The most popular vinegar we hear about nowadays is the almighty Apple Cider Vinegar (otherwise dubbed “ACV”). The health benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar has been claimed by millions to cure a host of different problems in the body. These include things like lowering blood sugar levels to improving asthmatic symptoms and even improving the lives of those suffering from diabetes.
Of course, the ACV that provides these amazing benefits isn’t the standard, highly-processed ACV you find in supermarkets. The kind of ACV you want is organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that still contains the “mother” (strands of different proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria). It is made by fermenting the sugars from apples, which turns into acetic acid, the main ingredient in the vinegar.
15 Health Benefits of Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar
So what is ACV really good for? Find out below, where I outline 15 excellent reasons to start consuming this liquid magic!
1. Provides You With Vitamin K2
Fermented foods, like apple cider vinegar, contain a less-known vitamin called vitamin K2. This vitamin is important in bone health, and reducing inflammation and has even been used in therapy for bronchial asthma. Vitamin K2 can also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35%. Vitamin K1 is readily available from most plant foods, but vitamin K2 comes strictly from animal-based products, or fermented products like kombucha, ACV and sauerkrauts.
2. Potent Anti-Microbial
The acetic acid content in apple cider vinegar helps kill pathogens like bacteria and viruses. It is a great disinfectant to be used around the house and acts as a natural preservative. It also helps keep colds and flus at bay, which isn’t surprising, given the immune benefits mentioned below.
3. Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Apple cider vinegar has been proved immensely effective in individuals with type 2 diabetes, seeing as how it helps lower elevated blood sugar levels (which can also be a problem for those not suffering from diabetes). ACV has been found to increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar responses during meals, reduce blood fasting sugars by 4%, reduce blood sugar by 34% upon the consumption of 50 grams of white bread, and improves insulin sensitivity by 19-34% after a high-carb meal. It is clear that ACV is a great aid for those dealing with balancing their blood sugar levels or wanting to improve insulin sensitivity.
4. Relieves Nausea
Not feeling too great? Mix 1 cup of filtered water with 1 tbsp. of ACV and take this mixture when experiencing nausea (adding some raw, un-pasteurized honey to the mix would also be beneficial). It is a great remedy for overall illness and can help ease an upset stomach by balancing stomach acids.
5. Improves Immune Function
ACV improves the quality of your intestinal flora, so it is no wonder this miracle drink is great for improving immune function. After all, our immune system starts in our gut. The maelic acid in ACV is also a great antiviral, helping to reduce your chances for developing a cold or flu if taken daily. The lymphatic system boost that ACV provides our body with is also great for breaking up mucus, alleviating congestion and getting rid of allergies.
6. Provides Relief For Asthmatics
As mentioned earlier, ACV contains vitamin K2, which is helping in treating bronchial asthma. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that narrows the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. Because ACV is highly anti-inflammatory, this is another reason why it is helpful for those suffering from the condition. There are countless reports online (and friends of mine) who have had incredible success with ACV, taken 3 times a day (1 tsp. at a time). Try it out – it might just work!
7. Kills and/or Slows Cancerous Growths
Apple cider vinegar is a great source of polyphenols, which are important for helping reduce our risk of cancer. The pH-balancing effects of ACV also make it great for warding off cancerous growths, since cancer mostly thrives in an acidic environment, and hates alkalinity.
Vinegars have been found to prevent cancer, and shrink tumour cells, with some studies showing the ability of vinegar to inhibit the proliferation of human cancer cells. The vinegar supposedly stimulates cancer-fighting T-cells in our body, helping to slow cancerous growths.
8. Great Anti-Inflammatory
ACV, as mentioned countless times in this article, is a great anti-inflammatory. If you suffer from chronic inflammation, or simply want to get rid of some nasty aches, pains, or bruises, ACV may be just what you’re looking for. Because of the high mineral content in ACV, particularly potassium, it is great for reducing swelling and bulging veins (in terms of varicose veins).
9. Dissolves Kidney Stones
Kidney stones result from excess minerals or other deposits in the kidneys, where they can become lodged in the uterus, bladder or urethra. Kidney stones are incredibly painful to pass, so finding a natural, non-painful way to dissolve them is important (they will be small enough to pass). The high level of acetic acid in apple cider vinegar breaks down the hard components that make up kidney stones, making them easier to pass, or eliminating them completely through dissolution.
Being consistent with your ACV consumption is key, however, and drinking plenty of water to flush the stones is important. Drinking 2 tbsp. of ACV in 1 cup of water once per day, along with 3-4L of regular water should provide relief in 24-48 hours if done correctly.
10. Relieves Allergies
Suffer from seasonal allergies? ACV is a great all-natural anti-histamine that even I have used in the past when experiencing allergic symptoms like wheezing and hives. According to Melissa Gallagher, M.S., CWC, CNHP, apple cider vinegar is just as effective in treating allergic reactions as antihistamine medications like Zyrtec. ACV can help prevent symptoms of allergies like sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy, red and swollen eyes, itchy sensation in the nose, ears, lips, mouth and/or throat, headache, nosebleed, cough and asthma.
11. Digestive Aid
Drinking apple cider vinegar diluted in water can naturally improve your digestion. It is full of beneficial probiotics, and when taken 10-15 minutes before a meal, can help stimulate digestive juices to help with food breakdown. Not to mention, it also helps prevent indigestion and heartburn and can even cure hiccups by overstimulating the nerves in the throat responsible for the hiccup “spasms.”
12. Improves Skin Quality
For gorgeous skin, don’t just consume apple cider vinegar, but use it as a face toner too! The use of vinegar as a skin toner can be traced back for centuries, where it was used by the Romans for cosmetic purposes. This is because vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, with all of the active enzymes and antioxidants, promotes blood circulation in the small capillaries that inundate the skin.
ACV is also antiseptic, preventing the proliferation of bacteria that cause acne and other flare-ups. In addition, it helps to balance the skin’s pH, dissolve dead skin cells, lightens sun and age spots and helps minimize the appearance of pores.
Use ACV as you would your regular face toner, but be sure to dilute it 1 in 2 (i.e., 1 tbsp. ACV + 2 tbsp. water)
13. Can Aid In Weight Loss
The more popular benefits of apple cider vinegar is its role in weight loss. Because ACV helps lower blood sugar and insulin levels, it is no doubt that it could help you shed a few pounds too. A variety of studies have found vinegar to increase satiety, and help you eat fewer calories too.
One Japanese study found that acetic acid in vinegar actually suppresses body fat accumulation. Body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference and serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower in those groups fed vinegar than control groups with no vinegar at all. The main reason being that is curbs appetite and extends the feeling of being full.
14. Helps Balance pH Levels
Help restore alkalinity in the body by taking 1 tsp. of ACV 3 times a day! Even though acidic in nature, ACV has an alkaline effect in our bodies. Because our body needs to be slightly alkaline in order to be healthy, and given that a majority of the foods people consume are acidic in nature, ACV could help in balancing this problem. This isn’t to say that you can just drink ACV, and eat all the processed refined foods you want. Many health problems are attributed to an acidic body pH, and ACV can help alleviate or reduce some of the symptoms associated with these problems.
15. Cleanses The Lymphatic System
The living enzymes and beneficial acetic acid in ACV helps break up mucous in the body, and cleanses the lymph nodes. By simply cleansing your lymphatic system (and using ACV to help aid the process), you can help get rid of over 80% of chronic disease. Remember, our lymphatic system is like a second circulatory system, but requires movement to ease toxins out of the small lymphatic “capillaries.” You may be able to break up mucous and toxins with ACV, but you won’t get rid of it without moving your body. So make sure you exercise, or do rebound exercises!