What is apple cider vinegar? Why do people use it? Does it increase acidity? How should I use it?
These questions often crop up when it comes to Apple cider Vinegar. Let us try to understand it better – what it is, and what are its beneficial effects on our health.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar – ACV – is primarily the fermented juice of apple. The process of fermentation includes adding yeast and bacteria to the Apple Juice to turn sugar into alcohol. This process if followed by a second fermentation process in which the alcohol formed is altered into Acetic Acid, which also forms bacteria called Acetobacteria.
Acetic acid gives a sour taste to ACV and has a pale to medium amber color. It contains Vitamins, Minerals, Amino acids, organic acids, and polyphenols compounds.
Benefits of ACV:
1. Regulating Acidity and Acid Reflux, and improving digestion:
Acid reflux is the regurgitation of stomach acid and some food particles to the upper part of the esophagus because of weakening of the muscles of the esophagus. Some foods can trigger the reflux, for instance, high fat foods, carbonated beverages, spicy foods, and heavy meals. As a result of acid reflux, our stomach may not have enough acid, and therefore, having apple cider vinegar mimics the acid level of your stomach to help digest food.
Drinking a glass of water mixed with a 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar 15-20 minutes before a meal can improve digestion and nutrient assimilation.
2. Helps in regulating Blood Sugar:
Studies shows that ACV blocks digestion (prevents complete digestion) of some complex carbohydrates, which otherwise cause the blood sugar levels to rise. It slows the breakdown of starches into sugar.
Thus, consuming ACV with meal reduces the postprandial (after meal) glucose. It also reduces glucose more in people who are highly insulin resistant. This shows that it improves insulin sensitivity. Studies have shown that Apple cider vinegar helps improving insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses. Having ACV at bedtime has also been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose in morning.
3. Helps in weight management:
So now we know that apple cider vinegar helps in lowering blood sugar and insulin levels so it makes sense that it could make you lose weight. Several human studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can increase satiety, help you eat fewer calories and even lead to actual pounds lost on the scale. Apple Cider Vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat fewer calories for the rest of the day. So by reduced calories will translate to reduced weight overtime.
4. Improves Metabolism:
As it improves digestion and regulates acidity, the metabolism improves which helps in reducing weight and helps in fat loss. The blood pH regulation also leads to improved blood circulation, which has a positive impact on metabolism.
5. Corrects the pH Balance in the body:
ACV lowers the blood pH levels to help digestion. That translates to better health in the long run.
6. Anti Microbial properties:
Acetic acid in Apple Cider Vinegar can kill many types of bacteria or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. It can be used as natural food preservatives. Since it has antimicrobial properties, in our body, it helps in maintaining gut health.
7. Multiple Benefits for Hair:
Rinsing hair with ACV after shampooing will cleanse your hair, gives you dandruff free scalp and shiny soft hair.
8. ACV for Healthy Skin:
With improved pH levels of blood, it also improves pH levels of your skin. It helps reduce acne and age spots and shows improvement in the skin tone. It also soothes sunburnt skin.
9. ACV for oral hygiene:
ACV is known to reduce bad breath.
10. ACV for general sickness:
It cures sore throat, upset stomach and sinusitis.
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Apple Cider vinegar can be taken orally when diluted in water, (1 tbsp in 1 glass of water is good) or as salad dressings.
- It can be used in diluted form for rinsing hair after shampooing.
- A regular skin toner can be easily replaced with diluted ACV.
How to select the right Apple Cider Vinegar for you:
For best results, buy the unpasteurized, unfiltered, raw, organic Apple Cider Vinegar, and one that has the ‘Mother’ of the cider intact. During the fermentation process of the ACV there is a buildup of healthy yeast and bacteria which is called ‘Mother.’ The Mother of ACV has the most important ingredient – the enzymes. Typically, the unpasteurized and unrefined vinegars contain the mother, which gives them a murky look, as opposed to the refined versions that are clear.
Including ACV with the mother in your daily diet can result in some outstanding health benefits.
For further reading, you can check out this detailed 5000 word blog article on ACV here: https://www.jenreviews.com/
Article Credits – Dr. Namrata Ghushar and Vishnu Mohan