Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a myriad of health benefits and deserves its rightful place in the kitchen and even the medicine cabinet. Apple cider vinegar comes from apples that have been pressed and then exposed to yeast and bacteria. This fermentation creates an alcohol that undergoes a second fermentation to form acetic acid. The final product is a beverage that contains probiotics and beneficial enzymes. Lets take a look at some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar.
One well-studied benefit of ACV is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This is so important because blood sugar levels that remain elevated can lead to insulin resistance and the onset of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. High carbohydrate diets and sedentary lifestyles can lead to this insulin resistance issue. ACV helps to promote better insulin sensitivity to allow the glucose to be absorbed into the liver and skeletal muscle properly. This essentially helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep them in proper ranges.
ACV has been shown to help individuals lose weight. Even just one to two tablespoons a day can help increase satiety so that overall food consumption is moderated. This is shown to be evident best when coupled with a diet that incorporates healthy fats and proteins with balanced levels of quality carbs like quinoa, wild rice, sweet potatoes and squash.
ACV has been shown to optimize cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is very much needed in the body and is a precursor to the production of pregnenolone in the body. This pregnenolone is the precursor to the formation of all steroid hormones in the body. Proper endocrine health is dependent on the presence of cholesterol in the body. ACV has been shown to lower the "bad" cholesterol known as LDL and raise levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol.
ACV is a staple ingredient when it comes to optimizing skin health. ACV has different components including: citric acid, succinic acid, lactic acid and acetic acid possess powerful anti-bacterial properties. In the case of acne, Propionibacterium acnes is the causative agent. ACV can inhibit the growth of this microorganism and eradicate its presence from the skin. ACV can also treat scarring that may be present from various skin inflammatory issues like boils, acne and eczema.
ACV is able to eradicate skin blemishes, inflammation and acne leading to healthy complexion.
ACV is able to lessen symptoms associated with acid reflux. This reflux occurs when stomach contents backtrack up the esophagus and cause a burning sensation in that area. Recent evidence is showing that this condition is caused and exacerbated by low levels of stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar can help combat this issue by normalizing levels of stomach acid.
Other benefits of ACV include: optimizing reducing hypertension, enhancing gut health, combatting fungal infections, aiding in proper blood perfusion and circulation, naturally treating warts, allows hair to glow and shine, balances pH, whitens teeth, keeps colds at bay, aids in oral hygiene and acts as a internal detoxifier.
A tablespoon to two per day is a good target to shoot for to notice the benefits. I'd say it's good to start off on the slower side, perhaps even with a couple teaspoons so as to get the body acclimated appropriately. It's recommended to dilute with water to prevent a burning sensation since it is an acid. I recommend looking for raw and unfiltered with "the mother." The mother refers to the presence of the yeast and bacteria colonies.
There are obviously many benefits to be had with apple cider vinegar. This is worth having at the house on a regular basis and I'd encourage you to start incorporating it more into your daily routine to elevate your health naturally.
Dr. Seamus Allen
CFMP, DACBN, DC