Apple cider vinegar is all the go right now in many natural health circles. Even if you’re not an organic food geek, there’s a very big chance that you’ve heard about it. It is essential for a healthy diet.
Known as ACV in short, apple cider vinegar is exactly what its name says. It is a kind of vinegar made from the juice of and crushed up, fermented apples. This pungent “superfood” is a familiar ingredient in salad dressings and stir-fry sauces. ACV has also earned a reputation as a weight loss aid, a digestive remedy, and a preventive measure against several diseases.
Table of Contents
- History of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Advantages of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Disadvantages of Apple Cider Vinegar
History of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been long used as a traditional home remedy for many ailments. It is even claimed that Hippocrates, the “Father of Modern Medicine” used ACV to clean wounds and relieve coughs.
Widespread medicinal use of apple cider vinegar took off in 1958 when D.C. Jarvis, M.D published his book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health. He explained that mixing the apple cider vinegar with honey improved the healing power of the vinegar. Besides, he also wrote that apple cider vinegar could destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract when consumed as a digestive tonic.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has various healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. What’s more, there’s some evidence suggesting that it may aid in digestion, weight loss, cancer, and diabetes. However, further studies are needed and apple cider vinegar is by no means a cure-all for every ailment known to mankind. So, it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons of apple cider vinegar before using it.
Advantages of Apple Cider Vinegar
Is apple cider vinegar the superfood many believe it to be? Let’s take a look at some of its advantages to be sure.
1. Antibacterial properties
The acidic nature of vinegar kills harmful bacteria. So it has been used for thousands of years for cleaning and disinfecting wounds. Besides, it can also be sprayed on to surfaces for disinfection and fresh smell.
Some studies show that ACV could help lower glucose levels. A 2007 study shows that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6% on people with type 2 diabetes.
3. Heart Health
Heart disease is one of the major causes of death today and research suggest that ACV could improve many risk factors. These studies show that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But these studies were only proven in animals and there isn’t strong evidence that ACV benefits human hearts.
4. Weight loss
Apple cider vinegar may contribute to weight loss by promoting satiety. A study from Arizona State University found apple cider vinegar created a steadier glucose response and increased satisfaction after eating. Furthermore, ACV potentially lowers blood sugar and reduces insulin levels, which also leads to weight loss.
5. Skin and dandruff
ACV is commonly used as a remedy for skin conditions like dry skin and eczema. Our skin is naturally slightly acidic and using apple cider vinegar could help rebalance the natural pH of the skin. There is an idea that it can kill bacteria and prevent spots. Besides, some people also tout ACV as having a positive response against dandruff problems.
Disadvantages of Apple Cider Vinegar
Overall, apple cider vinegar can be regarded as a safe addition to our diet. However, as with any other food supplements, there are some negative drawbacks to using it. Let’s tale a look at it.
1. Highly Acidic
Since the main ingredient of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, it is highly acidic. It should always be diluted with water or juice before being swallowed. Otherwise, it could cause dozens of problems.
2. Tooth Enamel and Bone Density
The high level of acid in ACV can damage your teeth. Your tooth enamel can get torn away through prolonged exposure to acids. Pure ACV could even damage the tissues in your throat and mouth. Additionally, long-term use of apple cider vinegar could cause low potassium levels and lower bone density.
ACV could risk you at getting conditions like gastroparesis which interferes with the rate at which a stomach releases food into the small intestine. This can eventually lead to bloating, heartburn, and nausea.
4. Not Instant
Although apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for some ailments, it sure isn’t the quickest. You need patience as it takes time to work.
Consuming apple cider vinegar has become a popular health trend and there have been many claims regarding apple cider vinegar as an exceptional health food. Although very little research has been done to back up these claims, some studies suggest it may offer amazing benefits.
However, to be on the safe side, it is vital never to take apple cider vinegar before diluting it. Anyone who experiences severe side effects after using apple cider vinegar should immediately seek medical care because it isn’t quite the pixie dust the internet wants us to believe.