What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
A type of vinegar made from apples in a two-step process. Crushed apples are exposed to yeast, which allows the natural sugar in the apple to ferment and turn to alcohol. Bacteria are added to this alcohol solution, which ferments the alcohol and converts it to acetic acid – the active compound in vinegar.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Just about everybody is talking about apple cider vinegar and its health benefits. Actually, there is nothing new to this. Apple cider vinegar has been used since ancient times as a remedy for a variety of health problems. Gaining popularity as more people are making an effort to living a healthy life with natural choices, a large number of health benefits of apple cider vinegar are supported by science. Some of these benefits are listed below.
Kills many Types of Harmful Bacteria
Traditionally used for disinfecting and cleaning, apple cider vinegar has also been used for treating lice infestation, nail fungus, ear infections, and warts. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, is said to have cleaned wounds using vinegar. Known to help kill pathogens, including bacteria, vinegar has for long been used as a food preservative. Studies have proven that it can inhibit bacteria from growing on food. The main active ingredient of vinegar is acetic acid, which not only prevents bacteria from multiplying but also kills them.
Fights Diabetes and Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Patients with Type 2 diabetes have benefitted due to vinegar as it helps in improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar responses post meals. High blood sugar is also a problem for those who do not have diabetes as it is believed to cause many chronic diseases. While the most effective way to keep blood sugar levels in check is to avoid refined sugar and carbohydrates, apple cider vinegar also has a powerful effect in helping control it. As per a report published by the American Diabetes Association, vinegar has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity by 19 to 34% during a meal high in carbohydrates. It has also been proven to reduce blood sugar by 34% in those who have consumed around 50 grams of white bread, according to a report published by NCBI. A report published by the American Diabetes Association states that two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, taken before bedtime, helps reduce fasting blood sugar by 4% in the morning. However, if you are taking medication to lower blood sugar levels, consult your doctor before increasing your intake of vinegar.
Reduces Belly Fat and Helps Reduce Weight
As per several studies, vinegar increases satiety, which helps you eat fewer calories and thus helps in reducing weight. This is a great help for those who are starting on a diet to reduce belly fat and weight.
Helps With Your Digestive System
Prebiotics in apple cider vinegar is beneficial to the healthy microorganisms in your digestive system. It also helps in regulating the acid release in your stomach, leading to easier digestion.
Improves Heart Health
The leading cause of premature deaths globally, heart disease affects people of all ages. Several biological factors are linked to an increase or decrease in the risk of heart diseases. Studies on vinegar consumption have shown that several of these risk factors can be improved. According to the studies, apple cider vinegar can lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Pectin, a dietary fiber found in both apples and vinegar is known to help neutralize bad cholesterol. Lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity also help in reducing the risk of heart diseases, by helping fight diabetes.
Controls blood Pressure
Renin, a hormone produced by the kidneys is responsible for dilating and constricting the blood vessels. Blood pressure increases when the blood vessels constrict. Consumption of apple cider vinegar helps in controlling Renin and in keeping the blood vessels relaxed.
A nutritional powerhouse, apple cider vinegar contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus, magnesium, amino acids, and antioxidants.
Effects Against Cancer
Studies conducted on isolated cells have shown that vinegar does kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Observational studies have shown a link in the reduction in esophageal cancer in humans in China due to the regular consumption of vinegar.
The Bottom Line
While not all claims made on behalf of the benefits of apple cider vinegar have been tested and proven by science, an absence of proof does not mean that it is untrue. Evidence shows that apple cider vinegar is useful and beneficial to our health and also for non-health related issues like skincare, hair conditioning, and dental care. It has also been useful as a cleaning agent and for anti-bacterial purposes.