6 Questions About Apple Cider Vinegar, Answered
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Written By: Taylor Rao
Apple cider vinegar is getting a lot of buzz right now as a substance with so many supposed benefits, mostly surrounded around the topics of weight loss and its effects on people with diabetes (there’s even an apple cider vinegar hair rinse out there --it seems like it’s good for everything).
But, before you dive in and start buying bottles of this so-called magical liquid left and right, do your research. Google your heart out, learn about the benefits of apple cider vinegar and how you could incorporate apple cider vinegar products into your daily routine.
We’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions about apple cider vinegar (AKA ACV) that’ll give you a head start and probably make you fall in love with the product once you learn enough about what it can do for you.
1. What is apple cider vinegar?
Let’s start with the obvious question first, because even though apple cider vinegar contains three very familiar words, it’s not so obvious as to what apple cider vinegar actually is. Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from a combination of crushed apples, sugar and yeast. And the process of combining these ingredients results in fermentation (similar to how alcohol is made), and it’s also what gives apple cider vinegar the strong vinegar taste and smell.
At face value, you might think apple cider vinegar is packed with nutrients that make it so good for you, but there is actually no nutritional value in the liquid. Containing only three calories per tablespoon, it’s free of most vitamins and minerals except a little bit of potassium. High quality apple cider vinegar brands might also have a small amount of antioxidants and amino acids present.
2. What gives apple cider vinegar its health benefits?
It’s actually something called the mother found in apple cider vinegar that gives it the ability to speed up weight loss, prevent infections and help heal sore muscles, to name a few ACV health benefits. The mother is also what gives apple cider vinegar its murky appearance, as the mother is concentrated at the bottom of the bottle in the form of little floating strands. But don’t be afraid if it looks a little funny to you --apple cider vinegar brands like Bragg’s are popular for that exact reason.
So, when you’re buying apple cider vinegar, look for a product that is raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized. This means it will have more of the contents within it that give apple cider vinegar the many benefits you read about. And when you use it, be sure to shake it up since the mother is concentrated only at the bottom until you help move it throughout the bottle.
3. How does apple cider vinegar help with weight loss?
It’s no secret that if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re willing to try every trick in the book that can help speed up the process. There are a lot of people out there who are researching what apple cider vinegar can do to help you lose weight faster, and here’s why:
The main active ingredient in ACV is acetic acid, which dissolves acetate and hydrogen into the body, giving it the ability to promote weight loss and fat burning. Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet --even just one to two tablespoons per day --can improve metabolism, act as an appetite suppressant and lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which also helps burn fat fast.
Fair warning: Most studies that support the claim of apple cider vinegar helping weight loss come from tests on animals, and while the results are promising, it is not a one hundred percent guarantee that drinking apple cider vinegar will help you lose weight --especially on its own. As with anything, it’s a combination of diet, exercise and a few of these secret tricks that will help you achieve the best weight loss results.
4. Can you drink apple cider vinegar?
Some people suggest a simple shot of apple cider vinegar to start the day. On essentially an empty stomach, before your morning coffee or breakfast, you could swig 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and start your day off with its various health benefits. But more recently, the trend is heading in the direction of diluting your apple cider vinegar and making an apple cider vinegar weight loss drink instead, and for good reason.
One recipe suggests if you are going to drink apple cider vinegar, add water to those one to two tablespoons and a squirt of organic honey to help improve the taste. (Oh yeah, as you can probably imagine, apple cider vinegar does not taste all that great on its own --it is vinegar after all). This method of drinking apple cider vinegar can be done up to two or three times a day, and drinking apple cider vinegar before a meal will be most beneficial to you.
Drinking apple cider vinegar on its own can have some downsides to be aware of, too. Especially if you are drinking it straight, the vinegar can have a negative effect on your tooth enamel --removing minerals from your teeth and eroding your overall dental health.
5. Does apple cider vinegar help with diabetes?
Drinking apple cider vinegar to help type 2 diabetes (the preventable kind, not the genetic kind) has to do with how apple cider vinegar helps lower insulin levels, and control how the body breaks down and stores sugar. Again, the studies are not conclusive enough to say that apple cider vinegar alone is a remedy to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes; diet, exercise and the more traditional methods continue to stay on top when it comes to finding a balanced, effective solution.
6. What are other uses for apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has been around for a long time, dating back thousands of years to the Hippocrates era where it was used for its natural healing powers. And even today, having apple cider vinegar at home will leave you prepared to create solutions for a number of day-to-day situations.
Apple cider vinegar can be used in the home as an all-natural cleaning product by mixing it with water and using the solution to scrub floors, cabinets or sinks. To keep your drains clean and fresh, you can pour baking soda followed by apple cider vinegar into the drain.
Adding apple cider vinegar to olive oil to create a healthy, flavorful salad dressing can easily give you the one two tablespoon recommended amount to fuel those health benefits. You could also add a bit of apple cider vinegar to boiling water to retain the color of the vegetables you’re cooking.
To help your hair and skin:
Apple cider vinegar was used as an ancient remedy to soothe sunburn, and some people recommend using ACV as an all-natural solution to clear breakouts and acne on the skin. As for your hair, there are apple cider vinegar hair rinses that can add shine to your locks, help remove dandruff, and cure an itchy scalp.
Ready to start using ACV to boost your daily routine? There are benefits in apple cider vinegar that can literally help you out from head to toe, so get yourself a bottle, continue your research and see which uses of ACV will be best for you.