The Real Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, According to a Registered Dietitian

apple cider vinegar health benefits


Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy. People have used it for centuries in cooking and medicine.

Many people claim it can relieve a wide range of health complaints, but you may wonder what the research says.

Apple cider vinegar has various healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. What’s more, evidence suggests it may offer health benefits, such as aiding weight loss, reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels, and improving the symptoms of diabetes.

However, little research exists, and further studies are needed before it can be recommended as an alternative therapy.

The Best Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

1. It could lower cholesterol.
Due to acetic acid's possible link to reduced cholesterol levels, fruit-based vinegar may help prevent cardiovascular disease, especially clot formation. However, the science isn't substantial enough to make a definitive statement. Researchers don't fully understand role of polyphenols, the antioxidants found in plant-based foods that protect cells from damage. Your best bet is swapping creamy, sugary dressings for apple cider vinegar instead.

2. Using it as a dressing may reduce your risk of chronic disease.
Using apple cider vinegar regularly may improve your health overall, but it's not for the reason you think. When splashed on vegetables, it's the antioxidant compounds in the produce that actually help reduce the risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular illness, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive decline.

With that in mind, it's difficult for scientists to determine the amount of beneficial antioxidants in the vinegar itself, which is made by adding bacterial cultures and yeast to apple juice. Since produce, pulses, nuts, and seeds provide a slew of well-established benefits, you're 100% better off getting your immune-boosting nutrients from nature's best foods.

8 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar


1. Apple cider vinegar may help clear acne
Apple cider vinegar is a natural toner that can act as a natural home remedy for acne. Its antibacterial properties may help keep acne under control. The malic and lactic acids found in apple cider vinegar might help soften and exfoliate skin, reduce red spots, and balance the pH of your skin. Make sure to do a spot test on your skin first as it might cause skin irritation in some people.

Avoid these habits that practically guarantee your acne will scar.

2. Apple cider vinegar may cut down on nighttime leg cramps
Leg cramps can often be a sign that you’re low in potassium. Since one of the many apple cider vinegar benefits is that contains potassium, one home remedy suggests mixing 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon honey to a glass of warm water, then drinking to relieve nighttime leg cramps. Of course, by the time you walk to the kitchen to put the drink together, your cramp is likely to be history—but maybe that’s the point. Keep in mind that large amounts of apple cider vinegar may actually lower potassium levels, so use in moderation.

3. Apple cider vinegar may help prevent indigestion
Sip before eating, especially if you know you’re going to indulge in foods that will make you sorry later. Try this folk remedy: add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before you dine.

You’ll wish you knew these other home remedies for indigestion sooner!

4. Apple cider vinegar may help get rid of dandruff
Apple cider vinegar may also help your scalp. The acidity of apple cider vinegar could alter the pH of your scalp, making it harder dandruff-causing conditions to set in. Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week for best results.

5. Apple cider vinegar may aid in weight loss
Apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight. According to a 2018 report in the Journal of Functional Foods, apple cider vinegar, when part of a restricted calorie diet, “can be considered as an effective strategy” for reducing visceral fat and helping in a few other health issues. Harvard Medical School experts also point to information that suggests a possible link between vinegar and weight loss: they explain that ACV contains acetic acid, which “has been found to reduce absorption of starches and slow digestion, which can lead to a sensation of a full stomach.” But more research has yet to be done to fully determine the link between weight loss and apple cider vinegar.

Consider trying these tiny diet changes that can help you lose weight.

6. Apple cider vinegar might boost energy
Exercise and stress cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. Interestingly, the amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar may act as an antidote. ACV also contains potassium and enzymes that may relieve that tired feeling. So the next time you’re sluggish, try drinking apple cider vinegar. Add a tablespoon or two of it to a glass of a chilled vegetable drink or to a glass of water to boost your energy.

7. Apple cider vinegar could lower cholesterol
More research is needed to definitively link apple cider vinegar and its capability to lower cholesterol in humans. But one 2006 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the acetic acid in the vinegar lowered total cholesterol in rats. A second study in animals suggested that it might also help lower blood pressure. In a report in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, rats with high blood pressure given acetic acid had a drop in blood pressure compared with a control group given no vinegar or acetic acid. However, use caution here and talk to your doctor—large amounts of apple cider vinegar may pose a problem for people taking medications such as digoxin or diuretics, which are used to treat heart failure, hypertension, and other conditions.

8. Apple cider vinegar may help soothe a sore throat
As soon as you feel the prickle of a sore throat, consider trying germ-busting apple cider vinegar to help head off the infection. Vinegar creates an acidic environment that has been used since ancient times to kill germs. Modern research suggests it works best when used in the context of food preparation, and it has had mixed results when used to fight germs in people, according to a 2006 review in Medscape General Medicine. (It’s generally not recommended for treating wounds, they say.) However, given its usage in food and home remedies for more than 2000 years, it’s considered safe to ingest, according to the report. Just mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.

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