What is Apple Cider Vinegar and Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar we get from fermented apple juice. People use the strong wine-like liquid for salad dressings, vinaigrettes, marinades, as food preservatives, and Indian-based pickles. The preparation method is straightforward so that people can prepare their organic apple cider at home with limited ingredients and experience.
All we have to do is extract juice from apples and add bacteria and yeast to kick start the alcoholic fermentation process. This procedure converts the sugar in the fluid to alcohol. After that, the alcohol gets converted to vinegar with the help of acetic acid-forming bacteria. The resulting sour taste is due to the presence of acetic acid and malic acid in the vinegar.
As for Nutritional value, 100 grams (ml) of this vinegar provides roughly 22 calories with a little supplementation of micronutrients. Apple Cider Vinegar is 94% water with 1% carbohydrates and no protein content. Pretty beneficial right?
6 Proven Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Can help lower your blood sugar levels
- Helps you lose that clingy belly fat
- Better Nutrient Absorption
- Aids in the Digestion Process
- Improves Skin Health
- Reduction in Cholesterol Levels
1. Can Help Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Apple cider vinegar helps in the lowering of blood sugar levels which makes this magic liquid a valuable supplementation choice. The acidic content benefits people with insulin resistance or diabetes. And yes, we have research that proves this quality of apple cider.
One research showed that diabetic patients who consumed two tablespoon or 30 ml before bedtime had reduced fasting blood glucose the next morning. The readings show a reduction of 4 percentage.
While most of us in our twenties neglect diabetic symptoms, apple cider is very important for people who tend to experience “The Dawn Effect”. People with such cases have a sudden rise in their blood sugar levels in the morning. These symptoms get dominantly observed in pre-diabetic or diabetic patients. Biologically speaking, the acetic acid in ACV alters the gluconeogenic cycle of the liver.
Another right side of ACV is that regular consumption helps to improve insulin sensitivity. Losing of insulin sensitivity generally occurs due to poor nutrition and high intake of refined carbs. These include processed foods like bread, cereals, and other munchy items. This type of diet leads to elevated levels of glucose and insulin and weight gain in the long run.
2. Helps You Lose That Clingy Belly Fat
We just discussed the restoration of insulin sensitivity through apple cider vinegar consumption. What happens is, higher levels of insulin and glucose blocks the natural process of fat burning. Taking around 30 ml of ACV diluted in 20 ml of water after chowing down on your favourite meal can significantly increase in glucose uptake. In simpler words, ACV helps the insulin to do its intended work without any obstacles.
Another study shows that ACV can help you in your weight loss journey, especially in the reduction of belly fat. In the experiment, participants used an adequate amount of this solution for 12 weeks. At the end of the trial period, scientists observed a significant reduction of visceral fat and waist circumference. Another bonus factor is that regular consumption of ACV maintains the Visceral Adiposity Index. Useful numbers in this index mean the link between belly fat and cardiovascular risk factors lies under the standard line.
Also, ACV helps to lose weight more straightforwardly. Drinking this solution after your meal or 20 minutes before your meal will make you eat less as it gives you the placebo of a full stomach. Statistically speaking, research has shown a reduction of 200-275 calorie consumption on those who involve ACV in their daily diet.
3. Better Nutrient Absorption
The benefit of apple cider vinegar does not end there. It also helps our body to absorb nutrients better. As it happens, apple cider provides the body with acetic acid that improves iron intake. There are two types of iron required based on body requirement- Heme and Nonheme iron. We get heme iron from animal products which gets easily digested by the body since its predigested by our sources.
However, nonheme iron is a tough nut to crack. It follows a different absorption pathway and is harder to assimilate. We usually get this type of metal from plant sources like spinach, pumpkin seeds, and dark leafy green vegetables. This is where ACV kicks in and aids the better absorption of nonheme iron with the help of acetic, malic, and ascorbic acids it provides to the body.
ACV also provides the right amount of Copper to our body. Copper helps the body to absorb iron better. So, it is a win-win situation for our body. This process is very beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.
For non-vegetarians, it has a different aspect of a beneficial factor. ACV also provides the body with the necessary amount of amino acids. I will not go through the importance of amino acids, but they are crucial for the proper functioning of the human body. What they do is aid in the breakdown of protein and in turn helps in proper absorption of essential nutrients.
A good Apple cider vinegar consists of a substance called “Mother” which is created during the fermentation process. This mysterious thing somehow helps in the dissection of complex protein molecules in the body. Along with this, ACV contains micronutrients like manganese, iron, and phosphorus. All of these combined with proper diet and nutrition, the body gets enough antioxidants to fight the free radicals.
4. Aids in the Digestion Process
Have you wondered how humans digest their food? Unless you take a biology lesson or search it up on the internet, people take this complex process as granted. While birds and some animals have a different mechanism of breaking down the food, most creatures have a biologically produced acid inside their stomach. Don’t worry; they do not harm our body. Think of it as a reliable but helpful acid.
The acid in our stomach is comprised of three concentrated acids Hydrochloric acid (HCL), Potassium Chloride (KCL), and Sodium Chloride (NaCl). They are collectively known as gastric acid and often maintain their pH levels at the range 1.5 to 3.5 in the stomach lumen. So, what does this have to do with ACV?
Well, the pH level of apple cider vinegar is 3.075, which lies in the range of our gastric juice. So, it kind of mimics the stomach acid and helps in the digestion process. We often relate the acid reflux and burning sensations in the stomach to a higher content of stomach acid, but sometimes it’s the complete opposite. We can experience these symptoms due to a lack of stomach acid required for digestion. Taking ACV in moderation can help you get rid of such problems along with the occasional heartburns and acid refluxes. They can also help you prevent gas and bloating of the stomach.
5. Improves Skin Health
Ever wondered you get pimples when you have poor bowel health. As it happens, the fact is scientifically proven. Our skin health is directly related to the food we put in our mouth. As we have already discussed the effects ACV on digestion, we know that including apple cider in our daily diet helps in proper absorption of nutrients. When the body gets nourished with all types of essential nutrients, improved skin health is just the tip of the iceberg. This means you can enjoy the benefits of anti-ageing along with other skin benefits factors.
Acne is a general problem that often troubles teenagers and some adults. These small beads often dry out and go away if left untouched, but for some, they pose difficulties in real life. Poor digestion can be a leading factor in some cases. If the bowel movement is improper, acne-causing toxins get stuck in the digestive tract and get eliminated through the skin. So, a little apple cider vinegar in your diet can help you in the acne elimination process.
But wait, aren’t acne caused due to hormonal imbalance? Yes, they are, and this is the reason men and women get a lot of acne when they enter puberty. ACV has a way of its own to help you in this situation too. As we know, the vinegar helps in protein synthesis and amino acid production in the body. Since many hormones require amino acids to synthesize, you will experience lesser acne problems.
Apple Cider Vinegar is something that has been used from ancient times. History shows that people used this magic serum to treat fungus and wounds. Because this fermented juice kills bacteria, people used it as a natural food preservative. You can apply the solution to your face to eliminate the skin from pollutants and excess oil externally. Who knew we had so many benefits of apple cider vinegar.
6. Reduction in Cholesterol Levels
Last but not least, an important benefit of apple cider vinegar is to help in the reduction of cholesterol levels. Keep in mind; cholesterol does not always mean bad. Our body needs cholesterol for proper functioning. For men, the right cholesterol level means a healthy testosterone level. Testosterone is the male hormone which is found dominantly in men and essential for libido health and other body functions.
A study done in patients for a total amount of 8 weeks showed that people who drank 30 ml of ACV twice a day demonstrated reduced Cholesterol levels. Looking at the numbers their cholesterol got less than 0.0001, triglyceride levels dropped to 0.020 and LDL reduced to 0.0001.
Another study showed that apple cider vinegar affected high blood lipid symptoms in animals and humans. So, we can conclude that regular use of this fermented solution aids in the lowering of lipids.
In the end, let’s revise the six benefits for those readers who like to extract the highlights without the details. Apple cider vinegar is a juice derived from apples and prepared through the fermentation process. They have several clinically proven benefits. Some of them are lower blood sugar levels, weight and fat reduction, better nutrition absorption, help in the digestion process, improvement in skin health, and reduction in cholesterol levels.
As it happens, there are many other benefits of apple cider vinegar, but we did not mention them as they are not backed by science. Some studies have shown that these juices can help to shrink cancer and tumour cells. Others use them as a means to heal sore throat or hiccups. People have also mentioned them as a remedy to get rid of dandruff and nighttime leg cramps. With all these supposed benefits, one should try using apple cider vinegar and see for themselves. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are all yours to take.