Apple cider vinegar is a staple in many kitchens. It’s makes a tasty salad dressing and dipping sauce; however, it has more to offer than just a great taste. Apple cider vinegar (commonly referred to as ACV) has become the go-to homeopathic cure-all for a range of medical ailments, such as indigestion and yeast infections. It is also commonly used for personal care reasons, including weight loss and teeth whitening.
What’s apple cider vinegar’s secret? It lies in the Acetic acid, an element that ACV is rich in. Acetic acid is a bacterium that is produced during the process of fermentation. ACV starts out as crushed apples. Once the apples are crushed into liquid and yeast and bacteria are added. This activates the initial fermentation process, which transforms the liquid of the crushed apples into alcohol. Once the first process is complete, a second one takes place, during which the alcohol is turned into vinegar, thanks to the formation of Acetic acid.
It is the Acetic acid that gives apple cider vinegar a myriad of benefits. In order to reap the benefits that ACV offers, it is important to purchase apple cider vinegar in the raw, as this variety contains “mother”, the Acetic acid bacteria that is produced during fermentation. The “mother” contains a enzymes, trace minerals and pectin, and is the source of the majority of the benefits that ACV provides.
What type of benefits does apple cider vinegar provide? Here’s a look at 19 reasons why you should consider using it.
1. ACV can relieve heartburn and acid reflux
Two of the primary causes of heartburn and acid reflux are an improper balance in the pH of the stomach, as well as a lack of probiotics and enzymes. Raw apple cider vinegar is loaded with these nutrients, and as a result, it can help to ease the burning sensation in the chest that is caused by heartburn and acid reflux. If you suffer from heartburn and indigestion, try adding 1 tablespoon of raw ACV to a cup of lukewarm water and drink the mixture down before eating. Doing so can help to prevent the onset of heartburn and indigestion.
2. It’s a natural tooth whitener
If your teeth are stained or discolored, before you spend a fortune on tooth whitening products or schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist, give apple cider vinegar in the raw a try. Simply dip your finger or a toothbrush in the liquid and rub it across your teeth for one minute, and then rinse your mouth thoroughly with lukewarm water.
The high pH level of apple cider vinegar may just be strong enough to remove those stubborn stains from your teeth, giving you a brighter, whiter smile; and best of all it’s a natural, more cost-effective solution than other teeth whitening treatments.
3. ACV can aid in weight loss
Studies conducted on the benefits of the Acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar have revealed that it can possibly prevent the accumulation of body fat. During this study, two groups of lab mice were tested. Both groups were fed a diet high in fat. After eating, one group was given acetic acid and one was not.
The group that was given the acetic acid ended up developing less body fat than those who were not given the acid. Another study was conducted on people. In this study, obese people were divided into two groups. One group took ACV while eating and the other drank water. At the end of the study, those who took the ACV lost up to 2 pounds.
4. It could prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes
If you have elevated blood glucose levels, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Medical studies have found that the acetic acid in raw ACV can help to balance blood sugar levels and enhance insulin response, as well as insulin sensitivity.
By drinking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar that contains mother mixed with water before your meals, you could reduce your risk of developing type 2-diabetes. If drinking raw ACV isn’t appealing to you, try using it as a dressing for salads or a dip for various types of foods.
5. Can unclog a stuffy nose
The next time you come down with a cold and have a stuffy nose, reach for some apple cider vinegar. Raw ACV contains potassium, which helps to thin mucus. Additionally, the acetic acid it contains can help to prevent the growth of germs that may contribute to congestion of the nasal passages, therefore unclogging your nose.
Simply mix a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink it. You’ll likely fell your sinuses draining in no time.
6. It can easy dandruff
If you suffer from dandruff, instead of buying a harsh, chemical-laden shampoo, try washing your hair with apple cider vinegar. The high acidity of ACV can help to change the pH of your scalp, making it less hospitable for yeast growth, and yeast is responsible for causing dandruff.
To use it as an anti-dandruff shampoo, mix ¼ cup of ACV with ¼ cup of water and work it into your scalp. Wrap your hair in a towel, allow the mixture to sit on your scalp for about 15 minutes, and wash your hair as usual. Do this two times a week and you should start seeing results.
7. It could lower cholesterol levels
Though more research is necessary, some studies have revealed promising results for the effectiveness of using ACV as a way to lower cholesterol levels. One study found that the acetic acid in ACV helped to lower LDLs, or bad cholesterol, levels in lab rats. Another study found that drinking just ½ ounce of raw ACV a day reduced cholesterol levels in those who participated in the study.
When LDL levels are reduced, your risk of developing various heart conditions, including heart disease or suffering a heart attack, may be significantly reduced.
8. A natural treatment for itching insect bites
There is nothing more annoying than the nagging itch left behind after being bitten by a mosquito. The next time you find a mosquito bite on your body, instead of scratching it, dab some apple cider vinegar on the bite. Raw ACV can be an effective treatment for solving the itching caused by mosquito bites because it helps to balance the pH level of the skin.
It’s also less acidic than other forms of vinegar, so it won’t sting the bite. You can also use ACV to treat an itchy rash caused by poison ivy. Simply saturate a cotton swab in the vinegar and dab it on the affected area to relieve the itch.
9. A natural deodorant
Store bought deodorants reduce body odor by blocking the sweat glands, which prevents you from sweating. This isn’t a good thing, as sweating allows the body to detoxify itself. By using synthetic deodorant, you are preventing the release of toxins from your body, and it may also dry out your skin.
Apple cider vinegar in the raw is a natural alternative to preventing body odor. Rub a bit of ACV under your arm. You may notice a faint vinegar smell, but once it dries, the smell will dissipate.
10. A natural acne remedy
Blemishes on the skin are a real embarrassment. While there are products that you can use to treat pimples, these products can dry out the skin and cause other adverse effects. If clearer skin is your goal, try using apple cider vinegar. The antibacterial properties of ACV help to keep acne under control.
It can also help to soften and exfoliate the skin, thanks to the lactic and malic acids that the vinegar contains. Swab a cotton ball saturated in ACV on your skin after washing it to see a brighter, less blemished appearance.