Apple Cider Vinegar
Can apple cider vinegar improve your health? Many people swear by apple cider vinegar for a whole range of health benefits. While more research is needed to investigate some of these claims, there are a few distinct perks that show scientific promise.
Before we dive into the potential benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV, let’s talk about what this magical elixir actually is. Basically, apple cider vinegar is the product of fermented apple juice. It all comes together with three main components: apples, sugar, and yeast. Yeast eats away the natural sugars in the apples, thereby turning apple juice into cider. Now if you love apple cider, you may stop the process here. However, if you keep the feeding process going, growing bacteria will eventually convert the cider into acetic acid, at which point it becomes vinegar.
ACV may help improve insulin resistance in prediabetic individuals and increase satiety after meals. During trials, test subjects ingested vinegar before a meal. 30 minutes after eating, measurements of blood glucose and insulin sensitivity were taken. Those with type 2 diabetes did not see a huge decrease in blood sugar, however, there was an improvement in insulin sensitivity following the meal. The best results were observed in healthy individuals and those with insulin resistance (high risk for developing type 2 diabetes). Insulin-resistant individuals experienced a 64% reduction in blood sugar and a 34% improvement in insulin sensitivity following their meal when compared to the placebo group. Healthy individuals also experienced significant improvements. Because of these results, some experts predict that acetic acid may one day be used to help prevent and slow the development of type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals.
Satiety following a meal also showed a linear connection to vinegar. Participants in multiple studies reported feeling fuller and more satisfied following a meal with vinegar. Total calories consumed during the day were subsequentially reduced because of this.
Further evidence, collected in trials on rats, suggests that ACV may slow the growth of tumors and improve blood pressure. However, further investigation via human trials will be necessary to determine if it provides these same benefits in people.
A quick search online will produce many easy recipes to help you incorporate ACV into your diet. Take a look at some of the common uses below:
- Salad dressings and marinades with ACV are both delicious and easy to throw together quickly.
- The easiest way to consume ACV is to mix it into water and drink it. You should not consume it straight out of the bottle as the acidity can damage your teeth and oral tissues. Dilute it with water and stir together thoroughly before drinking. Adding citruses, such as lemon juice, to the mix may help improve the flavor.
- For a more ambitious approach, try using ACV to make your own pickled vegetables.
As with anything, if you are wanting to incorporate ACV into your diet for regular medicinal use, make sure that it is a safe option for you. Some medications may be impacted by apple cider vinegar so be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a regimen.
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