Many people regularly use apple cider vinegar in cooking without ever stopping to consider the health benefits of this liquid.
There have only been a few studies done over the years about apple cider vinegar's unique properties. The health benefits listed here are the results of these few studies. As more people become aware of Apple Cider Vinegar more and more uses are becoming apparent.
The History Behind Apple Cider Vinegar
Long ago, Hippocrates was known to use apple cider vinegar as a health tonic. Since that time, home remedy books and old wives’ tales have all recommended this vinegar as a curative. In 1958, Dr. Jarvis wrote a book about the health benefits offered in apple cider. According to his recommendations, users should mix apple cider vinegar with honey and take a tablespoon a day. By the 1970s, apple cider vinegar had risen in popularity again. After reading his book, proponents created a weight loss plan that’s key ingredient was apple cider vinegar.
Research has suggested that all types of vinegar may actually help individuals who have diabetes. After taking two tablespoons a day, diabetic patients were found to have lower blood sugar levels than normal. Animals fed a diet that included this vinegar were shown to have an increase of HDL cholesterol in just four weeks.
Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Acetic acid, a component of apple cider vinegar, was shown to lower blood pressure. This study was performed in 2001 on animals to see the results of vinegar consumption. Later in 2006, the British Journal of Nutrition reported on another experiment involving vinegar. Over the course of 19 days, rats were fed acetic acid or a placebo with their diet. By the end of the 19 days, the rats who had received acetic acid showed a large reduction in their levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Be a Weight Loss Solution?
It looks like apple cider vinegar can help dieters to lose weight. One study done in 2009 had obese individuals take acetic acid every day. Meanwhile, the control group received a placebo for the 12 week study. After the study had ended, the researchers reported that the group that received acetic acid showed a marked improvement with their triglycerides, waist size, body weight and abdominal fat.
For dieters and health enthusiasts, apple cider is normally consumed in one or two tablespoon doses. One old-time remedy, however, actually has individuals putting the liquid on their heads to reduce dandruff. According to this remedy, anyone who is suffering from dandruff should put a mixture of half apple cider vinegar and half water onto their hair. The mix is to be left on for 15 minutes before rinsed out of the hair. Individuals who use this beneficial remedy recommend doing it one to two times a week.
Another popular remedy treats acne. In this scenario, individuals should mix one part of apple cider vinegar for every three parts of water. If pimples appear, drops of the solution can be put gently on the face. Since the acids in vinegar can be harsh on the skin, this mixture should never be used without being diluted.
How it Works
Alternative health practitioners think that apple cider helps to balance out the pH balance in the body. Blood is normally more alkaline. If individuals are suffering from an illness or overwork, the pH balance can be thrown off. By taking apple cider vinegar, proponents believe that the body’s natural balance will be restored. No matter what the case is, scientists have shown that the most likely cause of any health benefit is the acetic acid in the vinegar, as well as what is known as 'the mother', which is made up of strands of protein molecules, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product its cloudy appearance. This cloudy substance forms naturally from pectin and apple residues and is thought to be the most nutritious part of the Apple Cider Vinegar, and very beneficial to digest. A cloudy appearance to ACV shows the presence of 'the mother' and tells you that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed. Other vinegars tend not to have this cloudiness, which usually means they have lost their proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria due to over-processing, filtration and overheating.
This beneficial cloudy residue ('the mother’) often settles to the bottom of the bottle of ACV. It is therefore recommended to always shake lightly before use.