Since so much has been written about apple cider vinegar recently, I believe that most people are familiar with at least two of its health benefits. New studies are confirming its plentiful healing properties.
Apple cider vinegar is not only incredibly versatile but it also helps cure so many common ailments, according to studies.
It is said to have been discovered around 5000 BC. Originally used as a food preservative, vinegar’s medicinal uses soon came to light. Hippocrates used vinegar to manage wounds, while medical practitioners in the 1700s used it to treat everything from poison ivy and croup to stomach aches.
What makes apple cider vinegar so potent?
In general, vinegar can be made from almost any form of carbohydrate that can be fermented. But one of the most powerful ingredients in use is apples. Apple cider vinegar goes through the normal fermentation process that all vinegars go through.
During the process of fermentation, a substance known as the “mother of vinegar” is formed. This complex structure is composed of beneficial bioactive compounds including acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin and caffeic acid to name just a few. These powerful nutrients provide powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties as well as an array of other health benefits.
Most manufacturers pasteurize and filter vinegar as a way to prevent the mother from forming, but you actually need “the mother” to experience some of the many amazing health benefits associated with apple cider vinegar. That why it’s important to buy raw unfiltered vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar health benefits
Vinegar is a complex food containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polyphenols and many non-volatile organic acids such as citric, lactic, and malic acids.
According to research, these combined ingredients may explain its board range of medicinal uses and properties that include the following.
1. Stabilizes blood sugar levels
Apple cider vinegar has shown some anti-glycemic effects and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. It’s thought that the acetic acid in vinegar may lower blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, which is accomplished either by accelerating gastric emptying or increasing the uptake of glucose by bodily tissues.
One study found that vinegar treatment improved insulin sensitivity in 19 percent of individuals with type 2 diabetes and 34 percent of those with pre-diabetes. Another study found taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes by up to 6 percent by the morning.
2. Protects your heart
Vinegar supports heart health in multiple ways. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, which is present in high levels in apple cider vinegar, could inhibit oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and improve health by preventing cardiovascular diseases.
One study showed that vinegar could lower cholesterol in laboratory rats, while another study on rats found the acetic acid could lower their blood pressure in vinegar. Vinegar has also been found to decrease triglyceride levels (the damaging form of cholesterol) in animal studies.
3. Helps you lose weight
The acetic acid has the ability to reduce the feeling of hunger, to speed up metabolism and to eliminate excess water from the body. These three factors are important for people who want to lose weight. Moreover, there are some theories that the components of apple cider vinegar influence the digestion of starch, reducing the calories.
This property of apple cider vinegar was confirmed by a study performed by Arizona State University.
4. Helps with digestion and acid reflux
Acid reflux can be a result of having too little acid in your stomach. You can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water daily. The pectin in apple cider vinegar may also help to soothe intestinal spasms.
5. Eases arthritis, stiff joints, and gout
Regular use of apple cider vinegar can be associated to a decrease in joint pain and gout by reducing inflammation; data suggests the malic acid in the vinegar is able to dissolve the uric acid crystals within the joint and assist in flushing them from the body.
6. Helps reduce the effect of allergies
Believe it or not, research suggests that apple cider vinegar can help reduce the effect of allergies on your body, mostly by reducing mucus and sinus congestion. An increase and thickening of mucus is a sign of a distressed immune system. Apple cider vinegar can help reduce the build-up and congestion, thereby reducing your susceptibility to allergies.
7. It will help you beat candida fungal infection
Apple cider vinegar is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida – a genus of yeasts which can cause thrush in humans and is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.
8. It flushes toxins out of your body
Apple cider vinegar is the source of powerful antioxidant acids such as catechin, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and gallic acid. The antioxidants fight against the cell-damaging effects of free radicals and cleanse our system from toxic substances, preserving our health.
Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver. It also helps break up mucous throughout the body and helps cleanse the lymph nodes.
9. Boosts energy
According to animal studies, acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help your muscles turn carbohydrates into energy to increase your energy output during intense exercise. It contains potassium and enzymes to help banish fatigue. Plus, its amino acids may help prevent the buildup of lactic acid in your body, further preventing fatigue.
10. Balances your inner ecosystem
The body constantly tries to achieve a state of homeostasis or a state of equilibrium. One way is by keeping the body’s pH balance (or acid-base balance) within the normal range of 7.35 – 7.45. Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows that higher acid levels lead to a lack of energy, excessive production of mucous and higher incidences of infection, among other things.