Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Published Jan 19, 2023, Updated Feb 17, 2023
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Learn more about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar including blood sugar control, lowering cholesterol and weight loss. Plus tips for how to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet.
It seems like everyone is talking about apple cider vinegar these days. I’m sure you’ve heard about it and are wondering if it really lives up to the hype…
So I’m going to break down the facts for you!
Spoiler alert: I’ve been using apple cider vinegar for years and love it! It’s such an easy thing to add to your daily routine and the health benefits are amazing. Read on to learn more.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar
First, let’s start with the basics! Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice. The process starts by adding yeast to crushed apples.
The yeast ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol. At this point, bacteria is added which further ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid… the main active compound found in most vinegar.
Acetic acid gives vinegar its pungent smell and flavor and is also responsible for many of ACV’s health benefits.
Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrients
ACV contains similar nutrients to apple juice and apple cider: pectin; vitamins B1, B2, and B6 (also known as biotin; folic acid and niacin), as well as, pantothenic acid and vitamin C.
It also contains small amounts of minerals including sodium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.
One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar has about 3 calories.
Health Benefits of ACV
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar aren’t something we just discovered. For centuries people have known about its antimicrobial and antioxidant effects and generations have used it in both cooking and medicine.
That said, recent research has brought many health benefits of ACV to light so let’s talk about them.
Multiple studies have shown that consuming vinegar is linked to “feelings of fullness” which in turn will help manage your caloric intake. (Source)
Of course, only adding apple cider vinegar to your routine and not changing anything else about your lifestyle isn’t recommended. Still, if you’re looking for a boost to your healthy eating and exercise habits, it’s certainly worth incorporating ACV into your daily routine.
I’ve personally found ACV to help a ton with feeling full. Whenever I’m drinking 1-2 Tablespoons of ACV a day I don’t have intense cravings for food or find myself snacking mindlessly.
This one is huge because studies have shown that apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar after meals. (Source)
Researchers are excited about what this could mean for people with Type 2 Diabetes, but also for the general public as high blood sugar has been linked to chronic diseases. (Source)
There aren’t enough studies to link apple cider vinegar and heart health in humans, but multiple studies have shown a link between the two in animals. Animal studies have shown that ACV can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and other heart disease factors. Again, more research needs to be done with humans but the studies are promising with animals! (Source)
Apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic so for people with low stomach acidity, adding ACV into their diet may help raise stomach acid levels, which will help with digestion and overall gut health.
ACV also has antimicrobial properties, which may help kill bacteria in the stomach or intestines. Excess bacteria can lead to gas and bloating so eliminating it with ACV may help alleviate these symptoms.
I personally love drinking ACV regularly to help with my digestion! If you feel gassy or bloated after a meal or when traveling, try drinking apple cider vinegar.
I like to take it before a meal to prep my digestive tract, but I have also taken it after eating if I was in pain and my body needed a little extra support.
Improve Your Skin
While some have noted improvements in their skin by taking apple cider vinegar internally, you can also use it topically! It has been used to improve dry skin and eczema.
If you try this, be sure to dilute the ACV and spot-test a small area of your skin before applying it over a larger area. Here’s a recipe for making your own apple cider vinegar facial toner.
WATCH MY VIDEO ABOUT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:
What Type of ACV Is Best?
There are several types of apple cider vinegar on the market! You want to look for one that is labeled organic apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ or unpasteurized. The ‘mother’ is made up of strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules with living nutrients and bacteria, similar to the ‘mother’ that’s in Kombucha.
Clear vinegar is processed and doesn’t have any of the benefits that raw apple cider vinegar has. There are different brands out there but I use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar which you can find at most grocery stores and on Amazon.
How to Drink
Now that you know all the benefits I’m sure you’re wondering how to incorporate ACV into your daily routine. You can totally just dilute it with water and drink it that way, but if you’ve tasted ACV diluted with water you’ll know that it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s pretty pungent and doesn’t taste all that pleasant on its own.
Lucky for you, I have a ton of drink recipes to share!
These recipes make drinking ACV enjoyable and delicious!
- Ginger Spice ACV Drink
- Limeade ACV Drink
- Grapefruit ACV Drink
- Honey Cayenne ACV Drink
- Apple Pie ACV Drink
- Fire Cider
- Grape Antioxidant Drink
More ACV Recipes
Of course, you don’t have to drink your apple cider vinegar! There are a ton of other ways to incorporate it into your diet. I love adding it to my salad dressings or using it as a marinade for protein. Here are some of my favorite recipes with ACV.
How Much Should You Drink Daily?
I drink 2 Tablespoons a day, in the morning, and I usually make one of those drinks that I linked above. I also incorporate ACV in a variety of recipes, which I shared above.
What Happens When You Take ACV Daily?
It’s hard for me to tell if the habit of adding in ACV daily is working wonders on my body and helping in ALL the ways I mentioned above, however I do know that my complexion has been really clear since I’ve started taking it and I crave my apple cider vinegar drink every day now.
In the morning I make my drink in a large mason jar. I’ll sip on it throughout the morning or have it after lunch with my afternoon snack. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that it helps to keep me feeling full and less hungry, which is huge for me because I tend to have a habit of mindless snacking!
Disclaimer – Due to the lack of supporting research, apple cider vinegar cannot be recommended for treatment or prevention of any health problems. Also, please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or healthcare provider before taking any home remedies or supplements. I’m just sharing my experience and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. 🙂