Apple cider vinegar, a vinegar made from a combination of apples, yeast, and sugar, has quickly become the most popular form of vinegar over the past decade due to a slew of reported health benefits. Most famously, weight loss.
But it isn’t a recent addition to a growing list of sworn-by health foods, it’s actually been used as a natural health remedy for centuries.
There are a lot of outlandish claims out there about what apple cider vinegar can do. More than are reasonable for any single food item.
However, more surprising, many of these benefits have been confirmed by recent research. So, if you’re looking for a little something to give you an edge in your diet or healthy eating efforts, apple cider vinegar is worth looking into.
I take at least a tablespoon of apple-cider vinegar a day. It’s an old wives’ tale, but it really is one of the best things you can put in your mouth.
– Melissa Etheridge
Here are five proven benefits of apple cider vinegar.
1. Weight loss
Most notably, apple cider vinegar is known for being an effective natural fat burner and weight loss supplement.
Several studies have shown the vinegar’s ability to increase feelings of fullness, leading to fewer calories consumed while still feeling satisfied, in addition to its ability to reduce belly fat.
In one study, two tablespoons a day helped participants with obesity lose four pounds in three months time. That might not sound like a lot, but when you combine it with the other weight loss benefits mentioned before that, and how easy it is to consume, it’s a no-brainer if you’re trying to lose weight.
2. Lowers blood sugar
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to help fight Type 2 diabetes and lower blood sugar.
One study found that the vinegar actually improves insulin sensitivity during high-carb meals by as much as thirty-four percent in addition to significantly lowering blood sugar.
Several studies have also found that apple cider vinegar can improve insulin function and blood sugar right after meals.
3. Improves heart health
Combined with its ability to reduce insulin levels and lower blood sugar, it could be one of the most powerful natural tools for aiding in heart health.
4. Kills harmful bacteria
Surprisingly, apple cider vinegar, as well as other forms of vinegar, have also shown to help destroy harmful bacteria in the body and kill pathogens.
Vinegar as a whole has a history of use as a disinfectant due to this same bacteria-killing ability. Similarly, stories abound of using apple cider vinegar to treat acne. However, research has yet to confirm if that’s true.
5. May protect against cancer
This final benefit of apple cider vinegar isn’t confirmed, however, studies have shown that the vinegar may actually have the power to protect the body from cancer.
Several studies have shown various types of vinegar to have the ability to kill cancer cells and even shrink tumors.
In addition, a recent study from China showed that certain types of vinegar could decrease esophageal cancer, further supporting this idea.
How to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your health routine
If you’re as sold on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar as my wife is (she’s even gotten me taking it lately– watch out for the smell), here’s a simple recommendation for bringing it into your health routine:
- Drop 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup (a good brand is Braggs)
- Fill the rest of the cup with orange juice, lemonade (or both), or water to dilute the vinegar enough to make it consumable
- Drink with a straw and sip straight through to the back of your mouth so the vinegar doesn’t touch your teeth (it’s acidic, so it can harm your enamel over time)
That’s all there is to it! If you dilute the vinegar enough it’s really not so bad and to acquire all those health benefits with such little effort is hard to argue with.