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Apple Cider Vinegar – Nutrition, Benefits, and Side Effects

White vinegar gives your Chinese food a tangy touch t, but its cousin, apple cider vinegar, can do much more than add flavour. It can give you a new you, with a slimmer waistline, luscious locks, glowing skin and a life free of nearly every ailment. The benefits of apple cider vinegar go a long way. This article talks about the many benefits of apple cider vinegar and incorporating them into your diet. 

Apple cider vinegar has been touted as a “miracle potion” these days. Though the celebrity status is recent, the amber-coloured liquid has been working on the sidelines for a long now. However, the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, had used it to treat his patients, and the bible discussed its potential.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is the fermented juice made from crushed apples. It contains acetic acid and nutrients such as vitamin C and B vitamins.

The most popular use of apple cider vinegar is as a dressing on salads and cooking. However, people in different parts of the world use it as medicine. For example, it might help lower blood sugar levels by changing how our bodies absorb food from the gut. In addition, it might also prevent the breakdown of some foods.

The other use areas are treating obesity, diabetes, athletic performance, kidney stones, and many other purposes. 

Nutritional Properties of Apple Cider Vinegar

One tablespoon (15ml) of apple cider vinegar contains:

Calories: 0Fats: 0gSodium: 0gCarbohydrates: 0gSugars: 0.4gFibre: 0gProtein: 0gIt contains a small amount of potassium (11 grams per tablespoon or around 73 mg per 100 ml). It regulates the heartbeat and the nerve, and muscle function. It also contains antioxidants which are highly beneficial for the body.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

There is a long list of claims about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. However, most of these claims lack solid scientific backing. Some people experience positive effects, but many of these effects are not yet proven. However, apple cider vinegar contains natural bacteria, which may affect our gut bacteria. 

Here are a few reasons to get home a bottle of this wonder vinegar:

It can help you lose those kilos.

The most significant advantage of apple cider vinegar is its ability to quell your appetite. Some studies reveal that consuming apple cider vinegar before eating can curb appetite. In addition, if you sip it with high-carb meals, it can make you feel fuller. However, there is no scientific evidence to back the claim. 

A 2009 study reveals that obese individuals who consumed acetic acid (the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar) for 12 weeks experienced a noticeable decline in weight, abdominal fat and waist circumference.

It can help control diabetes.

Another successful use of apple cider vinegar is its ability to lower blood glucose levels. It is because the versatile ingredient improves insulin sensitivity and the body’s blood sugar response after meals. A 2007 study reveals that two tablespoons of vinegar at bedtime may lower fasting glucose by 4% to 6%.

It can improve heart health.

Many nutritionists and researchers believe that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. As a result, it might help you stay heart-healthy. The primary reason for the same is the antioxidant-rich properties. Apple cider vinegar contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid that prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol particles from oxidising. That is a crucial step in the development of heart disease. 

It also helps reduce blood pressure, another risk factor for cardiac problems. However, a majority of these studies involve rats. The only human evidence is a small-scale observational Harvard study that suggests that women who ate salads with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease.

It can relieve tummy trouble.

Suppose you plan to indulge in a sinful meal that could bother your stomach, sip a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar half an hour before dining. The vinegar prevents acid reflux and has antibiotic properties that can fight bacterial infection. It also contains pectin, which calms intestinal spasms.

It can soothe a sore throat.

It may not be as acclaimed as ginger or honey, but proponents swear by apple cider vinegar for removing throat irritants. Mix a quarter cup with an equal quantity of warm water and gargle multiple times a day or sip a cup of hot water with a dash of apple cider vinegar and honey. The properties of apple cider vinegar help relieve throat and may soothe a sore throat. 

It can help you get your glow on

Here’s another plus of having apple cider vinegar in your kitchen — it can double as a skin cream. Just dab it on your face with a cotton ball for a healthy glow. The natural alpha-hydroxy acids and acetic acid stimulate circulation, close pores and prevent acne. In addition, the multi-tasking ingredient also minimises the effect of blemishes, dry skin, psoriasis and eczema.

It can tame your tresses.

Add apple cider vinegar to your final rinse. The vinegar’s acidic properties help maintain the pH balance of your hair without depriving it of natural oils. As a result, it makes hair soft, smooth and shiny. Its antibacterial and antifungal constituents help treat scalp itch, dryness and dandruff, too.

Ways to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar

Given below are general guidelines for you to add apple cider vinegar to your diet, safely and reasonably:

Start with limited intake: When consuming apple cider vinegar, start with 1 or 2 teaspoons dissolved in water. Gradually you can add up to 2 tablespoons (maximum) to be consumed regularly, after dissolving in water. Save your teeth: Acetic acid has a side effect of eroding tooth enamel. So it is best to dissolve it in water and drink it. Also, try sipping it through a straw to avoid contact with your teeth. Give your mouth a good rinse: To protect your mouth from further enamel damage, you should wait for 30 minutes after consuming dissolved apple cider vinegar. After 30 mins you can brush your teeth. Beware of allergies: If you have any kind of allergic reaction after consuming apple cider vinegar, you’re probably allergic to apple cider vinegar. Consult a doctor immediately. Be careful if you have indigestion: People who have pariesis or are prone to gastric ulcers should consume apple cider vinegar after a consultation with a qualified dietitian or nutritionist. The best time to have apple cider vinegar is before meals. Then you can dilute it with water and consume it as a drink.  It can also be used as a salad dressing or incorporated into homemade mayonnaise or dips, for starters. 

Possible Side Effects and Precautions of Apple Cider Vinegar

There are two sides to each coin. Unfortunately, with all the healthy claims citing the benefits of apple cider vinegar, there are some adverse effects. 

Apple cider vinegar gives prolonged satiety. This effect worsens symptoms of gastroparesis, which is usually true in the case of people who have diabetes. A controlled study detected that some people who consumed apple cider vinegar reduced food intake due to indigestion.  The other side effects include low potassium, bone loss and enamel erosion. It may cause oesophagal throat burns when consumed without proper dilution. It may result in skin burns when applied to the skin directly without any dissolving medium. 

Precautions of consuming apple cider vinegar (in respect to its interaction with drugs) are: 

People with diabetes who are on insulin should be cautious about apple cider vinegar intake. It is because insulin and apple cider vinegar both reduce glucose levels. People who have diuretics should not consume vinegar with these medications because it will result in deficient potassium levels. The same is the case with people who are on medicines for lowering potassium levels. 

Summary

Apple cider vinegar has its benefits when taken in proper amounts carefully. You should know your medical condition thoroughly to prevent nutrient-drug interaction between medicines and apple cider vinegar. When taken in an adequate dosage and at the correct time, this magic vinegar may deliver its benefits. However, HealthifyMe does not claim any of these benefits, as we understand that the benefits are not yet backed by scientific evidence. Hence, we suggest you be careful with its usage.

Q. Can I drink apple cider vinegar every day?

A. Yes, you can. After diluting it with water, start with small amounts. 

Q.What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar?

A. Weight loss, protecting heart health, good skin and hair are some of the claimed benefits of apple cider vinegar. 

Q. How do you drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss?

A. Dilute one tablespoon apple cider vinegar in 2 tablespoons of water and drink 15- 20 minutes before meals for weight loss. You can even add it to your salad dressing. 

Q. Who should not take apple cider vinegar?

A. People who are on insulin and diuretics should not take apple cider vinegar. 

Q. Is it better to drink apple cider vinegar in the morning or at night?

A. Diabetics should have it at night. Non-diabetics should have it before meals. In both cases, you should dilute it with water. 

Q. What happens if you drink apple cider vinegar every morning?

A. It may help you in weight loss, good heart, hair and skin health.

Q. How much apple vinegar should I drink a day?

A. Maximum 2 tablespoons diluted in a minimum of 4 tablespoons water. 

Q. How much water do you mix with apple cider vinegar?

A. Water should be double the amount of vinegar. The maximum amount of vinegar in a day is two tablespoons.

Q. How does apple cider vinegar help with belly fat?

A. It helps in reducing waist circumference, hence reduction in belly fat. 

Q. Why does my stomach hurt after drinking apple cider vinegar?

A. There can be several reasons. However, the most common cause is an improper diluting ratio. 

Q. Is apple cider vinegar bad for your liver?

A. There are no scientific proofs to claim either way. But, as per some studies, it helps in the removal of harmful toxins. Hence is not bad for your liver.  

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