Last Updated on May 7, 2021 by Lori Geurin
Wondering if apple cider vinegar is healthy or not? Find out 8 proven health benefits of apple cider vinegar, plus potential side effects, and tips.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many health benefits. It’s been around since 5000 BC. when Hippocrates, the father of medicine used it in 400 BC. In French, vinegar means sour wine. The process of making vinegar is similar to making alcohol. Fermented carbohydrates are used to produce vinegar.
The “mother” is an essential ingredient of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (such as Braggs, developed by Paul Bragg, a nutritionist). The mother is the cloudy part that forms when bacteria ferments. ACV is useful for cleaning and hygienic purposes. And its health benefits are powerful due to antibacterial, amino acids, and antioxidant properties.
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There are many claims on the internet about the miraculous powers of apple cider vinegar, but today I’ll share the benefits that have been proven by research.
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8 Proven Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
What benefits does drinking apple cider vinegar have? Here are 8, backed by research.
1. It Kills Bad Breath
Vinegar is antibacterial and can kill the bacteria that cause bad breath and gingivitis. Just be careful not to swallow undiluted vinegar because it can burn the esophagus.
You can make a mouthwash by adding 1 tablespoon of ACV to 1 cup of water. Swish this mixture in your mouth. Then spit it out in the sink.
Or, you can simply add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV to an 8-ounce glass of water and drink it daily to end bad breath. This is just one of the proven benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar.
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2. It Contains Acetic Acid Which Can Kill Some Types Of Bacteria
Acetic Acid is the primary active compound in vinegar.
It was used throughout history as a food preservative because it prevents the growth of certain bacteria including candida. It can reduce inflammation and lower your blood pressure too.
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3. It Is An Effective All-Natural Household Cleaner
ACV has effective cleansing and disinfecting properties.
Because it is all-natural and does not contain harmful chemicals, it’s perfectly safe to use in all the rooms in your house. Eliminating the use of chemicals can cut down on the cumulative toxic load these products have on our bodies.
You can use ACV to clean windows, toilets, microwaves, and surfaces in the kitchen.
4. It May Help With Weight Loss
Several studies show that vinegar can help to keep you feeling full longer. This may cause you to eat fewer calories, which can translate to losing a few pounds.
Plus, one particular study of people who were obese showed a decrease in body weight, triglycerides, and body fat mass when they regularly consumed vinegar (1).
5. The Mother Is A Good Source Of Prebiotics
Most likely, you’re familiar with probiotics, but have you heard of prebiotics?
They can help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This, in turn, can help treat digestive issues, such as indigestion, leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diarrhea.
6. It May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
The acetic acid in vinegar may lower blood sugar by preventing the body from fully digesting carbohydrates (2). This is important for everyone because high blood sugar levels are connected to a host of chronic diseases.
Because ACV is an anti-glycemic, it is especially helpful for people who have Type 2 Diabetes (3).
Related: 6 Natural Ways To Prevent Diabetes
7. It May Have Heart Health Benefits
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the world. In a study done on rats, ACV lowered blood pressure and LDL and raised the HDL (4).
More research should be done on the effects of ACV in humans before we can draw a definitive conclusion. But the earlier research suggests the possibility that it may have cardiovascular benefits for humans.
8. It May Help Prevent Cancer
You might have read online about the supposed cancer-fighting effects of vinegar (5). There are isolated studies that prove vinegar is able to kill cancer cells. However, these studies took place in test tubes and were performed on rats, not humans.
All in all, it’s fair to say that ACV might prevent cancer in humans, but more research is needed to be sure.
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Recommended Dosages And Side Effects Of ACV
Always use unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with the mother. A great way to get your daily dose of ACV is to use it in homemade salad dressings (with olive oil, for example), stir fry, sauces, soups, and more.
Many people prefer to dilute it in water and drink it. Although there is no official dosage, most people take between 1 to 2 teaspoons or 1 to 2 tablespoons diluted in a glass of water daily.
Do not take more than this each day, because at higher amounts it could have harmful effects.
You may want to drink this dilution first thing in the morning. I enjoy this drink mixture even more when adding freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon and Stevia to taste.
Please note, people have felt side effects of esophageal burning from taking ACV straight up, undiluted. So only take ACV diluted to prevent burning and possible damage to the esophagus.
If it sounds like I’m repeating myself it’s because this is crucial and I don’t want anyone getting esophagus burns in the name of health!
The vinegar’s acidity can damage tooth enamel in some people, but drinking it through a straw and rinsing your mouth with may help prevent this.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Belly Fat?
Animal studies have found that acetic acid in ACV helps reduce belly fat and increase fat burning. Human studies are needed to show this works for people too, but these results are promising.
Can I Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?
Even though drinking ACV has several health benefits, drinking too much apple cider vinegar (8 ounces) for a long period of time has been linked with osteoporosis and low potassium levels.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Viruses?
Although ACV has been shown to kill bacteria, it may not be as effective against viruses. One study didn’t find it to be useful in fighting influenza.
Does Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Break A Fast?
If you practice intermittent fasting you may have wondered this before. Drinking small amounts of diluted ACV is generally considered okay when you’re fasting.
You may want to learn more about how to do a clean fast.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Your Immune System?
A 2018 study found that probiotics (like those found in the “mother”) give the immune system a boost.
(You my want to learn more about how to boost your immune system naturally.)
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Summary – Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
As you can see, there are many benefits of apple cider vinegar, including weight control, cancer prevention, and lowering blood sugar. ACV kills inflammation-causing bacteria and bad breath. Plus, it may have benefits for your heart.
If you decide to drink apple cider vinegar always make sure to dilute it with plenty of water. Drinking ACV through a straw is a good idea to help prevent damage to your teeth.
You can use it in a variety of recipes and it makes an effective cleaner too. ACV is a natural product I’ve grown to love and hope that you will too!
Do you use apple cider vinegar? What benefits have you noticed?