Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries in cooking and medicine and is still popular today as a cooking vinegar and home remedy for a variety of minor ailments or preventative measures.
How is apple cider vinegar made?
Apple cider vinegar is basically twice fermented apple juice. It is made by exposing crushed apples to a mix of yeast and sugar or other carbohydrate which ferments the fruit’s natural sugars and turns them into alcohol. A specific bacterium is then introduced to further ferment the alcohol to turn it into an acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main active compound found in vinegar and is what gives vinegar its characteristic strong sour smell and flavor. Apple cider vinegar is typically between 5 and 6% acetic acid.
You can get apple cider vinegar two ways – raw or pasteurized. Raw apple cider vinegar contains more natural friendly bacteria (probiotics), antioxidants, and yeasts; referred to as “the mother,” which you can see as a cloudy sediment in the bottle.
Apple cider vinegar does not contain many vitamins or minerals or calories. Though it has gained popularity over the last few years in weight-loss circles due to the fact that is has no fat yet still adds vibrant flavor to food. Studies suggest that it can contribute to lower blood sugar levels, minor weight loss, and improve overall health. Why? Here are the top 4 reasons why you may want to consume it on a regular basis:
1.) It may kill harmful bacteria
Vinegar can actually help kill pathogens and bacteria, which is why it is sometimes used as a cleanser or disinfectant. Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar inhibits the growth of bacteria such as E. coli and prevents them from spoiling foods. It can be good to use to treat minor parasitic or fungal infections such as lice, warts, nail fungus, or ear infections.
2.) It may help lower blood sugar levels
There is some evidence that consuming apple cider vinegar on a regular basis can help regulate blood sugar levels (keeping them in a normal range) and improves insulin sensitivity, which in turn can help control serious health issues like type 2 diabetes.
3.) It may help you lose weight
Consuming apple cider vinegar can help you feel more full which can help you consume less calories and possibly lose weight.
4.) It may help improve your heart health
Research suggests that apple cider vinegar consumption can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body as well as reduce blood pressure. All of which can lower your risks of serious health concerns such as heart disease and kidney problems.
Studies also suggest that apple cider vinegar can help with:
- Acid reflux
- Cleaning wounds
- Treating acne and eczema
- Strengthening hair follicles
- And more
How do you use it?
The best and easiest way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is to cook with it! Add it to salad dressings or make homemade mayonnaise with it. Some people drink it straight but be careful if you choose to do that (you can find out why below under “a word of caution”). If you do drink it, make sure that you dilute it in water first – the typical “dose” is 1-2 tablespoons per 8oz. glass of water.
A word of caution
As you can see, consuming apple cider vinegar can be a tasty way to flavor your meals and to help your body feel and look great. However, it is still vinegar and should be consumed in moderation. Vinegar can cause harm to your teeth plus irritation of the esophagus and stomach lining. It can also potentially interfere with certain prescription medication effectiveness. If you have any questions about vinegar consumption please consult a medical professional.
What are your favorite ways to use apple cider vinegar?
Let us know in the comments below!