The flavor could grow on you
Michelle Lee Photography/ShutterstockA big reason people are hesitant to try apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the taste. But not only can you mask the taste by mixing it into something else, you absolutely should: Drinking the acidic stuff straight could damage your esophagus. Dilute the vinegar in a glass of water and honey to protect your throat and your taste buds.
If the flavor is still too much for you, give it time: Jenny Sugar of PopSugar was reluctant to start downing ACV, thinking “drinking it every day would be a chore.” But as she became more used to the flavor, she “started to look forward to it.” Likewise, Rebecca Lee, RN, a New York City nurse and founder of RemediesForMe.com, discovered that she quickly grew so accustomed to the flavor that she increased her dosage. “To get myself started, I initially diluted a large glass of water with one small teaspoon of apple cider vinegar,” she told RD.com. “As I got used to it, I increased the amount of vinegar to two teaspoons. After a few months, I was up to two tablespoons.”
Your appetite could decrease
Lesya89/ShutterstockOne of the best-known health benefits of ACV is its potential to help you lose weight. “Vinegar could lead to metabolic changes that support weight loss,” says clinical cardiologist Luiza Petre, MD. “Apple cider vinegar helps in weight loss [by] reducing appetite…and maintaining the fullness after meals longer.” Even small amounts of ACV have been proven to increase satiety. Jenny Sugar, during her ACV trial run, experienced these benefits firsthand. “[The] ACV lemon water satiated my appetite more than plain old water, which helped curb my desire to nosh after dinner,” she reports.
You may stop craving sweet things
Annette Shaff/ShutterstockIn addition to helping you feel fuller longer, ACV may curb your sweet tooth, especially if you mix it with honey. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps tamp down your sugar cravings. And the best part? ACV satisfies those cravings even with its very small calorie count. “Apple cider vinegar is a very low caloric food—three calories per tablespoon,” says Lee. Yet it has essential vitamins and minerals, she says, including potassium, magnesium, and some fiber. Sounds like a pretty good deal. And that’s only scratching the surface of the many reasons apple cider vinegar for weight loss works.
Your stomach might feel better
9nong/ShutterstockACV works wonders for your digestive system. The prebiotics contained in ACV are incredibly beneficial to the healthy microorganisms that monitor your digestive system. Drinking it can also help regulate the amount of acid in your stomach, which leads to easier digestion. “My digestion was great all week,” Sugar reported of her ACV trial run. “No bloating or constipation—just a happy tummy.”
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It could reduce your blood sugar
Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock“Apple cider vinegar increases the efficiency of insulin in breaking down sugar, even during a high-carb meal,” says Lee. Amy Leigh Mercree, author of Apple Cider Vinegar Handbook, adds, “A daily dose of ACV can help stabilize and regulate your blood sugar. This also can prevent insulin resistance, a symptom of pre-diabetes.” There is no scientific evidence to support diabetics using ACV to replace insulin or other diabetes medications, but incorporating ACV as part of a preventative diet might help keep pre-diabetics from ever developing the condition. Learn some more apple cider vinegar myths you should know the truth about.
It could boost your heart health
funnyangel/ShutterstockIf you’re looking for a simple way to help lower cholesterol and your risk of heart attack, look no further than that bottle of ACV. “Apple cider vinegar lowers triglycerides,” says Lee. “Triglycerides causes fatty plaque along your arteries. This buildup can lead to a blockage of blood flow.” Likewise, the dietary fiber called pectin, found in both apples and vinegar, helps neutralize bad cholesterol.
You could absorb more of your food’s nutrients
G Allen Penton/ShutterstockAnother secret benefit of ACV is that it can boost the nutrients you absorb from other foods. According to the scientific journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, vinegar can help your intestines better absorb calcium; the same seems to be true for iron. “The helpful prebiotics in apple cider vinegar that feed our good bacteria allow us to absorb the vitamins and minerals from our food more easily,” adds Mercree. “This also helps our body function better and increases our overall health.” Check out the full list of amazing health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Your risk for cancer could decrease
Nattapat.J/ShutterstockAlthough there isn’t much research indicating that ACV can prevent cancer, a study back in 2004 suggested the vinegar could shrink and kill cancerous cells in test tubes. Despite the lack of direct evidence, many scientists do believe ACV has some anti-cancer benefits. “Apple cider vinegar is an alkalizing food that restores the alkaline/acid balance of our body,” says Lee. “This is important because cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment.”
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You could be better protected against harmful bacteria
Alexander Raths/ShutterstockACV has powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, says Lee. “[Apple cider vinegar] prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus in our digestive tract,” says Lee. This is important, she points out, because gut-associated lymphoid tissue represents 70 percent of our immune system. The acetic acid in ACV can help kill pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, as well as harmful microbes and viruses. “Increasing stomach acid means the pH level of the stomach goes down, which helps kill any bad microbes that we may get exposed to through our foods,” explains Laura C. Stix, ND, a naturopathic doctor and clinical hypnotherapist.
ACV’s antibacterial properties can banish acne on your face and even combat foot odor. Check out some more surprising uses for apple cider vinegar that don’t involve drinking it.
Your breath could smell better
WAYHOME studio/ShutterstockAnother nice benefit of ACV’s antibacterial properties? It can help kill bad breath. While it certainly shouldn’t serve as a replacement for your mouthwash, drinking it every day (or using it as a mouth rinse) can help keep your breath fresh. If you do decide to gargle with it, though, make sure to dilute it with water and wait at least a half hour before brushing your teeth, so that the acid won’t wear down the enamel.
Your tooth enamel could weaken
Africa Studio/ShutterstockNo food is perfect, even this most super of superfoods. The acidity of ACV can put some wear and tear on your tooth enamel. “Large amounts of apple cider vinegar may cause dental erosion,” Dr. Petre warns. “The acetic acid in vinegar may weaken dental enamel and lead to loss of minerals and tooth decay.” However, this is no reason to say no to the stuff. Prevent tooth damage by diluting ACV—aim for one part vinegar to ten parts water. For ultimate protection for your teeth, sip the concoction through a straw rather than just drinking it. Learn more about how apple cider vinegar affects your teeth, and what to do about it.