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5 health benefits of apple cider vinegar

Photo credit: Phongnguyen1410

There are a lot of wild claims about apple cider vinegar on the internet. It’s been touted as the liquid gold that can do everything from increasing your energy to making your skin glow. Here, we take a look at 5 of the more credible health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

1. Regulate blood sugar and aid in diabetes

Studies done in humans have shown that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels – after sleep and in response to a meal.

These findings show that apple cider vinegar can help people with Type 2 Diabetes, a disease that’s characterised by insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

Despite this benefit, however, it doesn’t mean you can neglect your diet.

2. Weight loss

Since vinegar can lower blood sugar and insulin levels, it’s plausible that it could also help you to lose weight.

A study in 175 obese Japanese individuals showed that daily vinegar consumption reduced belly fat, waist circumference, blood triglycerides and weight. However, as with diabetes, you still need to exercise and eat healthily if you want to lose weight and maintain it.

3. Lower cholesterol and blood pressure

Studies done in rats have shown that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure.

As results in animals are not always translated to Homo sapiens, we need research in humans to confirm these cardiovascular benefits.

4. Shiny, healthy hair

Even though there isn’t any formal research in this area, many advocates swear that apple cider vinegar makes their hair glossy and scalp dandruff-free.

Beauty bloggers of all things natural purport mixing one part vinegar with one part water, then applying it to your hair and leaving it in for 5–15 minutes before rinsing.

5. Digestion

It’s been long known that drinking apple cider vinegar, diluted in water, can help to improve your digestion. Taking diluted apple cider vinegar before a meal is believed to stimulate digestive juices and breakdown food.

These digestive benefits only apply if you use unpasteurised (raw) and unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’. Commercial brands are pasteurised and devoid of the enzymes and healthy bacteria that help with digestion.

Which apple cider vinegar to use

We believe it’s important to use real apple cider vinegar – the raw, unpasteurized kind, with the ‘mother’. With its brown, murky strands, which rest at the bottom of the bottle, the mother is full of good bacteria and, therefore, is beneficial for your gut. While Bragg is the most widely available and, perhaps, the cheapest, we love and highly recommend the local, biodynamic brand Mock Red Hill. Both are available in store.

How much?

Apple cider vinegar seems to be safe. Even though some people also drink it diluted in water, the most delicious way to consume it is in salad dressings. Common amounts range from 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 mL) to 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) per day.

Do you take apple cider vinegar? How has it helped you?