Apple cider vinegar is a product of apple sugar fermentation. The sugar content of apples oxidizes to acetic acid which is an active component of vinegar.
The preparation of apple cider vinegar is a two-step process,
- First of all, a sugary liquid or juice is squeezed out of finely crushed or mashed apples. The liquid then undergoes the process of fermentation. Yeast is employed for the purpose, which converts the sugars into alcohol.
- The second step involves the addition of bacteria to the alcoholic solution which converts the alcohol to acetic acid.
The nutritional content of apple cider vinegar
Acetic acid is the key ingredient of vinegar. In addition, apple cider vinegar also contains mother, proteins, enzymes, and human-friendly bacteria. It contains about 3 calories per tablespoon. The vitamin or mineral content of apple cider vinegar is generally low. However, it contains a small amount of potassium, along with, some amino acids and antioxidants.
Mother is a strand-like sediment, usually seen, floating at the bottom of a bottle of apple cider vinegar. It is a substance composed of a form of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that develops during fermentation. It is added to wine, cider, or other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar.
Benefits of apple cider vinegar
Mother strands are usually attributed to all of the health benefits usually offered by apple cider vinegar. However, there are no scientific evidence supporting the idea. Some of the healthful benefits offered by apple cider vinegar are as follow,
Vinegar is being employed against pathogens, including bacteria, for centuries. It is also helpful for cleaning and disinfecting processes. It can treat nail fungus, lice, warts, and ear infections. Vinegar is also effective for cleaning wounds.
Owing to its antimicrobial nature, apple cider vinegar finds extensive use in the preservation of food. Studies show that apple cider effectively inhibits the growth of bacteria like E. coli. Thus it can prevent food from spoiling. It presents one of the best natural ways to preserve food.
Lowers the blood sugar level
One of the most prominent benefits of apple cider vinegar is its potential to lower the risks of diabetes. People with type-II diabetes can find apple cider vinegar wonderful with respect to their disease. Type-II diabetes is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. It is either because of insulin resistance or an inability of the individual to produce insulin. It is a major cause of aging and various chronic diseases.
A study reports that vinegar can decrease the blood sugar level by an average of 31%. Another study, based on animals, showed that apple cider vinegar significantly reduces the level of blood sugar in diabetic rats. A study in Diabetes Care reports that vinegar ingestion can help improve insulin sensitivity by up to 34%.
To serve the purpose, you can add one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it before meals. Moreover, moderate your intake of carbohydrates, elevate fiber and protein consumption, and workout daily. These measures can equally work well for the pre-diabetic patients.
Effective for weight loss
Studies report apple cider vinegar to reduce the risks of obesity or over-weight. Various studies conducted on humans show that vinegar increases satiety i.e. a sense of fullness. It helps you to eat fewer calories and reduce those extra pounds fast. A study revealed that two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day for about 12 weeks can result in about 4 pounds of weight loss.
Another study linked the consumption of apple cider vinegar with an overall decrease in the intake of calories by up to 275 calories during the day. For example, if people take apple cider vinegar along with a high-carbohydrate meal, they will end up eating 200–275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
A study employing 175 obese people showed that the consumption of apple cider vinegar on daily basis led to reduced belly fat and weight loss. The results of the study revealed that 1 tablespoon of ACV daily helped to lose about 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kilograms. However, 2 tablespoons were effective enough to reduce 3.7 pounds or 1.7 kilograms. Note that the study duration was about 3 months.
Moreover, adding or subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight. Weight loss requires a change in the entire diet/lifestyle. You need to combine several effective methods to see the desired results.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance. It is essential for the body to produce substances like hormones and vitamin-D. However, high levels of cholesterol build up in your vessels causing them to narrow and harden. This puts a strain on your heart, forcing it to pump even harder for a smooth blood flow.
Apple cider vinegar can work effectively to promote the healthy levels of cholesterol. An animal study, conducted in Iran, revealed that rats, when supplemented with apple cider vinegar, demonstrated a reduction in the level of bad cholesterol or low-density lipids. On the other side, ACV also increased the level of good cholesterol or high-density lipids.
Lowers the risks of heart diseases
Cardiovascular issues, especially heart attacks are currently the most common cause of death among people. Vinegar can improve the biological risk factors that contribute to a decreased or increased risk of heart attack.
Several animal-based studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can effectively lower the level of cholesterol and triglycerides. A study reported that vinegar consumption can lower the blood pressure in rats. Note that high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart diseases and kidney problems.
An observational study from Harvard showed that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease. Apple cider vinegar, as mentioned above, can lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and help fight diabetes. These factors also lead to reduced risk of heart diseases.
Reduces the cancerous-cell count
Cancer occurs due to an uncontrolled growth of cells. studies reveal that apple cider vinegar demonstrates anti-cancer characteristics. Numerous studies have shown that vinegar can shrink tumors by killing or restricting the growth of cancerous cells. A study in China indicates that vinegar consumption can potentially decrease esophageal cancer.
Note that all of these studies were done either on isolated cells in test tubes and rats. However, no study conducted upon humans backs up the anti-cancer properties of apple cider vinegar. Thus, extensive research is still required in this regard.
Relieves the symptoms of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux or Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common digestive disorder. It is due to the backflow of acid from the stomach up into the esophagus which may cause heartburn, belching, and nausea. GERD is a result of low levels of stomach acid.
Drinking apple cider vinegar helps to relieve the symptoms of acid-reflux by increasing the amount of acid into the digestive tract. To serve the purpose, dilute one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink before eating. Moreover, you can switch to an acid reflux diet for better results. It employs the consumption of vegetables, healthy fats, and fermented foods to improve the situation.
Apple cider vinegar also boosts the health of your gut. It increases the number of beneficial bacteria and enhances the ability of nutrient absorption.