Top 14 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar + Healthy Recipes
Wonder how ACV can help you? Here are 14 reasons to add apple cider vinegar to more than just your salad dressing – plus a recipe to make your own!
The holidays are behind us, and many of us are now regretting the fact that we indulged in all those delicious yule tide delicacies! Perhaps you’ve had to loosen your belt a notch, or maybe you just feel bloated and sluggish. You know you’ve got to change your eating habits, but you’re also looking for a little help.
While there’s no magic weight loss pill, here’s a tip for you from an unexpected source: apple cider vinegar (ACV). Among other important components, apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. This unique compound is what gives apple cider vinegar its sour taste.
But acetic acid has other even more exciting talents. One of those is its ability to increase your level of satiety. Translated that means that you feel full sooner so you eat less. In one test, volunteers drank a small amount of vinegar in addition to eating a high-carb meal. The result was that they consumed 200 to 275 fewer calories throughout the rest of the day. Maintaining that pace each month would equate to losing 1.5 pounds per month or 18 pounds per year!
A study conducted in 2009 revealed that subjects who drank ACV for three months during the study lost significant body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and lowered their triglycerides.
For weight loss (as well as other benefits), mix 2 teaspoons of ACV in 8 oz. of water and drink it before, during or after mealtimes.
WARNING: with apple cider vinegar, more is not better! We recommend always diluting vinegar when taking internally as full-strength vinegar could be unpleasant or even harmful due to its acidity.
ACV Helps Lower Blood Sugar
One of the most solid pieces of evidence on apple cider vinegar is its effect on blood glucose levels. Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is one of the biggest keys to unlocking better overall health and is the secret behind losing weight and keeping it off. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why it works; they just know that it does.
In one study 19 percent of participants with type 2 diabetes found that ACV lowered their blood sugar. In the same study 34 percent of participants with prediabetes experienced lower blood sugar when taking apple cider vinegar. Other studies have revealed lower blood sugar levels following a meal when subjects drank a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water before the meal.
Drink ACV for Improved Digestion
And while we’re on the subject of eating, many Americans suffer from digestive issues often brought on by eating too much, or by consuming rich foods and alcohol. Once again, apple cider vinegar comes to the rescue.
Contrary to popular belief, problems like upset stomach and acid reflux result from not enough acid rather than too much. You can improve the amount of acid in your stomach by supplementing with ACV. Also, due to its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar can kill harmful bacteria like E.coli and salmonella. And the pectin in ACV may relieve spasms. Apple cider vinegar may also help with constipation.
Furthermore, improving the health of the gut has been found to reduce low level inflammation and may even help prevent obesity. One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggests that it may be possible to use probiotic bacteria to treat obesity and other chronic diseases, while other research found that obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5%, and their subcutaneous fat by over 3%, just by drinking a probiotic-rich beverage for 12 weeks.,
You know what’s a great probiotic-rich drink? That’s right … apple cider vinegar!
These three issues: weight loss, high blood sugar and digestive problems are common on the minds of people going into the new year. It’s exciting that something as inexpensive and available as apple cider vinegar can bring such relief! Consume it regularly to enjoy better gut health and all the benefits that brings – from weight loss to better digestion and so much more! Keep reading!
A Little Background on this Amazing Brew
The use of vinegar dates back to around 5000 BC. Back then, it was used primarily as a solution with which to preserve vegetables—a practice we still use today. The fact that vinegar emerged as a preservative hints at the fact that it contains strong antimicrobial properties. But it also boasts powerful antioxidants, probiotics and other beneficial compounds. Very early on, ACV also became known for its powerful medical and health benefits.
You can make vinegar from any fruit or vegetable that can be fermented, but apples are most commonly used. The fermentation process is long and slow, which renders a rich array of bioactive elements: acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, and others. Additionally, ACV is high in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and other minerals.
The fermented, unfiltered, unpasteurized vinegar looks cloudy due to the amino acid bacteria and other substances. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the “mother” of vinegar and may even look “stringy” or “cob-web-like.” Apple cider vinegar in this murky, unfiltered state is the best kind for consumption. At the end of this article, we’ll share some of the best brands of ACV that contain the “mother” and an old recipe for making your own apple cider vinegar.
11 Additional Exciting Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
There are literally dozens of applications and health benefits for ACV. We’ve already talked about using it to: assist in weight loss, relieve heartburn and improve digestion, and lower blood sugar, but let’s look at some other common uses., , , 
Both the acid for normalizing pH levels and the antibacterial properties of ACV make it a great skin cleanser and treatment for acne. Mix ACV with water in a 1:4 ratio and apply with a cotton pad. Rinse with clean water after 10 minutes. Do this 3 times daily.
ACV works well for rinsing product buildup and unwanted oil from hair. Use 1/3 cup ACV to 4 cups water. Also, as a remedy for dandruff, spray your scalp with a 1:1 ratio of ACV and water.
In a spray bottle mix 1 part ACV with 1 part water and add a few drops of your favorite aromatic essential oil.
Sore throat gargle
Due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, a 1:1 mixture of ACV with warm water can serve as an effective mouthwash and gargle for combating a sore throat.
Muscle cramp relief
Leg cramps often come on due to a deficiency in potassium. To relieve leg cramps, mix 2 tablespoons of ACV in a cup of water. Add a little honey to cut the bite of the vinegar if you like.
Natural weed killer
To get rid of weeds in the cracks of your driveway or sidewalk, mix ¼ cup salt and 1 teaspoon dish soap with ½ gallon of ACV. Pour or spray solution on weeds.
The compounds in ACV help cleanse the body of toxins, improving circulation and purging lymph nodes. For a detox cocktail, mix 2 teaspoons of ACV in 8 oz. of water.
For relief of itchy skin due to sunburn, insect bites, poison ivy or jellyfish stings, use a 1:4 ratio of ACV to water.
Soak a cotton ball with ACV and secure on the wart with a bandage or surgical tape overnight. Continue this process each night until the wart falls off.
Yeast infections are common and can cause bad breath, deplete energy, and promote urinary tract infections and digestive issues. The probiotics and acid in ACV can help kill candida. Take 1 tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water 3 times daily.
Although ACV is acidic, its effect on the body is alkaline, which helps put your body in a balanced pH state. This can help reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses as well as boost your energy. Add 2 teaspoons of ACV to a glass of water and drink daily.
Vinegar’s Sweeter Side
As you can see, apple cider vinegar masters 101 uses due its amazing health properties. But you may turn up your nose at the thought of actually drinking ACV, even when diluted. There are plenty of other ways to introduce ACV into your diet that are pleasant and tantalizing. So here we turn to apple cider vinegar’s “sweeter” side: its delicious culinary applications. Use apple cider vinegar to:
- Can, preserve, and pickle cucumbers, onions, beets, carrots, beans and more.
- Create delicious salad dressings.
- Marinate and tenderize meats and fish.
- Help bread rise by adding 1 tablespoon of ACV to every 2 ½ cups of flour.
- Substitute milk for buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of ACV to a cup of milk.
- Enhance the flavor of pies and pastries by adding 1 tablespoon of ACV to the recipe.
- Make fluffier rice by adding a teaspoon of ACV to the water.
Yet another more pleasant way to enjoy the benefits of ACV without having to endure its bite is with the array of new vinegar drinks available. These are referred to as “drinking vinegars.” For example, Bragg sells a 16 oz. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar All Natural Drink with Concord Grape Acai juice, found even in Walmart! These tart and tangy drinks seek to offer the benefits of apple cider vinegar in a palatable mixture of fruit juices and herbal flavors.
But as with any bottled drink, be sure to read the labels to find out what you’re actually getting. Better yet, make your own vinegar drink by adding ACV to a smoothie, fruit juice or other herbal preparation.
Buying Apple Cider Vinegar
While you may be put off by the cloudy appearance of ACV that still contains its “mother,” this is by far the healthiest form for consumption. If you’re using ACV for cleaning, then filtered vinegar is fine. But know that clear vinegar is also pasteurized, which kills the healthy living bacteria, enzymes and other nutrients in ACV that are so beneficial.,  So for cooking and consumption, always look for “cloudy” ACV.
A few of the best brands of organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar include: Bragg, Eden, Viva, and Vermont Village. Again, always look for “cloudy” vinegar that is organic and contains the “mother.”
If you’re the independent, adventurous type, then you may want to try your hand at making your own apple cider vinegar.
How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar
Actually, you’ll be amazed at how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own ACV. This recipe comes from The Settlement Cook Book, printed in 1943. Your home environment and other factors are too many to predict how long this process will take, so be patient and follow the directions.
- Using overripe, but not spoiled apples, wash them thoroughly and place peelings and cores in a wide-mouthed jar or stone crock. (Use the rest of the apples for making a pie, some other delicious dessert, or applesauce.)
- Cover apple parts with cold, clean water. Cover jar or crock, but NOT with an airtight lid! Gases must be able to escape during the fermentation process.
- Add more apple peelings and cores from time to time and keep apple parts covered in water.
- A “scum” will form on top that will gradually thicken. This is the “mother.” When this forms, you can perform a taste-test to determine the strength of the vinegar. The longer you let it ferment, the stronger the vinegar. (This may take days or weeks.)
- When your apple cider vinegar tastes sufficiently strong, strain the mixture first through a colander, then through cheese cloth.
- Bottle and seal.
Apple cider vinegar is truly one of God’s gifts to mankind! Its health benefits and uses for cooking and homecare are unrivaled. Check your pantry or purchase some organic ACV and begin enjoying its countless benefits today!