In the present age we are re-discovering magical health benefits of natural foods and apple cider vinegar is one of the most sought after ingredients. Almost all health product sellers have launched their variants which are easily available for sale in super market aisles, on chemist counters as well as online.
People are buying the “wonder food” mostly because its in vogue. While we strongly recommend apple cider vinegar to our readers, we also take it as our duty to provide correct information about the product, its benefits and the right method of consumption.
What is apple cider vinegar?
As the name suggests, this vinegar is prepared by processing apples. Apple cider (apple juice) is processed with special cultivated yeasts to cause fermentation. This converts the fruit’s sugars or carbohydrates into alcohol. In the next stage, a group of bacteria called “Acetobactor” is introduced, which converts the alcohol portion into acetic acid. Thus, with such controlled and supervised fermentation over a period of time, we obtain apple cider vinegar.
ACV can be anywhere between pale to medium amber in colour. It is sweeter in taste as compared to other vinegar and yet contains very less calories. In fact, one tablespoon contains no more than 3-5 calories. Some amount of potassium and calcium is found in it while there are no fats or vitamins. This vinegar is also known to be loaded with “probiotics” that introduce good bacteria to your gut, hence providing immense benefits.
Filtered Vs Unfiltered ACV
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains a wonder component called ‘mother’ which is formed during fermentation.
It is dark, cloudy bacterial foam and is nothing but a cloudy cobweb of chains of acids. It can be seen when the vinegar is held to light. ‘Mother’ is full of enzymes and minerals which would not be found in over-processed or filtered vinegars.
Most of the dieticians advise in favour of unfiltered apple cider vinegar precisely because of ‘mother’ and it’s accompanying results.
Apple cider vinegar provides a variety of benefits. It can be used for hair, skin, gut, metabolic and various other health purposes. Let us look into each of its unique uses one by one:
- Enhances weight loss
Regular consumption of apple cider vinegar helps weight management. Basically this wonder product increases the feeling of satiety, making you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Thus, the overall intake of calories reduces leading to gradual weight loss.
Several studies have supported this claim where subjects consuming apple cider vinegar were observed over months to see the outcome.
One such study was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2005. It confirmed that people who took ACV with breakfast ended up consuming fewer calories during the day. The second reason why weight loss gets boosted with ACV is that the acetic acid present in it burns body fat at a faster rate.
- Regulates and lowers blood sugar levels
ACV can prove to be a boon for those suffering from Type 2 diabetes and those who wish to take preventive measures for the same. It has been established in different studies that apple cider vinegar potentially improves insulin sensitivity. The acetic acid present in this product slows down the conversion of complex carbohydrates into sugar in the blood stream.
2 tablespoons of ACV before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning by around 4 percent. For best results, it is advised to use organic, unfiltered and raw ACV.
- Lowers body cholestrol
Apple cider vinegar can reduce cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure thus reducing the risk of heart disease. There have been animal studies to support this.
It has been found that rats that were given diluted ACV on a daily basis had lower LDL and a higher HDL. Also, ACV blocks the enzyme that raises blood pressure.
- Reduces acid Reflux
ACV can help soothe acid reflex. Characterized by heartburn, nausea and belching it can be quite a difficult condition for anyone to manage. Many a time patients with too little stomach acid develop such symptoms. ACV can help by adding acetic acid to the system, though it must always be diluted before ingestion.
- Improves digestion
The prebiotics or ‘good bacteria’ present in ACV cause a healthy growth of microorganisms. Thus the overall gut health is improved.
Body is able to digest and absorb the nutrients better. Also, there are lesser chances of bacterial infection as immunity improves.
- Improves skin health
Regular use of ACV prevents and treats acne, reduces red spots and enhances the skin texture. It is an excellent toner with antibacterial properties that lead to softening and exfoliation of skin while keeping a check on its pH level.
- Soothes symptoms of common cold
The potassium present in ACV works wonders on the symptoms of common cold. A glass of water with apple cider vinegar can treat sore throat and a blocked nose very efficiently by killing the trouble causing bacteria with acetic acid.
It can also be used as a preventive measure. Not only does it improve the lymphatic drainage, but also boosts the immunity.