Apple Cider Vinegar has been hailed by many as a sort of home remedy for the treatment and cure of just about every health condition imaginable. This powerful beverage is a potent elixir concocted through the fermentation of apple cider.
While many people may have told you how wonderful apple cider vinegar is for your health, chances are they neglected to tell you exactly why it was so incredible. Apple cider vinegar benefits your body in many ways, and it pays to know just how.
Long History of Healing Properties
Apple Cider Vinegar can be drunk by itself, diluted in water, or even mixed together with other fruits and vegetables in a juicer to create a potent health elixir! This polyphenol-rich concoction has been used throughout our history for health, energy, and even cleaning.
By gaining a better understanding of the natural wonders found in apple cider vinegar and how they work within your body, you’ll be able to better understand how apple cider vinegar may benefit your health.
Polyphenols & Flavonoids
Fruits such as apples are well known to contain much higher levels of antioxidants than many other foods. These antioxidants are special kinds of molecules that help prevent cellular damage in your body and are thought to be vital in the process of preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and many other major health conditions.
Antioxidants are most well-known for their ability to help combat Free Radicals, which are odd little compounds that get produced naturally by everyone. These Free Radicals are atoms—or clusters of many atoms—that get produced as a by-product when oxygen interacts with certain parts of your body.
Since we rely on oxygen to live, that process happens quite often! Free radicals are a natural part of life, and combating them with the effective use of antioxidants can help to lower the chances of disease and lengthen life expectancy (R).
Foods such as pomegranate, pineapples, and blueberries are all rich in these types of compounds. Other compounds such as glycine are also noted for their facilitation of intra-cellular antioxidant action.
These types of compounds aren’t necessarily considered anti-oxidants themselves but are so supportive of antioxidant processes that they are an integral part of any such conversation. Just like collagen’s high levels of glycine are likely to help support many antioxidant activities, so too can it be said that Apple Cider Vinegar is supportive of holistic antioxidation throughout our bodies.
Phenols are chemical compounds that are very similar to alcohol, being bonded to a hydroxyl- group, but appear very different to anyone without a microscope. These powerful health allies are found naturally in many plants such as apples. These compounds have shown remarkable benefit for a number of health concerns throughout years of research, and are usually found in many home remedies.
The main phenols found in apple cider vinegar are Rutin, Quercetin, Chlorogenic-Acid, and Gallic Acid (R). Quercetin has been shown to be effective as a natural allergy relief supplement (R). If you don’t particularly enjoy the taste of ACV, you may be able to find many of the same health benefits by simply taking a Quercetin supplement instead—or that of another ingredient such as Rutin.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
Now that you have a better understanding of what makes ACV such a powerful superfood, you can discern fact from rumor in the many ways it can boost your health. For example, it’s rumored by many that apple cider vinegar for dogs is an effective natural parasite treatment. This type of parasite cleanse would certainly have fewer potential side effects, as well as be more cost-effective.
This notion is widespread across the internet, but few cite any actual research concluding its validity, and few studies offer insight. There is, however, a bit of research that ties together Phenolic Acid and the effective treatment of parasites found in dogs (R).
Being aware of the components of any product meant for the treatment of any health condition can offer you a tremendous advantage. Below, you’ll find several uses of apple cider that have been shown—perhaps through indirect connection—to offer powerful health benefits.
Urinary Tract Infections
Quercetin, one of the active compounds in Apple Cider Vinegar, has shown great benefit for those suffering from interstitial cystitis, otherwise known as ‘painful bladder syndrome (R). While the exact causes and circumstances of this condition are unknown, it is considered by many to be intimately related to urinary tract infections.
When a UTI is present, patients are much more likely to develop interstitial cystitis. Knowing that Quercetin has shown the ability to provide an antibacterial action against this type of infection, you can be confident that apple cider vinegar may be able to as well. In addition, Gallic Acid has shown a powerful ability to help treat urinary tract infections as well (R).
Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to demonstrate remarkable antioxidant effects, but it’s not always clear what that means in terms of your health. To get a better understanding, a 2014 study investigating the effects of ACV on mice can offer a bit of insight.
Researchers found that the mice that were given apple cider vinegar showed lower overall cholesterol levels, healthier liver, and kidneys, and higher counts of vitamins and antioxidants in their systems (R).
Specifically, those mice were found to have higher levels of beta-carotene, vitamin e, glutathione, and peroxidase—all known to be powerful antioxidants. Research like this bestows a bit more credibility to the notion that ACV is a ‘cure-all’ home remedy!
Many diabetic patients suffer from a condition known as diabetic gastroparesis in which their digestive systems move too quickly or—in most cases—too slowly. Normally, the vagus nerve helps stimulate the stomach to empty food into the small intestine where it then begins its trip through the GI tract (R).
This can become a major health concern—leading to major nutritional and related concerns. Apple Cider Vinegar has shown a marked ability to help better regulate the digestive cycle, specifically in diabetic patients suffering from gastroparesis. While this research is a bit narrow in its focus, it’s fair to say that ACV would likely be beneficial in other conditions where digestion was an issue.
Blood Sugar Stabilizer
In addition to the ability to aid in digestive issues associated with diabetes, as well as lowering cholesterol levels—which are known to be closely related to diabetes and pre-diabetes—apple cider vinegar has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels as well.
Research has shown that regular use of Apple Cider Vinegar can help lower hba1c serum levels, which is used as an indicator of longer-term blood sugar levels (R).
Overall, it can be stated that the use of Apple Cider Vinegar is able to effectively lower the glycemic impact that many foods have. For instance, the research found that rice affected blood sugar levels nearly 35% less when eaten with vinegar or pickled foods (R).
This type of glycemic reduction can help those diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes make a smoother transition into a diet recommended for them by their doctor. Given the role ACV plays in managing blood sugar, some people also like to use apple cider vinegar while intermittent fasting.
Animal research has shown very promising connections between the use of Apple Cider Vinegar in the reduction of tumor sizes, prevention of tumor growth, and reduction of oxidative damage associated with cancers (PDF). While more research is needed to make any definitive claims, Apple Cider Vinegar may have strong potential to help ward away Cancer. Much of the
Natural Candida Treatment
Candida is family of fungi that is naturally found in your body and helps perform many important tasks in symbiosis. Candida is thought to be involved, if not responsible, for many common issues such as thrush and feminine yeast infections.
These are regarded as minor health issues—but those suffering from candida overgrowth know just how major it can seem. Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to be effective in treating types of Candida that affect the mouth and teeth (R).
These types of infections are less systemic than SIBO, and other gastrointestinal forms of candida, but aren’t to be taken lightly. Apple Cider Vinegar can also help supplement low levels of stomach acid (common to Candida and SIBO overgrowth) when drank with meals.
How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’ve made it this far you’ve either decided to pick up some ACV during your next trip to the grocery store—or you’re already a fan. If you’ve never tried Apple Cider Vinegar before however—you may be in for a rude surprise. This magic elixir may be packed with powerful natural flavonoids—but it certainly isn’t packed with flavor! Many people compare drinking pure Apple Cider Vinegar to drinking pure lemon juice, with more of a kick!
Diluting With Water
Many people choose to dilute their ACV by adding 2-3 tablespoons to a glass of water, some pour it into their juicers, and some even drink it from the bottle! Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is by far the most popular brand of Apple Cider Vinegar available. They offer organic, non-GMO apple cider vinegar and their product is available nearly anywhere that ACV is sold.
Mixing With Honey
Several readers commented that they choose to mix ACV with a small amount of honey to lessen the impact of the taste. This is good as a thought but often results in an even nastier-tasting mutant-of-a-concoction. After all, such an acidic drink appropriate for aiding in digestion can make quick work of honey. Mixing ACV with honey only seems to work when the water has already been mixed in to dilute things further.
Supplements are available that contain a dehydrated concentrate of the ‘mother’ from apple cider vinegar. This compound likely has some benefits but you’re going to miss out on a lot of the water-soluble compounds and living bacteria found in apple cider vinegar. It’s still worth consideration but, considering how cheap and available ACV is, supplement forms are probably not worth the money in most cases.
ACV is cheap, available in nearly every grocery and health food store, completely safe to use, and in the rare cases where side effects are noted—they are very short-lived and very mild. By holding an understanding of the beneficial ingredients found in Apple Cider Vinegar, you may be able to get more potent doses by taking them as individual supplements, such as Quercetin and Rutin. As with any change to your diet or lifestyle, you should always seek the advice of a licensed health care professional familiar with your individual health needs.