Apple Cider Vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar is a helpful health tonic that has shown promise in helping diabetes, cancer, heart health, high cholesterol, and weight loss, and for years people have used apple cider vinegar as a folk remedy to lower fever and aid indigestion

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What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar is an acidic substance produced through fermented apples. Apples are crushed with yeast and water and allowed to sit and age at room temperature for around 30 days. In this time, the yeast converts the sugar in apple into alcohol. After that bacteria converts this alcohol into sour tasting, sharp vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar has quite a strong taste and smell. It is being used as a food coloring agent, preservative and flavoring agent, but has now gained much recognition for its medicinal properties.

Apple Cider Vinegar is commercially available in a filtered and non-filtered version. The non-filtered version has, what we call ‘the mother’, which is raw, unpasteurized and unrefined ACV. The mother is basically a colony of highly beneficial bacteria, akin the Kombucha SCOBY, which initially converted the alcohol to vinegar. It also has strands of enzymes and proteins and gives the vinegar a murky look. It naturally settles at the bottom, and is available in the form of capsules as it is a sort of probiotic. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is superior to the filtered version because of this reason. Acetic acid is the active ingredient of ACV.


ACV Benefits

Before we get into the extensive benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, it is imperative to know that it can work in conjunction with medicines and professional treatments to help you in a natural way, and to use it alone for underlying health problems might not be the best idea. Here are some ways in which ACV can help you.


Weight Loss

The most attractive quality that led to its admiration and appreciation over the years is weight loss. A few small studies have backed up these claims. Apple cider vinegar may in fact help with weight loss to some extent. One of these studies carried out an experiment in which two controlled groups followed a low calorie diet plan with and without ACV. The group that used 30 milliliters of ACV over 12 weeks had lesser belly fat, lower BMI and a reduction in appetite as compared to the group that followed the diet without ACV. It is important to mention that a restricted calorie diet is essential to carry out weight loss, and ACV alone will not have the same effects. Co-administration of ACV along with a diet plan led to a reduced hip circumference, reduced levels of plasma triglycerides as well as an increase in HDL-c levels.

Another study, that tested the tolerability of vinegar due to its displeasing taste and smell when taken orally, was carried out to find whether the loss of appetite in subjects was due to the effects of ACV, or simply because of its poor palatability. The results indicated towards an increase in nausea as a result of the oro-sensory stimulation by ACV, and therefore it can’t be labelled as a natural appetite suppressant.

In conclusion, it can be said that ACV can promote weight loss in combination with a strictly followed diet plan and some physical activity.


Hypoglycemic Effect

ACV is also known to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. A high blood sugar level can lead to several health problems that directly affect the eye, kidney, nerve and heart. Several small studies were carried out to prove these claims. According to one of them, when individuals consumed ACV before having their meals, their insulin and triglycerides levels were found to be lower than those who had a placebo in its place.

A similar experiment had been carried out over the length of 8 to 12 weeks with similar levels, and a reduction of blood sugar levels in participants who had impaired glucose tolerance or high blood sugar level.

In conclusion, we can say that ACV can help regulate a steady blood sugar level with an ongoing treatment plan for diabetes. However, it can prevent the condition in pre diabetics if necessary measures are taken along with it.


Antifungal properties

Most common fungal infection is the thrush of the throat, mouth or vagina. Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing fungal infections, and some of them can even by life threatening. As we already discussed the benefits of ACV in diabetics, a well-regulated blood sugar level can prevent medical complications due to its higher levels.  

Candida albicans is the fungus that is the most commonly causing fungal infections in humans. These infections can last a long time and even become resistant to antifungal drugs over time. Some researchers suggest that ACV can be a potential remedy against Candida infections.

According to a case report, a man suffering from persistent mouth thrush had relief when ACV was applied twice a day for a week. There was an astounding 94% reduction in the fungal count. In another report, a woman with chronic vaginal thrush for 5 years benefited by applying ACV as it helped in clearing up the infection.

This is possibly due to the presence of 4% maleic acid in ACV, which is lethal to strains of Candida albicans. It greatly reduces the colonization and effects of the fungus, and has proven to be a good antifungal treatment in most cases.


Lowering Cholesterol

High cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood vessels are predisposing factors that can lead to stroke or heart attack. It can block the arteries of the heart and cause several heart problems, especially in overweight individuals. ACV may lower these high triglyceride and cholesterol levels. When ACV was administered in conjunction with a restricted calorie diet, the triglycerides and LDL levels were found to be lowered in addition to weight loss. LDL are low density lipoproteins that are considered to be bad cholesterol. ACV also increases the level of HDL which are high density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol as it lowers the risk of many heart diseases.


Antibacterial Properties

ACV is not only antifungal, but antibacterial too. Backed up with test tube studies, ACV has proven to be effective against strains of E.coli and Staph. Aureus that cause severe infections in humans. It was found to be as effective as 5% sodium hypochlorite in killing Enterococcus faecalis – a bacteria naturally found in the gut and bowels of healthy individuals that can cause severe infections when their balance is disrupted.


Hair and Skin

When applied directly to hair after shampooing as a hair rinse, ACV smoothens the hair and imparts luster and shine. It is due to the acidic nature of the vinegar. Several studies support the fact that alkaline substances can damage the hair and cause them to appear frizzy. The acidic nature of ACV can help reverse this condition and add a new life and bounce to the hair.

When applied to the skin, it can clear up acne and act as a skin toner, but none of this is backed up with scientific trials. It does make the skin look fresh and clear up acne, owing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It works well in skin infections, blisters and various other skin conditions.


Improved Gut Health

ACV can greatly improve the gut health by introducing good bacteria to your digestive system, aid in digestion and prevent infections. When taken before meals, it reduces appetite and helps with digestion of the food as well as regulate the spiked insulin or blood sugar levels in the body.


ACV Nutritional Value

ACV contains about 22 calories per 100gms, which is quite negligible. It has 5mg of sodium, 73 mg of potassium and 0.9gms o Carbohydrate, 0.4gms of which comes from sugar. It also has trace amounts of Iron and Magnesium.

An unfiltered ACV will have enzymes, proteins and beneficial bacteria that are essentially probiotics. They are available in capsule form as well, which can save you from the ordeal of consuming the raw, unpalatable ACV that frankly speaking, can often make you gag. A good quality organic and unfiltered ACV also has antioxidants and amino acids that aid in digestion and give your skin and hair a healthy glow. It also boosts immunity and helps regulate normal blood sugar levels. The main component of ACV is acetic acid which can defend your body against harmful bacteria.

When consumed in moderation, ACV is quite safe and healthy. However, too much of anything is bad for us. It is best to consume ACV in its natural state, as opposed to the pills and capsules that are presumed to aid with weight loss or as a cleansing regimen.

ACV, first and foremost, is an acid. When taken in large quantities, this acidic nature of the vinegar can cause burns, acidity, ulcers, pain and severe nausea which can even prove to be toxic. A high dose of ACV also reduces the level of potassium which can be fatal for hypertensive individuals. It can also interact with certain medications so it’s best to consult with a physicians if you take ACV on regular basis. And most importantly, ACV carries the risk of letting you down if you use it while believing everything you read on the internet is true. ACV can certainly not cure you of a serious medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases or cancer. It is just a natural way to keep your underlying conditions in check in combination with proper medical treatment.


How to Use ACV

ACV can be taken orally, combined with foods, or applied topically for skin and hair.


Internal Use

The normal and healthy dosage of ACV is 2-4 tablespoons per day and should never be exceeded to more than this. Don’t take it directly, and dilute the vinegar by mixing it in a glass of water. Take a tablespoon with a glass full of water to detoxify and boost immunity. Taking it early in the morning or before meals is preferable. It can also be used as a salad dressing.

ACV can also be used as a mouthwash by diluting it with water, but the taste will not be pleasant by any means! It can help with thrush and sores and boils in the oral cavity. It also reduced bacteria and gives you fresh breath.


External Use

ACV can be topically applied in the form of spray on hair and skin. Use it as a hair rinse after shampooing the hair to give it added luster. Use it as a spray or toner on skin, as a wart remover or even as a foot soak for odor resistance.

You can also use ACV around the house as a cleaning agent by mixing it 1 part ACV in 9 parts water and spraying it to repel rodents, kill weed or just as an antibacterial solution around the toilet.


ACV Recipes

Although when used alone, ACV is quite unpleasant to taste, but when used in recipes it can really bring out the flavor in salads. Here are our top 5 picks.

1. Garden fresh Quinoa Salad

This light and fresh salad is a perfect meal for summers and is quite easy to make with few simple ingredients. Mix it up with quinoa as the base, along with yellow onions, your pick of vegetables, fresh nectarines, lemon, sweet corn, cucumber, tomatoes and basil leaves.


2. ACV Hummus

Make a delicious and tangy hummus by blending 2 tablespoons of ACV in the mix of chickpeas, garlic, oil, tahini, water and salt. It goes great as a dip and on sandwiches and wraps!


3. ACV Sushi

Get innovative and exotic with ACV, and replace white wine vinegar with it to add an extra kick and nutritional value to your sushi dressing. Mix it with maple syrup, fresh ginger, tahini and lemon to make simple and flavorful sushi.


4. ACV Limeade

This is the simplest and quickest recipe to make a refreshing and detoxifying drink. Use half a cup of ACV with 6 cups of water and frozen lemonade concentrate or limeade and enjoy a chill and energizing cup of ACV limeade to beat the summer heat.


5. Spiced ACV Caramels

This sweet treat is complimented beautifully with ACV. All you need is cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and ACV to make this delicious caramel treat that can be used as a syrup to dribble on pie, ice cream and cakes.


ACV History

Vinegar goes through a fermentation process that can be traced back to centuries. The name ‘cider’ takes its roots from the Phoenician ‘shekar’ which means a strong drink or wine. It can be dated back to 2500BC, where the ancient nomadic tribe – Aryans fermented soured apple wine and since then it has been passed on to Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians where they formulated ACV as a byproduct of soured apple wines.

ACV is used for its medicinal uses for thousand of years. Historically, it was used to relief ailments like dandruff, toothache, skin conditions and mushroom poisoning. We can also find its trail along the US Civil War and World War I where it was used to treat wounds. Japanese Samurai warriors drank it for power and strength. A diluted version of ACV was used by the Ancient Persians to prevent fat accumulation. The Romans used it in conjunction with fire to breaks rocks as they conquered the Alps. All of these evidences show that ACV served its many wonderful purposes for as long as the existence of human race.


References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323721.php

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/apple-cider-vinegar-nutrition-facts-health-benefits-risks-more/

https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/health-and-wellness-articles/2018/august/debunking-the-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar

https://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar-and-your-health

https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/

 

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Nutritional Info

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    Apple Cider Vinegar
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