Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has become quite popular in recent times, with people recognizing its potential for promoting weight loss and combating various illnesses. This versatile food is made through the fermentation of sugar in apples, which is converted into alcohol and then transformed into acetic acid by adding bacteria. Organic apple cider vinegar contains essential enzymes, amino acids, and friendly bacteria, referred to as the “mother,” which are responsible for its incredible health benefits. In this article, we will explore the top benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar and provide five delicious recipes for you to try at home.
1. Great for Your Heart
Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and coronary artery disease, are the leading causes of death worldwide. Atherosclerosis, characterized by small plaques that disrupt blood flow in vessels, is one of the main contributors to the development of these diseases. Poor lifestyle choices, such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise, high cholesterol levels, and a poor diet, often lead to atherosclerosis. However, apple cider vinegar can help reduce these risk factors significantly. Studies conducted on rats have shown that consuming apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for people suffering from hypertension. ACV reduces the release of hormones that regulate blood pressure, called the renin-angiotensin system, which helps restore the hormonal balance. Moreover, researchers found that ACV can lower the risk of ischemic heart disease by containing an antioxidant, chlorogenic acid that prevents the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), which is one of the primary causes of plaque development in blood vessels. Thus, regular intake of ACV can help keep your vessels clean, which is essential for good heart health.
2. Fight Cancer
Apple cider vinegar has anti-cancerous effects that have been validated in several studies. It can induce apoptosis, or cell death, in leukemia cells and inhibit the growth of human cancer cells. A recent study on mice confirmed that regular intake of apple cider vinegar can reduce tumor volume and improve the lifespan of cancer patients. ACV contains a high dose of polyphenols, which is one of the strongest antioxidants that can bind free radicals, protecting the DNA from mutations. By preventing gene mutations, ACV can effectively reduce the risk of cancer. Its effects are similar to other dietary sources of polyphenols, including raw cocoa, berries, vegetables, wine, and coffee beans.
3. Control Blood Sugar Levels
People with diabetes type 2 struggle with elevated blood sugar levels, which results from insulin resistance or reduced insulin secretion. Foods that lead to rapid spikes in insulin have high glycemic indexes, which should be avoided at all costs to keep blood sugar levels stable. If you are dealing with insulin resistance, consuming apple cider vinegar can be beneficial. Studies have shown that it can increase insulin sensitivity by 20% and decrease insulin secretion by 20% after ingestion of 50g sugar and 60ml of apple cider vinegar. ACV slows down the absorption of glucose into our bloodstream, which increases fat-burning hormones and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Consequently, it leads to increased secretion of hormones that regulate hunger and satiety in our brain, which helps reduce food cravings.
4. Help with Weight Loss
One of the most significant benefits of apple cider vinegar is its ability to aid in weight loss. ACV has been scientifically proven to speed up metabolism by containing organic acids and enzymes that promote fat burning. ACV is high in potassium and fiber, which means you get fuller quickly, reducing food cravings by stabilizing blood sugar levels. A study conducted on obese individuals revealed that regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can lead to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, and triglyceride levels. Adult women, in particular, consumed fewer calories throughout the day when drinking ACV before breakfast. As ACV slows down the absorption of glucose, it takes longer to digest food, causing small bouts of insulin release over an extended period. This can lead to increased secretion of hormones that regulate hunger and satiety, thereby reducing food cravings.
5. Improve Digestion
ACV contains many essential enzymes, amino acids, and good bacteria, which play a vital role in the digestion process. These properties are particularly beneficial to people suffering from digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating, and intestinal spasms. ACV kills bad bacteria in our colon, which causes digestive issues. Also, the enzymes it contains help speed up digestion in general, making it beneficial to people with food allergies.
6. Kill Bad Bacteria
Apple cider vinegar possesses antimicrobial properties that can inhibit the growth of bacteria such as E. coli. Scientists believe that even Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used apple cider vinegar to treat ulcers and sores. Although most of the studies on this subject were conducted on animals, the natural way to preserve food through the inhibition of bacteria growth makes ACV an optimal solution for human consumption.
Here are six delicious ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet:
1. The Basics: ACV with Water
Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water, add ice and juice from half a lemon, and dash of red pepper for a tasty drink to consume 30 minutes before a meal.
2. Add Cinnamon to Curb Cravings
Mix two to three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one teaspoon of cinnamon and eight to twelve ounces of warm water. Drink this up to three times per day, around 30 minutes before each meal. Cinnamon, like apple cider vinegar, reduces insulin spikes, leading to stabilized blood glucose levels. This is beneficial for both people with diabetes and those trying to lose weight, as it helps reduce hunger and food cravings.
3. Delicious Salad Dressing
Mix one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar with one-fourth cup of extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon of red pepper, and juice from one lemon. Add salt and pepper as necessary, and serve over your salad of choice. This salad dressing is perfect for any kind of salad, including those made with cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, arugula, and onions. You can also add seeds or a source of protein to make this a complete meal.
4. ACV and Honey: The Power Combo
Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with one teaspoon of honey and eight to twelve ounces of warm water. Drink this one to two times per day on an empty stomach to see weight loss and anti-inflammatory benefits.
5. Take It One Step Further: ACV with Honey, Garlic, and Lemon Juice
Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with two teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of garlic, and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir in warm water, and consume one to two times per day to take advantage of the anti-inflammatory benefits of this powerful combination.
6. ACV and Fruit
Combine ACV with your favorite fruit for a refreshing and healthy snack. Apples, grapes, and strawberries are particularly tasty with ACV. Simply mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with sliced fruits and sprinkle some cinnamon on top for a delicious and nutritious snack.
Apple cider vinegar is a versatile food that has been associated with numerous health benefits such as promoting weight loss, fighting cancer, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and improving digestion. Its antimicrobial properties inhibit bacterial growth, leading to better food preservation. Incorporating ACV into your diet can be done in various ways, from mixing it with water to adding it to dressings, snacks, and fruit. So, the next time you’re struggling with weight loss or trying to combat an illness, try incorporating some apple cider vinegar into your diet and reaping the benefits of this fantastic superfood.