All About Apple Cider Vinegar and Its Health Benefits
Looking to try apple cider vinegar? Here is what you need to know.
Apple cider vinegar is making a resurgence in the health world. Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made with a simple process of adding crushed apples to yeast and allowing it to ferment into alcohol. Then, the second step includes adding bacteria to the alcohol, which furthers the fermentation process and turns it into acetic acid.
As the main active compound in all types of vinegar including apple cider vinegar, acetic acid produces the strong sour flavor and scent. Unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar also contains mother, a substance that contains enzymes, good bacteria, and proteins.
Apple cider vinegar is approximately 5 to 6% acetic acid, and many researchers believe that this is the source of vinegar’s health benefits.
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Benefits of apple cider vinegar
People have used various types of vinegar for centuries to treat lice, ear infections, warts, and other exterior ailments, as well as for cleaning and disinfecting. The acetic acid can help kill various pathogens in the body, including harmful bacteria.
Many studies have also been conducted to prove the benefits of apple cider vinegar in patients with type 2 diabetes. This health condition occurs when the body becomes insulin-resistant or unable to produce insulin.
A small study reported that using apple cider vinegar lowered insulin response and blood sugar in patients with the disease. In another study, people who consumed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime reported a 4% lower fasting blood sugar level the next morning than those who didn’t take the vinegar.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may find that taking apple cider vinegar can help you feel fuller throughout the day and increase your metabolism. This can encourage you to eat less.
The vinegar only contains about three calories per tablespoon, so adding it into your diet will not drastically alter your caloric intake. However, using it as part of a healthy diet, in addition to plenty of physical activity, may aid in satiety.
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How to take it
If the thought of drinking apple cider vinegar makes you wrinkle your nose, you’re certainly not alone. The sharply sour flavor isn’t great on its own, so many people dilute it in water to improve the taste.
If you still don’t like it, you could try adding a squeeze of lemon, a squirt of honey, or a dash of cinnamon. You can also pour one to two tablespoons of the vinegar over a salad as a healthy dressing.
Before you add any supplements or substances to your diet, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider. If you take any medications or are undergoing treatment for other conditions, it’s important to make sure adding apple cider vinegar to your diet won’t interfere or cause any concerning side effects.