Vinegar has been used in cooking and for other household purposes for centuries. It has also been used as an ancient folk remedy to treat different health issues.
Apple cider vinegar is perhaps the most popular vinegar among the proponents of treating health conditions by dietary changes—and for good reasons. It is claimed to be helpful against several health conditions, like diabetes, weight loss, and cancer.
Let’s have a look at the top 5 benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Rich In Acetic Acid
A 2-step process is used for making vinegar. In the first step, crushed apples are exposed to yeast. This is the process in which the sugars are fermented and turned into alcohol.
Bacterias are then added to the solution. During this step, the alcohol is turned into acetic acid, which is the primary compound found in vinegar.
Acetic acid, present in high amounts in apple cider vinegar, has strong antimicrobial properties. This is the reason why traditionally vinegar has been used for cleaning as well as treating different types of infections.
Vinegar is also a popular food preservative, again thanks to the antimicrobial properties of acetic acid. Several studies have shown that the vinegar kills bacteria which causes our food to spoil.
Beneficial For Diabetic Patients
It is commonly agreed that the most important benefit of apple cider vinegar is in its usefulness to treat people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. This condition is characterized by higher-than-normal levels of sugar in the blood.
The most effective way of keeping your sugar level in check is by staying away from two food components, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. This is when adding apple cider vinegar to your diet may help a great deal.
Multiple studies have proved the positive effects vinegar have on sugar levels as well as on insulin function. Some notable related findings are as follows:
- Vinegar can improve your insulin sensitivity during a meal that is high on carbohydrates by as much as 34%. The minimum percentage of improvement in studied participants was 19%–which is not insignificant by any standard.
- Taking two tablespoons of vinegar before sleeping can help lower your fasting sugar by 4%.
It is precisely for these reasons that apple cider vinegar is beneficial for people with diabetes or have a high risk of getting diabetes.
Promote Weight Loss
There are encouraging reports about vinegar being beneficial in dealing with weight-loss. Studies show that it promotes a feeling of fullness, thereby reducing your daily calorie count and leading to weight loss.
In one study, participants who took apple cider vinegar with a meal that was high on carbohydrates felt full for a longer period of time, and because of this, consumed as much as 275 fewer calories.
Another study focusing on obese people revealed consumption of vinegar daily correlated with reduced waist circumference and belly fat, lower levels of triglycerides in the blood, and loss of weight.
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar (15 ml) resulted in a 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds) reduction in weight (the study was done over 12 weeks)
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar (30 ml) resulted in a 1.7 kilograms (3.7 pounds) reduction in weight (the study was done over 12 weeks)
While the results of weight loss usually stem from several factors, there is proof that vinegar aids in this process, although one shouldn’t expect it to make a world of difference to your weight without other lifestyle changes.
May Offer Protection Against Cancer
There is limited evidence on vinegar possessing anti-cancer properties. In certain studies, vinegar was found to have the ability to kill cancer cells. That being said, these studies were only done on rats or isolated tissues in a test tube.
Moreover, in these studies, rice vinegar was studied. We do not know yet if apple cider vinegar possesses the same capabilities.
Improve Heart Health
More people die from heart disease than any other single cause. There are several risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
Animal studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can reduce the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, two big risk factors of heart disease. Another study reveals that apple cider vinegar consumption lowers blood pressure.
However, it must be mentioned that these findings were noted in animals only. Encouraging findings in animal studies may or may not replicate in human studies. As of now, there is no concrete evidence but only suggestive evidence that vinegar may be good for heart health.
Nevertheless, one study done on human did show that participants who were asked to consume salad dressings with vinegar showed a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
While the finding is encouraging, it is not conclusive and more research has to be done. Right now, we can only see the relation between vinegar consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This does not necessarily prove that apple cider vinegar causes a reduction in the risk of heart disease.