Not to be confused with the type of vinegar you put on your chips, apple cider vinegar is a potent substance with a range of health benefits.
Having been used for many years for its range of different health-giving properties, apple cider vinegar is a surprise cure-all which should always be in your cupboard.
Here’s some more information about what the benefits of apple cider vinegar is and how you might want to use it.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
With a range of genuine food applications, apple cider vinegar is a normal item that many people may find in their store cupboard.
Made from freshly pressed apple juice, which is then fermented by adding yeast and bacteria to it, the vinegar undergoes a second period of fermentation before it reaches the shelves.
Cider apple vinegar isn’t typically used on your chips, unlike malt vinegar, but there are a range of food applications it can be used for such as marinades, salad dressings and vinaigrettes.
However, it is the powerful benefits which the vinegar is most known for, some of which are backed by hard science.
Below is just a snapshot of some of the more alternative ways it can be used.
With natural antibiotic properties, apple cider vinegar can be useful if you have a bacterial infection which is causing an upset stomach and diarrhoea. It may not make the tastiest brew, but sipping water mixed with vinegar could bring a cure.
Tradition also suggests that the pectin in the apple cider vinegar can also relieve intestinal spasms. Once more, just mixing a few tablespoons into either water or apple juice and gently sipping will deliver the required effect.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Control of blood sugar levels is absolutely key to minimising the potential complications of diabetes, and in insulin-resistant individuals, it could prevent full blow diabetes from developing.
Studies have repeatedly shown that just a few mouthfuls of apple cider vinegar could hold the key to getting better control of blood sugar levels.
In one group, individuals who had type II diabetes but weren’t on insulin had a couple of spoonful’s of apple cider vinegar before bed, and found that in the morning their blood glucose levels were much lower. 1)http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full
In another study, a group of insulin resistant patients had a drink of apple cider vinegar mixed with water before a high carbohydrate meal and had lower blood sugar levels afterwards as a result.2)http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.full
Experts believe that the reason for the effect is the anti-glycemic effect which is caused naturally by the acid.3)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/
In most cases brushing your teeth regularly, using mouthwash and visiting the dentists should keep your breath minty fresh but if things are still a little pongy, apple cider vinegar can certainly help.
Either swallow a teaspoon of it or gargle with it – both can be diluted with water – and the odour-causing bacteria will be blitzed.
A Bunged Up Nose
Feeling all stuffy in the nasal area isn’t much fun but apple cider vinegar can help to deliver fast and immediate results.
The potassium in the vinegar helps to thin out the mucus responsible for causing the congestion while the acetic acid puts a halt to bacterial growth, another factor which can contribute to being all bunged up.
Drink a glass of water with a spoonful of apple cider vinegar mixed in to help sinuses drain and achieve relief.
Rather comical to observers, hiccups can be inconvenient and when they go on for too long, they can begin to become rather distressing. There’s many old wives tales about how to get rid of them such as drinking from the wrong side of a glass and being given a shock, but there’s some evidence that apple cider vinegar really works.
The bitter and sour taste of the liquid is said to be at the heart of its power. A hiccup-stopping lollipop was even released onto the market which the inventor claimed interfered with the nerves in the throat area which are responsible for the spasms, apparently ‘cancelling out the message to hiccup’.
The science behind this is sketchy to say the least but reports suggest it is surprisingly effective.
Night Leg Cramps
A very distressing condition, night time leg cramps can seriously interfere with the quality of sleep, leading to fatigue and exhaustion.
One cause for night leg cramps is a lack of potassium in the diet, a substance apple cider vinegar happens to be plentiful in. A traditional remedy suggests mixing two spoonful’s of apple cider vinegar into one teaspoon of honey and mixing into warm water before drinking the concoction.
Believers swear by the solution but of course, there may be a more cynical suggestion…by the time you’ve walked from the bed to the kitchen and made the remedy, your leg will have had a good stretch and sufficient time to recover from the spasm all by itself.
The jury is out on whether this one is as effective as devotees claim.
Next time you need a bit of a pick-me-up in the middle of the day, don’t reach for an energy drink, go for apple cider vinegar instead.
Studies suggest that the amino acids contained within the vinegar act as the perfect antidote to increased levels of lactic acid, the substance that increases as we get more tired, particularly when it’s caused by stress. There’s also a healthy dollop of potassium and other enzymes in there too which could also help to combat fatigue.
If you need a shot of energy, opt for a cold glass of either water or vegetable juice with a couple of spoonful’s of apple cider vinegar liberally added.
Cleansing and toning the skin every night can help to prevent dirt and grime building up and causing acne and spots.
The antibacterial qualities of apple cider vinegar mean it’s a great natural toner, and will help to bring any outbreaks under control straight away. In addition the lactic and malice acids in the vinegar will reduce the redness of any spots and will also make your skin super-soft.
Not merely an old wives tale, there’s evidence that apple cider vinegar really does help you to lose weight4)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687. It works in a threefold way: suppressing the appetite, boosting metabolism and getting rid of any retained water.
Body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower in both vinegar intake groups than in the placebo group. In conclusion, daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.
Scientists also believe that the vinegar interrupts with the body’s method of being able to digest starch adequately, which results in fewer calories being able to enter the blood stream.
More research is needed on this yet to definitively prove the theory but the early indications are looking more than positive.
One study in 2006 showed that apple cider vinegar could help to reduce cholesterol in adults whilst further research in Japan revealed that taking a daily dose of the vinegar could also lower cholesterol levels as well. 5)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16611381
The acetic acid is said to be the active ingredient, working on the bad cholesterol levels in the blood, those known as LDL.
As soon as you start to feel a tickle in your throat, make a beeline for the apple cider vinegar. Mix some warm water together with the vinegar and gargle with it every couple of hours. The evidence suggests that the acidic environment makes it impossible for any germs to survive.
Indigestion & Heartburn
If you are prone to suffering from indigestion or heart burn, and plan on having a meal out later which you know could spark an attack, using apple cider vinegar to take preventative action could just provide some relief. Combine a couple of spoonful’s of the vinegar to one teaspoon of honey and mix with warm water. Simply drink about half an hour or so before you are due to eat and you should find the dreaded burning sensation and upper abdominal discomfort doesn’t arrive.
Fade Bruises Fast
One of the indisputable qualities of apple cider vinegar is its anti-inflammatory qualities which makes it perfect for use with bruises. Simple soak a small fabric pad or cloth in a solution of warm water and apple cider vinegar and lay on top of the bruise. Alternatively you can just dab the bruise with the solution. The vinegar will help to reduce the overall inflammation and will make the bruise fade away far more quickly than on its own.
Protects Against Cancer
The ongoing war against cancer continues and although much progress has been made in some areas, it’s still a killer disease which shows no mercy.
Many individuals believe that a natural cure will be the ultimate solution in the fight against the disease and in many places on the internet; apple cider vinegar is being touted as a possible cure.
There have been some studies which looked promising but there is a long way to go before there’s any shred of evidence that apple cider vinegar could be the thing to banish the devastating disease. The studies in question did indeed reveal that tumours could be shrunk6)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630262/ 7)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630260/, but the research was carried out on rats. And just as an added deal breaker, the study used rice vinegar, not apple cider vinegar.
To have any clue whether taking apple cider vinegar could provide any protection against cancer, much further research needs to be carried out including clinical trials on humans.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the vinegar could help to reduce oesophageal cancer 8)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12875624/, which is markedly reduced in the region. Conversely, there’s also evidence that it could increase bladder cancer, at least if you place any weight on the results coming out of Serbia, once again anecdotal.
It seems far too early to determine whether apple cider vinegar really can offer some progress in this area despite what some sources may currently be suggesting.
An age-old problem, dandruff can be an embarrassing social faux-pas but getting rid of it comprehensively can be tough.
Some experts recommend apple cider vinegar as an excellent cure for dandruff. Use it by mixing a quarter of a cup of apple cider vinegar with equal parts of water and combining in a spray bottle. Use this to spritz your scalp liberally, concentrating more on the areas particularly prone to dandruff. Wrap your hair in a towel and allow the mixture to soak in for 15 minutes before washing as usual.
There is some science in this suggestion as the acidity in the vinegar can change the pH level of your scalp which in turn makes it far harder for the yeast, which is the culprit for the dandruff, to take hold and grow.
There’s a range of natural alternatives which can help to keep your mouth clean, your gums healthy and your teeth sparkling white. Gargling with apple cider vinegar in the morning will help to get rid of any stains on your teeth, leaving your gnashers pearly white and gleaming.
The other advantage to washing your mouth out with apple cider vinegar is that it can act as a mouthwash, blitzing any lingering bacteria and give you beautifully fresh breath.
If you want to go the whole hog you could try using either baking soda or salt as natural alternatives to toothpaste. If you find the salt too gritty and it aggravates your gums, try switching to using it every other day.
The benefits of apple cider vinegar certainly isn’t a miracle cure, and it’s also possible to explain some of the claims away more rationally. It’s therefore worth taking some of the so called ‘cures’ with a pinch of salt. However, there certainly seems to be some evidence that apple cider vinegar has a range of useful and potent powers which could help to treat and prevent a great number of unpleasant symptoms and conditions.
As an all-natural cure, there’s probably little harm in trying it and after all, just because science hasn’t yet managed to definitively prove that there’s a basis for the tradition doesn’t mean that it isn’t true! Warm water and apple cider vinegar anyone?
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