Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of those age-old remedies that has made the transition into mainstream popularity. Chances are you’ve heard of it and its potential benefits. Since the age of Hippocrates, vinegar was used to fight infections and help with all sorts of other ailments, and today ACV has been dubbed the miracle cure for hair, skin, weight loss, and more. But is it really as great as it’s cracked up to be?
Three Potential Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
It may help you lose weight.
Consuming vinegar with your meal can increase feelings of fullness, which should keep you from overeating. One study found that people ate 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day when they consumed vinegar with their meal.
It can clean fruits, veggies, and more.
When mixed with lemon juice, vinegar has been proven to clean fruits and veggies and eliminate traces of salmonella. Vinegar can also be used to clean surfaces around the house.
It could reduce the glycemic index of other foods.
A 2003 study from the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Japan found that vinegar consumed with white rice significantly decreased the rice’s glycemic index value. This suggests that vinegar could help slow down the release of sugar into the blood stream.
What Apple Cider Vinegar Might Not Do
Whiten your teeth.
The antibacterial properties of ACV could very well remove some gunk off your teeth, but it’s also extremely acidic. Too much acid can lead to erosion of tooth enamel, so rinsing your mouth with ACV could do more harm than good.
Clear your skin.
ACV has antimicrobial properties reported to help to clear up acne, but right now there are only personal testimonials for this, no scientific studies.
Soften your hair.
The acetic acid in ACV could remove excess buildup from hair products, but again, there’s a lack of science to back up this claim.
Be heart healthy.
Studies have shown that vinegar may reduce blood pressure in rats, and in another study, rats that consumed vinegar also showed a decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But when it comes to humans, studies that show major benefits to heart health are lacking.
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar:
Do not drink this stuff straight. If you’re going to ingest ACV, mix one tablespoon with at least eight ounces of water. You’ll want to dilute it because it tastes (and smells) quite pungent, and because acetic acid can be dangerous when consumed in high concentrations. If you’re using it to add flavoring to food, consider mixing it with olive oil, salt, and honey. This creates a sweet and tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with this Apple, Fennel, and Arugula Salad.
If you’re cleaning with it, you can mix it with water or lemon juice to create a super cleaning concoction. It’ll also go further that way.
One of the most popular brands of ACV is Braggs. It’s unfiltered, non-processed, and organic. It comes with “the mother,” a cloudy substance at the bottom of the bottle that produces the good bacteria and enzymes responsible for many of ACV’s healthy benefits.
Although there is some scientific data to back many of the claims ACV lovers espouse, much of what’s being discussed on the Internet is lacking solid evidence. Much like those quotes erroneously assigned to Abraham Lincoln. So, if you’re going to use it on your hair or skin, we recommend you proceed with caution.
And while ACV might not be the miracle cure that the world wishes it to be, but it sure can be a tasty addition in the kitchen. If you’re interested in adding ACV to your cooking repertoire, check out these recipes to get you started: