by Ashley Grano
There is a lot of buzz regarding apple cider vinegar in the health community, backed by many good reasons. This tried and true, inexpensive, easy to obtain vinegar commonly known as simply “ACV” offers a wide range of benefits that can boost your health, at any age!
- Promotes healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. Various studies have found that ACV benefits insulin sensitivity, including significantly lowering blood glucose and insulin response after eating, as well as reducing fasting blood sugars. This is especially beneficial for people who are diabetic, though maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is vital for everyone, as elevated blood sugar is associated with many chronic diseases.
- Supports a healthy weight. Since ACV is linked to lowering blood sugar and insulin, it can help with healthy weight management. Studies have even shown that vinegar increases satiety and promotes fullness, helping to reduce calorie intake to support weight loss efforts. Its acetic acid has even been shown to increase metabolism and reduce water retention.
- Boosts energy. When fatigue is related to lactic acid build-up in the body as a result of intense exercise or excessive stress, ACV can restore healthy energy levels thanks to its amino acids, potassium and enzymes. Add 1-2 tablespoons to a chilled vegetable smoothie or a glass of water for a natural boost of energy.
- Soothes an upset stomach. ACV has long been a staple in many natural remedy books for an upset stomach and diarrhea, as it contains pectin, which is known to help soothe intestinal spasms. It also contains many natural antibiotic properties. Simply sip 1-2 tablespoons of ACV mixed with water or clear liquid, like apple juice. ACV can also help avoid indigestion, if taken preventatively a half hour before an indulgent, rich meal.
- Helps fight infection and soothes a sore throat. At the beginning tickle of a sore throat, use germ-busting ACV to help thwart off the infection, as most germs can't survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. Mix 1/4 cup ACV with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle a few times.
- Aids sinus drainage. The next time you have a stuffy nose from a cold, reach for the ACV. It contains potassium, which thins mucus, as well as acetic acid, which prevents germ growth, a common contributor to nasal congestion. Mix a teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water to promote sinus drainage.
- Reduces dandruff. Besides being great for the body internally, ACV can also help externally as a dandruff treatment. The acidity changes the pH of the scalp, making it harder for yeast to grow. To use, mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Let it sit 15 minutes to an hour, then wash hair as usual. Repeat twice a week for best results.
While apple cider vinegar’s pungent taste can take a while to acquire a palate for, it can easily be incorporated into your daily health routine. Experts recommend against drinking straight shots of apple cider vinegar, as it can erode tooth enamel and irritate the esophagus. Instead, follow tips above, or add a couple of teaspoons to a glass of warm water. For a little sweetness, add a teaspoon of honey. You can also add it to a vegetable smoothie, or use as a salad dressing—either drizzled alone over fresh veggies, or mixed with a little lemon juice, minced garlic and pepper.