The Amazing Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

It’s said that Hippocrates, often called the “Father of Modern Medicine,” used apple cider vinegar to clean wounds and relieve coughs. But today, studies show that this fermented food has other health benefits, from aiding digestion to boosting the immune system.

According to Holland & Barrett, there are two types of apple cider vinegar. One is filtered and clear, while one is darker and sprinkled with stringy flecks, called the “mother.”

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made by fermenting apple cider. It’s rich in probiotics, and low in carbohydrates, calories, and cholesterol, says MasterClass. To make ACV, manufacturers add yeast to the apple cider to break down natural sugars and turn it into in alcohol.

Then they add specific bacteria to convert the alcohol to acetic acid, the foundation of vinegar. These bacteria appear as a cloudy, spongy, or stringy mass and contain the probiotics, enzymes, and nutrients called the mother. Some manufacturers filter ACV to remove the mother, while others bottle the vinegar as is and label it accordingly. While ACV with the mother may have more health benefits, it tends to be more costly and less attractive.

Here are some of the health benefits of ACV:

•Enhances digestion. Like other fermented foods, ACV contains healthy bacteria, the gut-friendly kind that keeps the digestive system working properly.

•Improves insulin sensitivity. ACV has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity, according to the American Diabetes Association. Studies also show that vinegar increases feelings of fullness, which may lead to weight loss and reduced belly fat.

•Lowers cholesterol. A tablespoon or two of ACV daily may help lower cholesterol levels, according to Dr. Axe. An animal study found that supplementing rats with ACV was able to reduce the bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while boosting the beneficial HDL levels.

•Improves skin health. ACV has been shown to be effective in treating acne and scarring. It’s the antibacterial properties of this vinegar that combat certain strains of bacteria that cause acne. ACV also contains acetic acid and lactic acid that are powerful acne fighters and help reduce the appearance of scarring.

•Reduces blood pressure. The same acetic acid may be responsible for lowering blood pressure, says Dr. Axe. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease.

•Relieves symptoms of acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects one-third of U.S adults each week, according to a recent study by Cedars-Sinai. GERD is a condition in which the acid back flow from the stomach travels up into the esophagus causing symptoms like heartburn, belching, and nausea. Since acid reflux is often the result of having low stomach acid, consuming ACV may provide relief from symptoms.

•Fights fungus. ACV may be beneficial for fungal infections like athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, jock itch, or yeast infections. You can create a fungal spray by pouring ACV into a spray bottle for quick and effective application.

While it is safe to consume ACV daily, says Holland & Barrett, drinking it straight may damage tooth enamel over time. Large amounts can cause cavities. To prevent this from happening, always drink one part vinegar to 10 parts water and sip through a straw.


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