Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a home remedy, used to treat everything from a sore throat to varicose veins. But there’s not much science to support the claims. Still, in recent years, some researchers have been taking a closer look at apple cider vinegar and its possible benefits.
What’s in It?
It’s mostly apple juice, but adding yeast turns the fruit sugar into alcohol — this is fermentation. Bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. That’s what gives vinegar its sour taste and strong smell.
How Is It Used?
Vinegar’s used in cooking, baking, salad dressings, and as a preservative. There’s a lot of acid in it, so drinking vinegar straight isn’t recommended. And it can cause serious problems if you have a lot of it. If you’re looking to take some for health reasons, most people recommend adding one to two tablespoons to water or tea.
Vinegar has been used as a remedy since the days of Hippocrates. The ancient Greek doctor treated wounds with it. In recent years, people have explored apple cider vinegar as a way to lose weight, improve heart health, and even treat dandruff.
Many of these claims aren’t supported by modern research. But some studies have found that acetic acid — which gives vinegar its distinctive taste and smell — may help with a variety of conditions:
Vinegar, which means “sour wine” in French, is made through a long fermentation process of virtually any carbohydrate that can be fermented, like apples, grapes, dates, coconut, potatoes, and beets.
The end product is high in bioactive components such as acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, and caffeic acid, and has potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and other medicinal properties.
If the vinegar is of the highest quality, unfiltered and unprocessed, it contains the “mother”, a cobweb-like amino acid-based substance at the bottom.
Apple cider vinegar is highly versatile, and can be used in countless ways in the household, garden, for health purposes, and much more.
Here are some of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar if you take it every day for 2 months:
– The antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar soothe a sore throat.
– The consumption of a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar daily will restore the adequate levels of acid in the stomach and prevent acid reflux and intestinal spasms.
– It has anti-glycemic effects and positively affects blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, by speeding up gastric emptying or increasing the uptake of glucose.
– Apple cider vinegar treats various skin ailments, from bug bites to poison ivy to sunburn.
– Its topical application will help you eliminate warts, due to the presence of acetic acid.
– It improves heart health, as the polyphenols it contains inhibit oxidation of LDL and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Also, studies have shown that it decreases triglyceride levels and VLDL levels (the damaging form of cholesterol) in animals.
– Apple cider vinegar is high in potassium, so it energizes the body and treats fatigue
– Vinegar has potent anti-obesity effects by creating a feeling of satiety and reducing the total amount of calories consumed.
– It breaks up and reduces mucus in the body, treating sinus congestion and preventing infections.
Recent Scientific Findings:
A recent study out of Louisiana State University suggests that some natural supplements can lower blood sugar levels and prevent someone who is pre-diabetic from developing full-flown diabetes. The physicians involved discussed whether natural supplements like apple cider vinegar and cinnamon may be used to reduce blood sugar levels in patients with pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore
Stroke, heart disease, cancer
The saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but now scientists at the University of Glasgow are looking into whether a pint of cider could have the same effect. Researchers have discovered that English cider apples have high levels of phenolics — antioxidants linked to protection against stroke, heart disease and cancer — and are working with volunteers to see whether these health benefits could be passed onto cider drinkers.