Apples are packed with minerals and vitamins. But did you know that vinegar extracted from these apples offer many more holistic health and beauty benefits? Dr. Manjari Chandra, Consultant for Functional Nutrition & Nutrigenomics at Daivam Wellness, explains the secret behind this versatile home drug.
The five main health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
The benefits of vinegar made out of fermented apple juice, commonly known as Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), are manifold, and the latest medical research confirms what our grandmothers already instinctively knew.
ACV contains vitamins B1, B2, and B6, biotin, folic acid, and vitamin C. By drinking it, for instance, diluted in lukewarm water, ACV supplies the body with relevant minerals, sodium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Certain Apple Cider Vinegars can also contain significant quantities of acetic acid and citric acid, which reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, checks hormonal imbalances, and protects the body from free radical damage.
Thus, the best Apple Cider Vinegar is organic, unfiltered and raw (unpasteurized). Abundantly available in health stores and supermarkets, commercially available vinegar loses some of its potency in processing and pasteurization. Fortunately, it is rather easy and very inexpensive to make ACV at home. All it takes is enough time to allow the apples to naturally ferment. Leaving the cut or crushed apples in water for six months allows them to ferment properly, followed by one more round of filtering. And there you go, that’s all it takes to make your own homemade batch of ACV!
Why you should include ACV in your daily life:
- ACV helps to combat diabetes: Recent medical studies prove that Apple Cider Vinegar helps to lower glucose levels, making it a beneficial treatment for people with type 2 diabetes. Vinegar is said to be anti-glycemic, and its acetic acid can lower blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates. Especially for people suffering from type 2 diabetes, taking two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar before bed can lower blood sugar levels significantly.
- ACV improves heart health: Apple Cider Vinegar can lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and decrease triglyceride and VLDL-levels (the ‘damaging form’ of cholesterol).
- ACV supports weight loss: Apple Cider Vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and is therefore instrumental in weight loss. ACV can increase the feeling of satisfaction from eating, thus helping you eat fewer calories. When used along with regular exercise, can lead to weight loss.
- ACV boosts energy levels: Apple Cider Vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that banish fatigue. In addition, its amino acids help to prevent the buildup of lactic acid in the body, further preventing tiredness.
- ACV speeds up digestion: Regular intake of Apple Cider Vinegar is particularly beneficial for people suffering from stomach issues such as reflux, bloating and indigestion. ACV can be used as a salad dressing or consumed by swallowing one teaspoon mixed with water before each meal.
The versatility doesn’t stop here: Apple Cider Vinegar has a variety of other uses.
ACV’s amazing benefits for skin and hair:
Used as a conditioner, Apple Cider Vinegar leaves your hair glossy, shiny, and dandruff-free. Just prepare equal parts of ACV and water, leave it on the hair for 5–15 minutes before rinsing, and you can experience shiny hair. In addition, you can also use ACV as a skin toner (one part vinegar to two parts water), and leave it on overnight to fade age spots and reduce acne.
Keeping your home sparkling clean with ACV:
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best natural cleaning agents due to its antimicrobial properties. One part vinegar into two parts water makes a concoction effective enough to gently clean and disinfect household surfaces. ACV can also be used in preserving foods, as it is one of the best natural agents for removing certain pesticides and bacteria from fresh produce. Simply soak your vegetables or fruits in a bath of 1:10 solution of vinegar and water, and rinse thoroughly. You will notice the difference.