Published in Food & Drink
I think it’s a safe assumption at this point to say that I’m sure you’ve heard of apple cider vinegar. Your friends or family might be using it, or you’ve read about how apple cider vinegar is a “super supplement” that gives some pretty crazy health benefits. You have to take all super foods and supplement claims with a grain of salt, because a lot of times these claims can be a bit incredulous, and none of us want to spend any money whatsoever on something that isn’t proven to work.
However, I’m here to tell you that apple cider vinegar is the real deal, and has some serious benefits to offer to improve the functionality of your body and help you be a better version of yourself.
Now is it going to feel like you got bit by a radioactive spider and completely change you into a superhero? No. But, it is absolutely something that will improve certain aspects of your body. On top of that, it’s inexpensive AND is not difficult to start adding to your daily health regimen. All you need is a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 2 times a day to start working towards a healthier you.
So, what does apple cider vinegar do? Let’s look at 7 health benefits of apple cider vinegar and you can decide for yourself if it is something you want to go for.
LOWERS BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
- Lower blood sugar levels is the most proven benefit of apple cider vinegar. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is detrimental to our bodies. Temporarily it causes increased thirst, headaches, fatigue, and concentration issues. Long term, we’re talking skin infections, healing issues, nerve damage, and stomach or intestinal issues.
- Consuming one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water one or two times a day is a great way to combat hyperglycemia and keep those blood sugar levels at low and manageable levels.
- Maintaining cholesterol is vital for our overall heart health. Cholesterol builds up in our arteries, causing our arteries to narrow and harden, which in turn makes the heart work significantly harder. This puts a strain on our entire bodies, because a lot of our health starts right from the heart.
- Apple cider vinegar is a great way to keep your cholesterol levels low and have your heart functioning properly and efficiently. Apple cider vinegar has a fiber called pectin. Bad cholesterol attaches itself to the pectin, which effectively eliminates the cholesterol. Again, add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into your diet each day to keep that cholesterol down.
IMPROVES INSULIN SENSITIVITY
- Apple cider vinegar helps with insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone that transports sugar from the blood to our tissues to be utilized for fuel. Insulin levels often become too high and can cause insulin resistance, which can in turn lead to high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
Consuming apple cider vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity significantly, especially in those that have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. You want to be insulin sensitive, meaning that your body adjusts well to insulin and can keep blood glucose levels at normal and optimum ranges.
HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT
- Those couple tablespoons a day also have been proven to help individuals to lose weight. Interestingly enough, studies show that with zero additional changes to a diet, you can lose up to 4 pounds over the course of just 12 weeks simply by consistent consumption of apple cider vinegar. How does apple cider vinegar do this? With a term called satiety. Satiety simply means that you feel full. Feeling full means that you don’t eat as much as you normally would. That way, you consume less calories, and at the end of the day calories in versus calories out is the formula for weight loss.
- One of the biggest issues with weight gain has always been snacking. Even when people count calories they often forget to include snacks throughout the day, which add up significantly since most snacks are high calories. Apple Cider Vinegar interspersed in between meal times can help you cut down on snack cravings and lower your caloric intake.
AIDS WITH ACID REFLUX
- Acid reflux affects a lot of us. It is caused by acid backflow from the stomach towards the esophagus. This leads to heartburn, nausea, and excessive burping and belching: plenty of side effects I’m sure we’d all love to keep to an absolute minimum. What may sound strange is that low levels of stomach acid is what actually contributes to acid reflux.
- Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, and can help provide relief for acid reflux by adding additional acid into the digestive system, which in turn prevents backflow from the stomach and gets rid of acid reflux.
- Also at this point I want to once again mention that you need to be sure to dilute apple cider vinegar in water, and maybe add a bit of honey as well. Taking shots of apple cider vinegar is not going to feel good. That comes from personal experience, not just the knowledge that shooting incredibly acidic liquid logically does not make sense to do.Take your time with a nice diluted glass and enjoy it as much as you can, knowing that some serious benefits are coming your way.
REDUCES BLOOD PRESSURE
- I already talked about how lowering cholesterol helps with our heart health. Another way that it helps with heart health is through lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder. Over time, this weakens and deteriorates the heart. That should be a sentence that scares you.
- Thankfully, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar lowers blood pressure and minimizes the risk that high blood pressure causes in terms of heart disease and coronary health. Keep your heart healthy. Heart disease is the number one cause of death, and that will not change.
IMPROVE SKIN HEALTH
- Now, so far all of the benefits I’ve discussed have to do with internal health benefits. For our final benefit, I’ll give you a benefit for the largest organ on your body. I’m talking about our external organ: the skin.
- Apple cider vinegar has acetic, lactic, succinic and citric acid. These acids provide a recipe to help inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes acne. Many acne treatments have a ton of ingredients that can dry out and harm sensitive skin.
- Apple cider vinegar provides a natural solution that won’t have the side effects of acne products.
- Additionally, apple cider vinegar can reduce scarring. It is somewhat of a natural toner, and can improve both the texture and pigmentation to diminish the visibility of scarring. This is huge because it not only improves our physical appearance, but also contributes to a better self image and more confidence.
- Fun recommendation, substitute apple cider vinegar for water in your favorite facial mask to get additional benefits that the mask has to offer. This can help to leave your skin more even and balanced with its toning attributes.
TRUST THE MOTHER
When you're buying apple cider vinegar, be sure to look for the term "With the mother" somewhere on the bottle. The Mother is basically a group of beneficial bacteria similar to what is used in Kombucha. This helps create an unfiltered apple cider vinegar that has more benefits than one that is not filtered. Filtered is great for cleaning, but not for something you want to trust in your body like the more natural version.
Most people recommend Bragg Organic Apple cider. It's between $4-$6 and is found at pretty much any grocery store, GNC, or WalMart.
TRY IT OUT
Apple cider vinegar falls in the category of simple life adjustments that have real, attainable benefits. These are exactly the type of adjustments I love, because they don’t really change my routine or provide any inconvenience whatsoever. I’m not changing my lifestyle. I’m not breaking the bank. I’m partaking in an extremely minimal change that adds value to my well-being. All I have to do is pour a little apple cider vinegar in some water and stir it. Two times a day equates to about 2 minutes of total prep time. No excuses.
The other great thing about it is that there is essentially zero downside as far as giving apple cider vinegar a chance. Take a couple tablespoons and dilute them in water a few times a day and discipline yourself to try it out for a month or two. If you don’t see much change, stop. However, I’d wager that you will feel some changes, even if only a little, that make the 2 minutes of your day and 6 dollars or so per month absolutely worth it.
I find it easiest to take it with meals. I’m not much of a snacker, so I don’t worry about having a diluted apple cider vinegar concoction during snack times to withstand any cravings or urges. You may have snacking issues though so going between meals may be the best for you. Try it out, there’s no wrong answer. The key is just going for it. You can always adjust, but the first step is to try.
Have you started using Apple Cider Vinegar yet? What results have you seen? Let us know in the comments below!