acetic acid—vinegar’s key component—developed up to 10% less body fat than control rodents. The researchers believe the findings support the notion that acetic acid turns on genes that trigger enzymes to break down fat and prevent weight gain.

To investigate this effect in humans, Japanese scientists conducted a double-blind trial on obese adults with similar body weights and waist measurements in 2009. They divided the participants into three groups. Every day for 12 weeks, one group drank a beverage containing half an ounce of apple cider vinegar. Another group drank a beverage with one ounce of apple cider vinegar. And the third group had a drink containing no vinegar at all. At the end of the study, the people who drank one of the beverages with vinegar had less belly fat, lower triglycerides and waist measurements, and a lower body weight and BMI, compared to the no-vinegar group.

RELATED: 57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

Apple cider vinegar may also be a boon to digestive health, based on the results of a study done on mice with ulcerative colitis. The researchers found that when acetic acid was added to their drinking water, they had higher levels of good bacteria in their guts, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, and reduced symptoms of the gastrointestinal disease.

While the evidence behind apple cider vinegar seems promising, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start downing the stuff. First off, I don’t recommend drinking straight vinegar. Undiluted shots have been known to wear away tooth enamel, and damage the esophagus. Also, too much apple cider vinegar may lower potassium levels in the body.

If you want to give it a go, swirl two teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of organic honey into a cup of warm water once a day. Or simply use apple cider vinegar as a main ingredient in salad dressing, or chilled veggie side dishes, like vinegar-based slaw.

RELATED: 6 Prebiotic Foods You Should Add to Your Diet ASAP

My go-to recipe: Whisk together one tablespoon each apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, add a half teaspoon of minced garlic, a dash of ground black pepper, and a few fresh basil leaves, chopped. It’s fantastic drizzled over fresh leafy greens, broad beans, or cooked, chilled fingerling potatoes.

Just remember, making vinegar a daily habit won’t cancel out the effects of overeating. Think of it as one piece of your wellness puzzle, and not a panacea.

Cynthia Sass is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and consultant for the New York Yankees. See her full bio here.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has generated a great deal of discussion and ensuing research in recent years due to its presumed ability to act as a natural home remedy to a long list of ailments.

How it all started

ACV is produced when apple juice is fermented first to alcohol (making wine) and then to acetic acid (making vinegar). And ever since the Babylonians first converted wine into vinegar in 5,000 BCE, many have revered vinegar for its presumed healing qualities. Even today’s avid supporters claim that ACV can cure arthritis, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent cancer, and assist in digestion and weight management.

Although first documented for its medicinal purposes by Hippocrates, vinegar did not receive considerable focus from the medical community until the publication of a book entitled Folk Medicine in 1958 by a notable Vermont doctor, DC Jarvis. While his claims that Vermonters used ACV to treat migraine headaches, diabetes, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and a variety of other ailments drew some applause, most within the scientific community were skeptical and cautious about Dr. Jarvis’ claims.

Dr. Jarvis’ supporters claim that ACV contains minerals and trace amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon, fluorine. They also suggest that ACV can attribute its healing qualities to its vitamin content of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and the provitamin beta-carotene.

These claims cannot be further from the truth. In fact, a nutritional analysis of one tablespoon reveals that ACV contains minuscule amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, copper, manganese, and phosphorus, a mere 15 mg of potassium, and absolutely no fibre or vitamins.

ACV supporters rebut this analysis with claims that ACV loses its nutritional value when it is pasteurized. They suggest consuming only the organic and unpasteurized version, in which no chemicals or preservatives have been added and, as such, maintains what is called the “mother” – the cobweb-like floating substance that contains all the nutritional health value.

Apart from these initial nutritional analyses, a limited number of crucial studies have been more recently published that focused specifically on the efficacy of ACV as a healing agent. And what has acquired the most attention with the most promising results are studies on ACV and the role it may play in regulating blood glucose levels and limiting weight gain.

Does it lower cholesterol?

Results from a 2006 study conducted using rat models showed that vinegar may potentially lower cholesterol levels. This reduction in “bad” cholesterol is thought to be attributed to the way in which the soluble fibre, pectin, found in ACV, binds cholesterol and removes it from the body as it passes through the digestion system. It is yet to be proven that these reductions are also seen in humans.

Does it regulate blood glucose levels?

Several studies have shown that taking vinegar before a meal may help lower post-meal glucose levels by delaying gastric emptying. Specifically, two 2007 studies concluded that two tablespoons of AVC supplementation can lower blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes.

These results, although showing potential, have raised some concerns that ACV supplementation may prove to be disadvantageous to people with diabetes because they may have less control over their blood sugar levels. Where the advantage of ACV supplementation may be realized is in healthy individuals who are looking to control their weight.

Does it limit weight gain?

Results of a 2005 study may provide the first scientific evidence to substantiate the thousand-years-old belief that ACV may be an effective weight loss supplement. The 12-person study found that the participants who consumed vinegar diluted in water with a piece of white bread containing 50 g of available carbohydrate had a “significantly lowered” blood glucose response, and these participants felt fuller and more satisfied than those who ate the bread alone.

Beyond touting the potential benefits of ACV, it is necessary to mention possible side effects associated with using ACV as a supplement. Due to its acidity, ACV can be caustic and may even burn the esophagus if not properly diluted, and long-term risks may include decreased potassium levels or diminished bone mineral density.

With its recent comeback in popularity, ACV is once again the focus of both natural health practitioners and clinical researchers. At this point, however, there is little scientific evidence to support its medicinal qualities, and further studies are needed to support claims of its therapeutic benefits.

Until there is conclusive evidence about the health benefits of ACV, it is better to stick with proven treatment methods for your medical conditions.

Brennan Robertson, Hon. B.Sc. (Nutrition)

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar, like apple cider vinegar, may be one condiment that’s good for you. Randomized, controlled trials involving both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals suggest that adding two teaspoons of vinegar to a meal may improve blood sugar control, effectively blunting the blood sugar spike after a meal by about 20 percent. So adding vinegar to potato salad or to rice (like the Japanese do to make sushi rice) or dipping bread in balsamic vinegar may blunt the effects of these high-glycemic foods.

We’re still not sure of the mechanism for the anti-glycemic effect. Originally, it was thought that vinegar slowed stomach emptying, but even consuming vinegar outside of meals appears to help. Type 2 diabetics consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime, for example, were found to wake up with better blood sugars in the morning. Consuming pickles or vinegar pills does not seem to have the same effect.

Vinegar may also help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), improve arterial function, and

help reduce body fat. A daily tablespoon of apple cider vinegar restored ovarian function within a few months in four out of seven women with PCOS. We’re not sure why, but the acetate from the acetic acid in vinegar may lead to improved nitric-oxide production. Such an effect would be expected to help with hypertension, and indeed there is a study purporting to show blood pressure benefits from a tablespoon of vinegar a day.

Vinegar may also help with weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled (but vinegar company–funded) study was performed, in which obese subjects consumed daily vinegar drinks with either one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, or a placebo drink. Both vinegar groups lost significantly more weight than the control group. Though the effect was modest—about four pounds over a three-month period—CT scans showed the vinegar groups’ subjects lost a significant amount of their “visceral” fat, the abdominal fat that is particularly associated with chronic disease risk.

Do not, however, drink apple cider vinegar straight, as it can burn your esophagus, or in excess.

Image Credit: Pxhere. This image has been modified.

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