Many people consider apple cider vinegar a panacea. It boasts a long history of being the go-to home remedy for numerous conditions.
However, up until recently, no scientific evidence stood behind the alleged health benefits. Recently, though, some studies took a closer look at this seemingly magical liquid.
People drank it long before the research emerged, though. So, we already know that ingesting apple cider vinegar won’t harm you. Now, let’s review all the available information about the ways it can benefit your well-being.
As the name suggests, apples are the main ingredient of this liquid. Fermented ones, to be more exact, combined with water. It has an acidity level of 5%, just like other vinegar types.
You’ll find two main kinds of this product commonly sold in the store:
- Distilled – most commonly used, this type looks clear inside the glass bottle.
- Unfiltered – contains a cloudy substance (known as the ‘mother’) of natural enzymes that show up during the fermentation process.
Either way, you don’t have to refrigerate this product, and it comes with a very long expiration date. Its shell life is almost indefinite, even if it changes its appearance slightly (becomes more cloudy, for example).
The vinegar has zero nutritional value, not adding anything particular to your plate except for a dash of flavor.
Potential Health Benefits
Apple cider vinegar enjoys superfood status, with its many proponents claiming that it can cure everything from digestion to skin issues.
While it’s impossible to list them all, let’s review its most touted benefits. We’ll see how taking a shot of vinegar could help you and review the evidence that supports the claim.
You’ll hear this claim every time somebody recommends adding vinegar to your diet, and not only because of its low-calorie count. Some people take a shot to stimulate fat burning, although the chances are meager that vinegar will change your body weight.
No studies support the claim, either, as you can only shed weight by eating less than you’re burning. Still, supplementing a dense salad sauce with this zero-calorie condiment can help you cut back on your overall calorie count.
While research on humans is yet to come, an animal study showed that obese rats saw a reduction in their overall cholesterol levels and ‘bad cholesterol’ after taking apple cider vinegar daily.
The reason for this effect likely lies in the liquid’s antioxidant benefits.
Type 2 Diabetes Management
One study found that taking two teaspoons of vinegar with complex carbohydrates reduces a spike in blood sugar by 20%. Another research found that vinegar before a meal improves the insulin response.
Both of these conclusions call for further examination. Still, the results suggest this ingredient could help with disease management in the long run.
Acid Reflux Reduction
People swear on vinegar for reducing heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, although very few studies proved that. With so much anecdotal evidence, though, it’s worth a shot.
Research showed that topical application of apple cider vinegar could help women suffering from chronic yeast infections.
However, you should be careful with applying this solution, as adding anything to your vagina can disrupt its natural pH balance. Talk to your gynecologist before trying this natural solution by yourself.
Some people suggest that this acid can assist with various inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and multiple sclerosis, reducing these diseases’ symptoms. It could also help with gastrointestinal symptoms that occur in tandem with these illnesses.
Moreover, the inflammation controlling properties can assist you with skin-related concerns, diminishing symptoms of acne, eczema, and psoriasis. However, note that applying the acid directly to the skin without diluting it can cause chemical burns.
We’re reaching the murky waters of personal sentiments.
Since this much-loved vinegar reduces inflammation, it could also help people with mental health conditions, improving their stress management capabilities. While the evidence is massively anecdotal, many users claim it helps, at least as a placebo.
Usage and Dosage
If any of these numerous benefits seem enticing and you want to give it a shot yourself, let’s briefly review the best ways to use this fantastic seasoning and touch upon the recommended dosages.
In general, the best way to incorporate it into your diet is cooking. This liquid combines fantastically with salad dressings, and you can also use it for sauces such as homemade mayonnaise.
Alternatively, you could add a spoonful in water and drink it.
When it comes to dosages, people will take between a teaspoon and two tablespoons a day in a large glass of water or a meal of choice.
While there are no harmful side-effects of higher doses, some people dislike the taste, choosing to drown it in other flavors. Plus, taking too much at once can harm your enamel, so it’s better to start small.
The Bottom Line
There’s not enough scientific research to support most claims about this superfood’s health benefits. Still, studies already offer some proof, giving you enough reasons to include it in your diet.
Plus, it’s safe, and the anecdotal evidence is fantastic, so why not try it yourself? The worst thing that could happen is that you dislike the flavor, after all.