Vinegar is made in a two-step process, related to how alcohol is made. The first step is to expose crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol. In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid which is the main active compound in vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community. Here are 5 proven ways that it can benefit your health.
1. Lower Blood Sugar
Apple Cider Vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons. Apple Cider Vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals. Drinking apple cider vinegar before meals may lower sugar levels in the bloodstream, and could therefore help people with diabetes.
The acid in apple cider vinegar appears to block some of the starch we eat from being digested, which in turn keeps blood sugar levels from rising. This is an "anti-glycemic" effect similar to that of some medications.
Drinking a glass of water mixed with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 15-20 minutes before a meal can improve digestion and nutrient assimilation by increasing HCl production. Start with 1 tablespoon to see how you fare, and go from there.
Drinking apple cider vinegar in water can help to naturally improve your digestion. Take a tablespoon of ACV in a big glass of water around 15 minutes before a meal to stimulate digestive juices for better breakdown of your food.
3. Lower Cholesterol
Apple cider vinegar may also contain the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process.
Apple cider vinegar benefits start with the fact that it lowers your cholesterol. According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that if you consume just one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the morning, you’re naturally lowering your cholesterol because apple cider vinegar has been shown to increase bile production and support your liver. Your liver and bile are very important for the processing of and creating cholesterol as well as breaking it down, so apple cider vinegar is a great way to lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol.
4. Help with Heart Burn
Apple cider vinegar provides benefits that may reduce or prevent acid reflux. Although apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid that can trigger reflux for some people, others use apple cider as a remedy for heartburn, the pain and burning in the upper chest and throat from acid reflux.
5. Weight Loss
Studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss. ACV makes you eat less by producing a feeling of satiety sooner. One research that proved that empirically was a 2005 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Subjects who ate bread with vinegar felt significantly fuller than their counterparts who were fed only bread. The more acetic acid (the primary constituent of vinegar) the participants ingested, the fuller they were.
Common dosages range from 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 mL) per day. It is recommended to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’, which are strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance.