Apple Cider Vinegar is made by fermenting apples and then adding water to the solution, this allows Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV to have 5% acidity. There are different types of ACV like distilled, raw and so on. In fact, unpasteurized ACV is also known as the “mother” ACV, because it is allowed to ferment naturally, with the help of enzymes.
The mother often appears foggy or with substances floating in it, which makes some consumers wonder if the ACV is good for ingestion. The mother is actually a purer form of ACV, and is safe for consumption, in fact, with time the floating pieces settle at the bottom of the bottle. The interesting bit is that ACV has a long shelf life and doesn’t need any refrigeration, although, with time it may change colour.
If you are wondering why apple cider vinegar has suddenly become such a popular topic of discussion, is because Apple Cider Vinegar is considered as a superfood, and people who use ACV believe that it is the answer to all ailments. However, the effectiveness of ACV is still open to further research and debate. One of the uses of ACV, which has made it insanely popular with people is its association with weight loss promotion. Researchers are still divided on their opinion about ACV and weight loss promotion, while some believe that this weight loss is brought about because ACV has no calories, and others believe that like apple fills up the stomach for a long time, ACV displays the same properties.
However, dieticians and researchers have also cautioned users against supplementing ACV for meals. They have suggested that ACV could be a part of a person’s meal, added as salad dressing, or taste enhancer to certain dishes, but it should not replace a square meal.
A research study conducted with rats showed a decided reduction in the triglyceride, LDL, and total cholesterol levels, because ACV contains antioxidants. The Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism1 published a study report which stated that 2 tsp apple cider vinegar mixed with a meal of complex carbohydrates and lower the glycemic index of the carbohydrates involved, by 20%. Another study published by European Journal of Clinical Nutrition2 found that the acetic acid in vinegar improves insulin tolerance if taken before meal.
Diabetes Care published a study report with 11 participants, the report stated that people who took 2 tbsp of ACV and cheese reported lower levels of fasting glucose when compared to people who had cheese with water before bed.
However, diabetes control and weight loss are not the only benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published the case of a woman in her early thirties. The woman was suffering from yeast infection in her vagina, which was cured by the application of ACV. This is a unique case, though, researchers are still divided about their opinion on whether ACV is safe for putting in pH sensitive areas of the body, especially the vagina.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
Apple Cider Vinegar has been popular for weight loss, however, one must be careful of the kind of ACV one is using for weight loss. Traditionally made apple cider vinegar can be used safely because the production if done the traditional way, takes about one month. However, factory processes can expedite the process to create vats of apple cider vinegar in a single day. The thing to focus upon is the acetic acid, which is an active component.
Acetic acid is alternatively known as ethanoic acid, it is organic in nature, which gives a strong, golden-peach colour and tastes sour. In fact, acetic acid makes 5%-6% of apple cider vinegar, along with water and other acids like malic acid in trace amounts. Animal studies have indicated that the acetic acid present in ACV may have benefits for the human body, including weight loss, researchers believe, this effect is achieved because of acetic acid is a short-chain fatty acid, which easily dissolves into hydrogen and acetate in the body. Here is how this breaking up of acetic acid helps with weight loss:
- Manages Blood Sugar: A rat study found that acetic acid enhanced the blood sugar absorbing properties of muscles and liver. Additionally, acetic acid also played a major role in reducing the glucagon-insulin ratio, which promoted the burning of body fat.
- Metabolism Improvement: Another rat study showed that exposing rats to acetic acid leads to an increase in the AMPK enzyme3 in them, which decreases fat by promoting fat burning, and controlling the production of sugar in the liver.
- Reduction in Storage of Fat: In another study, obese and diabetic rats were treated with apple cider vinegar, and it was discovered that acetate prevented weight gain, as well as activated genes which helped with reduction of storage of belly fat, as well, as storage of fat on the liver.
- Appetite Suppression: Another animal study4 revealed that acetic acid may act on the hunger centres of the brain and suppress appetite from there and result in less hunger and feeling full immediately at eating food.
- Fat Burning: Another study consisted of feeding rats with high fat diet first, and then supplementing their diet with apple cider vinegar. The researchers discovered significant activity as well as increase in genes which promote fat burning, and reduction in storage of fat.
While animal tests have proved to be successful, researchers are still divided on the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar on humans, although, one human test study5 did indicate that apple cider vinegar is very effective for weight loss. This study was conducted in Japan and consisted of over 140 obese people, who were divided into 3 groups, and accordingly fed a placebo, 15 ml of apple cider vinegar, and 30 ml of apple cider vinegar. The participants had to continue with their normal diet but avoid liquour.
The study lasted for 3 months, and in these three months, the group drinking 30 ml of apple cider vinegar daily, on an average lost the most weight, at 3.7kgs, however, the group drinking 15ml of apple cider vinegar on an average lost 2.6 kgs. The researchers concluded that apple cider vinegar can reduce total fat, waist size as well as weight.
A follow up study which was conducted for 6 weeks, concluded that high doses of apple cider vinegar can lead to 10% lesser fat gain, as compared to low dosage vinegar consumption which led to only 2% lesser fat gain.
Other Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has been known to have several health benefits, we have already mentioned a lot of them in a previous blog called Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin & Pimples
Apple Cider Vinegar has several benefits for skin especially when it comes to dealing with acne and pimples. Malic acid present in the mother solution of apple cider vinegar has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties and thus, are excellent natural acne removers. Apple cider vinegar can also balance the pH of skin as well as clear blocked pores. In fact, ACV is rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, which occur naturally in it, and can reach deep into your skin and follicles to clear out bacteria and reduce acne.
People suffering from acne should use an apple cider vinegar skin toner twice a day, leaving it on for 10 minutes each, along with an apple cider vinegar face mask twice a week for best results.
How to make Apple Cider Vinegar Skin Toner:
Take 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar, and 2 Tbsp water, mix well, now add 5 crushed aspirin tablets to the mix. Aspirin helps peel off dead skin to brighten skin if you have sensitive skin you should avoid the aspiring and just make a simple toner with apple cider vinegar and water.
But this is not the only way in which apple cider vinegar is beneficial for your skin, here are a few more beauty tips which use apple cider vinegar.
- Treatment for Sunburns
Apple Cider Vinegar is being used for ages to help treat sunburns. Apple cider vinegar is an astringent and helps soothe pain as well as expedite the healing process, balancing the skin’s pH as well as reducing inflammation and preventing blisters. Here are two sunburn treatment solutions with apple cider vinegar.
- Mix 1 bowl of apple cider vinegar in 8 bowls of water and use this mixture to sponge the sunburnt area.
- Add 1 cup apple cider vinegar to lukewarm water. Soak for 30 minutes.
These solutions should be used daily till their need subsides.
- Antiseptic Behaviour
Mix 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar with water, use a clean cotton to dip in this mixture and apply on the cut, acetic acid is an antiseptic which also soothes burns caused by razors.
- Whitening of Teeth
Mix, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, with 9 tablespoons of water, and use it as a mouthwash. Apple Cider Vinegar, cleans up teeth stains immediately.
- For Treating Smelly Feet and Rough Heels
Add a bowl of apple cider vinegar in a tub, along with 4 bowls of water (keep adding the ingredients in 1:4 ratio till you reach the desired amount of mix in the tub), now soak your feet in the mixture for 15-20 minutes before rinsing and drying your feet. The odor of your feet will be neutralized.
For smooth heels, soak your feet for 30-45 minutes in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water, mixed at a 50:50 ratio and then remove the stubborn bits with the help of a buff, before rinsing your feet and drying them.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair
Apple Cider Vinegar has amazing benefits for your hair too. Here are few things you can create with ACV to enhance the health of your hair. Here are a few tips for your hair:
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature, which makes it an excellent agent for maintaining the scalp’s pH along with preventing the formation of fungi (dandruff) in your scalp.
Mix 250 ml each of apple cider vinegar and water, tea tree oil (not more than 10 drops) can be added to enhance the antimicrobial activity of the mix, but if you don’t have tea tree oil, this can work well independently too. After shampooing your hair, rinse your hair with this mix. You can also use it on days when you only plan to rinse your hair. If you suffer from dandruff based fungi, then mix more vinegar in your mixture.
- Cure for Sensitive or Itchy Scalp
Nearly 40% of the population suffers from a sensitive scalp which in turn makes it itchy. Harmful chemicals additionally make it more itchy and may cause some inflammation due to irritation. Especially, medicated shampoos can disbalance the pH levels of the scalp. The anti-dandruff rinse we created above works exceptionally well for curing this problem too. Add a few drops of a soothing essential oil like lavender oil to soothe the itchiness of your scalp more, if you do not have essential oils, this rinse will still work fine.
- Hair Growth
Apple Cider Vinegar can remove dead skin, as well as activate the follicles of the hair to help hair grow more. Here are two rinse recipes for you:
- Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and rinse your hair daily with this mix, especially after shampooing your hair for removal of dead skin and longer hair.
- Boil nettle leaves (100gms), in one litre of water and allow it cool. Add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to this mix, and rinse your hair with this mix. Nettle leaves are available online, in their dried form, so you can make a nettle leaf tea, strain just the water and add apple cider vinegar to the same for similar result.
In fact, massaging your scalp with the rinse will help remove dead skin, as well as activate hair follicles to act better.
- De-tangled and Smooth Hai
Apple Cider Vinegar as an astringent helps narrow the hair cuticles, making hair smoother. ACV’s astringent properties close the cuticles around your hair. The hair rinse suggested as an anti-dandruff also comes with these benefits. In fact, this rinse can also straighten your hair without damaging your hair, as a hair straightener would with the excessive heat.
Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition Facts
The amount of interest and fanfare that Apple Cider Vinegar has generated leads one to wonder about its nutrition facts, especially when it is known that apple cider vinegar barely has any carbs or total fats. Here is a brief table describing the nutrition facts of apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar Is The Best For Skin Care
– 12th Dec 2018
The benefits of apple cider vinegar are known to many. It’s an important ingredient in most folk medicines around the world. The benefits ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) on your skin is beyond compare to any other cosmetics laced with chemicals. ACV is known for its effects on soothing the skin and treating burns caused due to sunburn.
ACV is rich in vitamin A and B which are highly beneficial in maintaining a glowing skin. Taking a bath in ACV is told to be very good for cleansing your skin and letting it absorb the essential vitamin. ACV can also limit the damages to the skin caused due to mosquito bites by avoiding the scratching sensation. It’s anti-bacterial and fungal properties also help in fighting off skin infections.
So, try and include ACV in your cosmetic collection as it can be the most beneficial among the lot. ACV has many additional benefits as it helps in reducing dandruff too.