What Are The Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar? Is drinking apple cider vinegar going to improve your health? Fix your gout? Balance your blood sugar? My father in law is devoted to his daily shot of apple cider vinegar. According to hearsay apple cider vinegar is a cure all for a multitude of complaints such as arthritis, poor digestion and dandruff. But what is fact and what is fiction?
The most famous proponent of the benefit of drinking apple cider vinegar goes way back! Hippocrates claimed it would cure many common ailments including ear infections and skin rash. No modern research has yet verified these two assertions. Apple Cider Vinegar’s popularity as a home cure all continued unabated.
However, recent research does verify that there are some significant health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
- Improves insulin sensitivity and management of type two diabetes – Taking apple cider vinegar before meals lowers the Glycemic index when eating carbohydrates. Like cinnamon, this common kitchen condiment may assist in reducing the risk of diabetes.
- Better digestion – The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps prevent necessary gastric acid Mainly Hydrochloric acid) from leaving the stomach too soon. Food may be more easily digested with less reflux, belching and gas.
- Appetite control and weight loss – Several trials show that drinking apple cider vinegar before a meal has the benefit of curbing appetite. Participants noted an increased feeling of fullness and less desire for ‘a little more’. Taking apple cider vinegar may support weight loss, in combination with exercise and moderate healthy eating.
Here’s a brief run-down of some of the more likely stories about apple cider vinegar’s healing prowess; all based on historical folk remedies and anecdotal evidence.
- Treatment of over-acidic conditions of the body, such as arthritis or gout – Although apple cider vinegar is acidic, it leaves an overall alkaline residue after digestion. You can buy pH tests at the pharmacy, and test your pH. If you have an acidic result, apple cider vinegar may be especially appropriate for your system.
- Assisting in the treatment of yeast infections and candida – Although some standard vinegars may exacerbate yeast infections, women have found douching in dilution of apple cider vinegar to be helpful when treating thrush. Taking apple cider vinegar internally may reduce candida symptoms, due to malic and tartaric acids inhibiting bacteria growth.
- Reducing swelling – apparently apple cider vinegar can reduce bruising in less time that ice. Apply vinegar to a cloth and hold to injury for at least an hour. I haven’t tried this, so let me know. Ice has always been the best first aid remedy I know.
- Alleviating dandruff – apple cider vinegar may be a helpful natural remedy for dandruff, because the acids in the vinegar kill the fungus causing chemical imbalances in the skin of the scalp.
How do you get the benefits of apple cider vinegar?
1) Use only raw unpasteurised apple cider vinegar (available in several varieties from all good health food stores). Unpasteurised apple cider vinegar is safe because the acid levels will kill unfavourable bacteria. It contains abundantly more living goodness that ‘dead’ supermarket versions. The thin web-like strands you will find settling in raw apple cider vinegar are the living part, called the ‘mother’. They produce copious quantities of enzymes, malic and tartaric acids, and valuable minerals, including potassium.
2) Shake the bottle prior to use to disperse the ‘mother’.
3) Try taking 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (plus 1 teaspoon of honey if you prefer) in ½ a glass of water prior to meals. See how you feel over a couple of weeks, noting changes to ease of digestion, quantity of food intake and level of sugar cravings after meals.
4) if you are not about to eat, brush your teeth after taking the vinegar. Too much apple cider vinegar has been found to damage tooth enamel due to its acidity.
Vinegar has been utilized as a medicine since the days of ancient philosophers, and the power of vinegar still lives today!
Here are a couple of my favorite apple cider vinegar dressing recipes:
Apple Ginger Dressing
1 apple, cored and chopped
3 T olive oil
Juice of a small lemon
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
3 T water
½ tsp sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Drizzle over crispy salad leaves (cos lettuce is perfect), pieces of avocado and thinly sliced pieces of apple.
½ cup parsley
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
1 – 2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ tsp sea salt
Combine in a blend until smooth.