Health & Wellness, Nutrition

7 Incredible Health Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar

When it comes to natural remedies, using apple cider vinegar may very well top my list. I drink some every day. That’s right—I drink it every single day. Why? Well, there are so many health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar that it would almost be impossible to name them all. It supports everything from your digestion to your blood sugar levels. It can even help with weight management!

But before we dive too deeply into the many health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar, let’s review exactly what apple cider vinegar actually is and what makes it such a great natural remedy.

 

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

In short, apple cider vinegar is vinegar made from fermenting apple cider. By adding bacteria and yeast to apple cider, the sugars are converted into alcohol, which is then converted into vinegar.

While there are many forms of apple cider vinegar available, I prefer the kind with “the Mother.” The purified, or clear, options just don’t contain as may beneficial health properties. And if you’re going to consume it, you want to make sure you’re getting all the great health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar.

So, what makes apple cider vinegar with the Mother the preferred option? When it contains the Mother, that means the apple cider vinegar is in its unprocessed, unadulterated state. The Mother is basically the beneficial bacteria and acids that form during the fermentation process. When the apple cider vinegar is purified, it loses these beneficial bacteria and acids.

7 Health Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar

Here are some of the top health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar.

1. Can act as a stomach acid

If you have low stomach acid, drinking a little apple cider vinegar after meals can really make a big difference for you. This is because it can actually act as a stomach acid and help you digest your food by introducing more acid into your digestive system (one of the primary reasons I consume it daily!).

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the research on this topic is scarce, but I can attest to the fact that it works for me. The most commonly cited study, though, is a compelling one. In it, a graduate student conducted a double-blind study and found that consuming unfiltered apple cider vinegar was linked to reduced heartburn (which is believed to be caused by low stomach acid). [1]

2. Aids digestion

Not only does apple cider vinegar act as a stomach acid, but it can support your digestion in other ways as well. In fact, a 2015 study revealed that pectin (a type of insoluble fiber found in apples as well as apple cider vinegar) actually supported digestion and even relieved symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—a common digestive disorder. [2]

In the study of 87 people with IBS, researchers found that pectin acted as a prebioitic and stimulated their gut bifidobacteria. It specifically relieved diarrhea symptoms by helping to balance the patients’ gut flora and fighting systemic inflammation. As a result of these findings, the researchers felt that pectin had potential as a therapeutic agent for those suffering with IBS.

3. Can help relieve gas pain

You may be surprised to learn that one of the biggest causes of gas pain is low stomach acid. [3] In fact, gain pain along with flatulence and bloating are some of the most frequent signs of low stomach acid.

So, thanks to apple cider vinegar’s ability to act as a stomach acid, it can also help provide some relief for gas pain and bloating.

4. Supports healthy blood sugar levels

Of all the health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar, the most well-researched is its impact on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. In fact, numerous studies have revealed that vinegar can not only improve insulin sensitivity but also reduce both fasting and post-meal blood glucose levels.

In a 2004 study, researchers found that drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with water two minutes before eating a high-carb meal actually increased insulin sensitivity by up to 34 percent. [4] Moreover, a 2007 study revealed that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime reduced participants’ fasting blood glucose by up to 6 percent the following morning. [5]

But how does it work? Well, researchers believe that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has an “antihyperglycemic” affect, in that it slows down the process of converting complex sugars into simpler sugars, such as glucose and fructose. [6]

5. Supports healthy metabolism

Once again, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is to thank for this health benefit. It’s long been reported that one of the top health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar is its ability to boost metabolism. This initial claim was based on an animal study in which researchers discovered that acetic acid prevented increased fat deposition and also improved the metabolism of obese rats. [7]

But in a more recent study published in 2014, researchers compared groups of people who consumed no apple cider vinegar versus those who consumed one or two tablespoons. The study revealed that people who consumed two tablespoons of vinegar each day lost the most weight. [8] While more research is needed, these studies offer a glimpse into how beneficial apple cider vinegar can be.

6. Promotes healthy bacterial flora

We’ve already discussed how pectin can aid your gut flora, but did you know that vinegar can also fight the bacteria that causes food poisoning? This results in promoting a healthy bacterial gut flora.

In fact, researchers found that applying vinegar to food-borne bacterial and viral pathogens reduced certain bacteria by 90 percent and some viral pathogens by 95 percent! [9]

7. Linked to reduced belly fat

Finally, drinking apple cider vinegar each day has been linked into reduced overall fat mass, including reduced belly fat. In fact, one study revealed that people who drank vinegar with a meal reported feeling fuller and more satisfied than those who didn’t drink the vinegar. [10] In another study, people consumed fewer calories throughout the day as a result of drinking vinegar. [11] Feelings of satiety naturally lead to eating less, which can help reduce overall body fat, including belly fat.

Furthermore, another study revealed that people who drank apple cider vinegar daily had a lower visceral fat area than those who didn’t. [12] Visceral fat is the type of body fat stored in your middle—commonly referred to as “belly fat.”

Health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar - Dr. Pingel

Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar

While I prefer drinking apple cider vinegar either by sipping it before dinner or by taking a “shot” of it after eating a meal, this may not be ideal for everyone. So, how can you get the health benefits of drinking apple cider without actually drinking it? I’m so glad you asked!

If you find yourself turned off by the smell or taste of apple cider vinegar, fear not. There is a solution for you! Many people who feel this way but still want to get the great health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar turn to a more appropriate option for them: a capsule. You can find these capsules in your local health food stores. Just follow the directions on the label.

If you fall somewhere in-between, where you don’t love the smell or taste of apple cider vinegar but can tolerate it in small amounts, you could consider diluting it with some water or even add some to your salad dressing. You’ll still get the health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar but without the stronger taste.

Regardless of how you choose to consume apple cider vinegar, make sure to speak with your physician before trying any new natural remedy. Remember, you’re an individual with your very own biochemistry—so your treatment should be just as unique as you are.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Apple cider vinegar is vinegar made from fermenting apple cider.
  • It’s best used in its unfiltered, natural form, complete with “the Mother.”
  • The many health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar include aiding digestion, supporting healthy blood sugar levels, and even promoting weight management!
  • You can consume apple cider vinegar in its natural state, by diluting it with water, or even in capsule form.

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