Apple cider vinegar may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a health drink, but it's actually linked to several important health benefits. And though it may not have a smell and taste that makes it easy to drink, there are a number of ways you can sneak this healthy liquid into your daily eating routine. Learn more about what makes apple cider vinegar good for you and how you can consume it regularly to reap its health benefits.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
It's not just apple cider, and it's not regular vinegar. So, what exactly is apple cider vinegar, anyway? This type of vinegar is made from mostly apple juice. Yeast is added to the drink to turn the fruit sugars into alcohol through the process of fermentation. Then, bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. This is what produces the strong smell and sour taste associated with apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits
Despite all the attention that apple cider vinegar has gotten in recent years, this is not a new fad. Apple cider vinegar has actually been used for centuries. It's been utilized as a remedy starting with the ancient Greeks, who applied it to treat wounds.
Today, the health benefits of apple cider vinegar are backed by scientific studies which have explored it's many uses. Here are some of the health benefits linked to consuming apple cider vinegar:
- Relieving an upset stomach: Drinking some apple cider vinegar mixed with water can be a great way to calm an upset stomach. This is because the vinegar contains pectin, which soothes intestinal spasms. It also has antibiotic properties that can help if a bacterial infection is causing diarrhea.
- Soothe a sore throat: If you have a sore throat, try drinking some apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water. Gargling this concoction can help to kill infection-causing germs due to the high acidity of the vinegar.
- Drain your sinuses: The same mixture of apple cider vinegar and warm water used for sore throats can also help to clear a stuffy nose by killing germs that contribute to nasal congestion.
- Lower cholesterol: Preliminary studies have linked apple cider vinegar to lowering bad cholesterol levels.
- Lower blood pressure: Apple cider vinegar contains potassium, which helps the body to balance sodium levels, and magnesium, which relaxes blood vessel walls. Both of these minerals work together to lower blood pressure.
- Manage type 2 diabetes: Apple cider vinegar helps to control blood glucose levels, which is important for diabetes management. If you're interested in using apple cider vinegar for this purpose, be sure to talk to your doctor first.
- Boost your energy level: If you're stressed out or tired from exercising, apple cider vinegar can provide a welcome energy boost. It contains amino acids, potassium and select enzymes known to relieve the feeling of tiredness.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
Could you make an apple cider vinegar weight loss drink? Based on the many health benefits described above, it's no surprise that people are interested in using this powerful beverage for weight loss purposes. In fact, there are several reasons why apple cider vinegar is a great tool for shedding pounds, including:
- Suppressing appetite: When you have apple cider vinegar with a meal, you tend to feel fuller afterward so you don't end up reaching for more food soon after eating. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar also helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady so you crave less sugar and other unhealthy snacks.
- Breaking down fat: In some studies, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to help with fat breakdown. This can help to reduce body weight, BMI and body fat mass.
- Boosting metabolism: Preliminary studies have found that regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can help to boost your metabolism so your body can burn calories faster.
How to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
The ideal apple cider vinegar dosage per day is one to two tablespoons per day. This apple cider vinegar dosage shouldn't be consumed straight, however, despite some weight loss trends that recommend taking apple cider vinegar "shots." This isn't a good way to consume the vinegar since the high acidity levels can damage your tooth enamel and your throat. Instead, mix it with water or put apple cider vinegar in a healthy soup, shake, salad dressing or marinade.
If you're wondering when to drink apple cider vinegar, the best time is right at the beginning of a meal. That way, it can have the best effects for reducing insulin and glucose spikes.
Because it also offers a wide variety of other handy uses, including trapping fruit flies, cleaning your house and taking care of your skin, apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile products you can keep in your home. Be sure to take advantage of the many health benefits that this unique liquid has to offer.