Apple cider vinegar has been used throughout time in folk medicine as a healthy remedy for a range of ailments. These include digestive problems, skin issues, asthma, arthritis, coughing, muscle cramps, and bone health. Ancient Greek physicians used apple cider vinegar as an antibacterial agent to clean wounds. Today, people claim that it can help lower blood pressure. But is it true?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from crushed apples, which are fermented. The sugar is then converted into alcohol. During the next step, the cooks add certain bacteria that convert the alcohol into acetic acid. This acid seems to be the reason for the health benefits of ACV.
When buying ACV, choose organic with “the mother.” The mother is the unfiltered portion that contains healthy enzymes and friendly bacteria (probiotics). ACV also contains small amounts of potassium and amino acids.
Promotes Healthy Weight Loss And Improves Cholesterol Levels
A Japanese study found that the participants who used ACV lost more weight than those who did not. The study recorded a decreased body mass index, waist circumference, and amount of visceral fat over a 12-week period. Visceral fat is the type that wraps around internal organs. It’s more of a problem because it increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. Consuming two tablespoons of ACV showed slightly more benefits than one tablespoon a day. ACV seems to work by suppressing the appetite and boosting metabolism.
To improve cholesterol levels, the daily dose is 30ml of ACV, twice a day. Studies show that people who take this amount can have a great decrease in cholesterol levels.
ACV For High Blood Pressure And Heart Disease Prevention
High blood pressure is often associated with excess weight, insulin resistance, and excess weight. Research shows that ACV helps with all of these things.
Although most studies on high blood pressure and heart diseases have been done on animals, apple cider vinegar shows encouraging results. The studies suggest that the acetic acid from ACV helps lower blood pressure through decreasing renin activity and the decrease in angiotensin II. ACV may also help with calcium absorption. It may also help reduce the risk of heart diseases by reducing oxidative stress and atherosclerosis.
How To Add Apple Cider Vinegar To Your Diet
ACV can be consumed first thing in the morning with a cup of water. You can add some cinnamon and stevia. Start with one teaspoon, then go up to one tablespoon. You can also use it in salads and dressings instead of normal vinegar. Add it to soups and other dishes. It is also available as a pill in capsule form.
If you choose the liquid form, buy the unrefined, unfiltered ACV “with mother.” It is easy to recognize the mother version because it has a murky appearance. Clear and pasteurized vinegar doesn’t have the same benefits. ACV can also be applied on the skin (i.e. acne and minor cuts to prevent infection), and on the hair to give it a shiny, healthy look. There is research supporting its antibacterial and antifungal effects.
A Few Cautions
The daily dose is one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Do not take too much. Since it is acidic, it is best to dilute it in a glass of water. This will help you avoid irritating your throat or eroding tooth enamel. If you have stomach pain or unease or other side effects, stop using it.
People who have high blood pressure or diabetes should take cholesterol-lowering agents and watch your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. If conditions improve, your doctor may adjust your drugs. In terms of drug interaction, there are two listed by WebMD: diuretics and insulin.
While it is not a “miracle cure for everything,” as many online articles claim, ACV is a healthy food item. It has medicinal qualities and can be a great addition to your diet.