Everything you need to know about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for centuries for all kinds of ailments, both internal and external.
Hello House of Buckle faithful! I wanted to take just a moment today and talk about Apple Cider Vinegar. This stuff tastes HORRIBLE, yes. It’s hard to choke down, absolutely. You’ve already tried this once and just can’t bring yourself to try it again, probably. I’m going to ask you to put on your big boy (or girl) britches for just a moment and lend me your ears because as nasty as this stuff is to the taste buds, (and olfactory), it really is a wonderful item for your entire being! My hope is that upon conclusion of this short article you will see that the benefits of taking apple cider vinegar daily will FAR OUTWEIGH the five seconds it takes you to choke it down! In other words, the juice or in this case, the apple really is worth the squeeze.
Real quick: What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
A horrible tasting liquid. That may be the first thing you thought of when you read the question. But let’s put this aside for the rest of the article and really look at this beneficial health tonic.
Class is in…
Science Lesson 101:
Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice. It is made in a two-step process. In step one, juice from crushed apples is exposed to yeast. The yeast causes fermentation and turns the sugars into alcohol. In the second step, bacteria are added to this solution which causes further fermentation of the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid, which is what gives it the sour taste and really bad smell. Acetic acid is the main active compound in vinegar.
If you buy an unfiltered apple cider vinegar (my recommendation) it says it contains, “mother”. Mother is made up of enzymes, proteins, and good bacteria. The mother settles on the bottom of the bottle so if you buy this one, make sure and shake it before each use. The mother only adds to the overall health benefits!
Apple cider vinegar is the most popular type of vinegar in the natural health community.
History Lesson 101:
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a remedy since the days of Hippocrates. This ancient Greek physician would treat wounds with the stuff. Additionally, it has been used as a folk remedy for centuries for all kinds of ailments, both internal and external. With this much history, there are many stores and claims as to its healing/helping virtue. As with most things, not all claims are supported by modern research and one does have to sift through the fact from the fiction for sure, but being that as it may, there are multiple proven health benefits to apple cider vinegar. Let’s look at my top three.
Kills Harmful Bacteria
Let’s talk about vinegar in general (apple cider or white, etc.). It is well known and accepted that vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria (1). Traditionally it has been used for cleaning for this very reason. Vinegar has been used as a food preservative and studies show that it inhibits bacteria such as E. coli from growing in food. (1,2, 3).
Some other various things vinegar has been used for over the years is treating warts, ear infections, lice, and nail fungus just to name a few.
My wife sometimes runs white vinegar through the coffee pot and/or uses vinegar on the countertops for this very reason. And yeah, the house STINKS when this is done. But the point is, vinegar really does work against bacteria!
Improved Heart Health and Lowers Cholesterol
Several key risk factors that are linked to increase in heart disease can be improved by taking apple cider vinegar. Studies (on animals) have shown that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. There have been other studies (on animals) that show apple cider vinegar can reduce blood pressure. (4,5,6,7).
The only human study that has been verified was a study from Harvard that showed women who ate salad dressing with apple cider vinegar had reduced risk of heart disease. Keep in mind, this study only showed an association that existed, it did not prove the vinegar had a direct cause/effect (8).
Helps with Weight Loss
Studies have shown time and again that apple cider vinegar does help with weight loss. These studies, on humans, have shown that apple cider vinegar can help satisfy you and thus, you eat less calories. One study showed that people who took apple cider vinegar actually ate 200-275 fewer calories a day. (9, 10)
Another study showed that people who had one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day lost on average 2.6 pounds. Those that had two tablespoons a day lost 3.7 pounds. This was over a three month period. (11)
Apple cider vinegar is widely considered to help with weight loss and stubborn belly fat! Maybe it’s because it tastes and smells so bad you just really lose your appetite for a while. Who knows, but either way, it works! I’m an ‘ends justifies the means’ kind of guy.
As the old saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
How much do I take?
Some people say to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet via cooking. Not me! I say it’s time to toughen up cupcake! I say take it mixed in a glass of water or, if you are really feeling froggy, shoot it straight in a shot glass!
Common doses include:
1-2 teaspoons (for the timid) in a glass of water
1-2 tablespoons (for those that are tougher) in a glass of water
The Jim Miller Way: 1oz shot in a shot glass…straight; with a stoic unfazed look.
Make sure and rise or brush teeth if you shoot it straight as it is hard on tooth enamel.
Word of caution:
As always, too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing. It has been reported that in high doses, apple cider vinegar can cause several unpleasant conditions such as delayed stomach emptying (no idea what this is, but it sounds horrible), low potassium levels/bone loss, erosion of tooth enamel, throat burns, skin burns etc. And if you plan on taking apple cider vinegar daily, make sure and check with your doctor if you are on diabetes medications, Digoxin (Lanoxin), or certain diuretic drugs. And of course in rare instance there are people allergic to apple cider vinegar. Be cautious, be smart.
Apple cider vinegar is an amazing tonic. It has multiple health benefits from aiding in weight loss to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. I highly encourage you to take a tablespoon or two a day and in so doing, your body will thank you! And about the taste and smell: It is shown that apple cider vinegar actually helps your body PH levels toward the acid side. As you get in the habit of taking it and your PH balances out, it will actually start to taste better to you. At least I have heard multiple people say this and I have experienced this myself. Regarding the smell, yeah, it still stinks and probably always will.
Have a great day and remember, your best wealth is your health!
Special thanks to Kris Gunnars, BSc for his writing on this subject. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar#section4