Unless you haven’t been on the internet in the past decade or so, you’ve probably heard celebrities, nutritionists, and health gurus of all kinds talking about the hype of the great health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV for short. The natural remedy has become quite trendy as of late, but this golden, sour liquid has a much deeper history.
Looking at ancient Egyptian urns, it looks like it’s been in use since at least 3000 BC! Romans and Greeks used it not only for food like salad dressing, but for bad breath, sore throats, or even cleaning wounds on the battlefields. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it to treat many of his patients for a variety of ailments.
Today, we have a much more scientific approach to our health supplements, so we don’t have to rely on folk wisdom alone. We know all about the amazing benefits a variety of fermented foods have for our gut flora. We’ve discovered the great effect acetic acid has on our bodies too. If you’re looking to boost your body weight loss, make your hair and skin shine, or just stay healthy through winter, you’ve come looking at the right addition to your daily routine!
Through history, anecdotal evidence, and scientific studies, we’re able to see all the amazing health benefits we can gain from taking Apple Cider Vinegar on a daily basis. In this guide, we’ll briefly go into how ACV is made and then take you through the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar in detail to show you why the team here at Juci loves the stuff so much!
So let’s jump into how people started making this great product and where ACV comes from.
<h3>How is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?</h3>
As you can probably already guess, the process starts with apples. The cultivation of apples has been a part of human agriculture since around 1300 BC in the Nile River Valley. Before this, we relied on gathering small, tart wild apples. Over time, through expanding our knowledge of selective breeding, humans were able to start growing large juicy apples, like the ones we know today. The juicier the apple, the more vinegar you can produce from each one.
So you take these super juicy apples (Gala, Fuji, or Granny Smith are some of the favorites), squeeze them, and let them ferment. After a couple of weeks in the barrels, this apple juice turns into apple cider because bacteria break down the sugars in the juice and turn them to ethanol alcohol. It’s totally ok to stop here and have a party, but we’re continuing on with the process to get some good old’ ACV out of it!
To turn the cider into vinegar, you ferment it once more to turn that alcohol in acetic acid. It seems the discovery of vinegar was probably just someone trying to make alcohol, but messing it up a bit! The acetic acid in Apple Cider Vinegar is responsible for a lot of the benefits it can offer.
It’s also important to note the bacteria that turn the alcohol into acetic acid, the acetic bacteria, is also called the Mother. It stays in the Apple Cider Vinegar, looks like floating cloudy bits, and is super healthy. We’ll go into all these benefits in more detail later on.
Now that you have a general idea of how Apple Cider Vinegar was made historically (the process hasn’t changed much over the years), we can get into what makes it so healthy.
<h3>What are all the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?</h3>
We’re not going to claim this is an absolutely comprehensive guide of all the potential benefits of taking Apple Cider Vinegar on a daily basis, but these are the big-ticket ones. These have been known over the centuries in folk remedies, backed up by scientific studies or just verified by lots of anecdotal evidence.
Soothes a Sore Throat
Ancient Greeks and Romans were known to gargle Apple Cider Vinegar as a remedy against a sore throat. We now know why this is effective scientifically. Bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment, so diluting a teaspoon of ACV in some warm water and gargling for 30 seconds a few times per day can help kill off the germs making you sick. Do be careful not to take it straight, however, since straight Apple Cider Vinegar can be an irritant and make your throat feel worse.
Aids in Weight Loss
As we all know by now, there’s no magic pill or ancient sour drink that’s going to suddenly make you lose weight. However, a spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar right before meals has been shown to assist with weight loss. The way it works is the ACV helps slow the emptying of your stomach. The longer the food sits in your stomach, the longer you feel full, and the fewer calories you end up consuming over the course of the day. Basically, it makes your body less efficient (which is good in this case) at processing your food and helps you lose weight indirectly.
Don’t stop with healthy eating and exercise, of course! This is just a small piece of your healthy lifestyle that will help you meet your weight loss goals.
Makes for Radiant Skin
Celebrities across social media have been touting the benefits of ACV to the skincare regimen. Many people use it as a toner in the cleansing step of their routine, while dermatologists recommend it for use of acne and other skin conditions. It speeds up the drying out the process for pimples, so grab the good stuff from the pantry next time you get a breakout!
It’s also a great home remedy for bug bites, especially mosquitos. Have some spray ready in the summer to stop those annoying itches!
Regulated Blood Sugar
As we mentioned previously with regard to weight loss, Apple Cider Vinegar helps your stomach empty slower than usual. This means it’s also really helpful when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels and keeping spikes to a minimum. We’ve heard about foods with a high glycemic index (think your really carb-heavy foods like burritos or lasagna) causing our glucose levels to suddenly go up right after we eat them. This is definitely not great for people with Type 2 diabetes, but it’s also not good for anyone.
Being super hungry and then sitting down to a huge meal with potatoes, fried chicken, and ice cream for dessert sounds delicious, but frequently going from an empty stomach to super stuffed on carbs is really bad. A shot of Apple Cider Vinegar before your meal can help level the curves inside your body as you digest slower. Your body has more time to react and release the appropriate insulin levels to break down the sugars and keep everything more stable.
Prepare the aperitif Apple Cider Vinegar for the family this Thanksgiving!
Remember the acetic acid we learned comes about after the alcoholic apple cider is fermented? Well, it’s been shown that acetic acid reduces the level of LDL (bad cholesterol) and can increase the HDL (good cholesterol) found in our bodies. These proper levels decrease your risk for heart disease and optimize your heart health.
There have also been some studies on animals given Apple Cider Vinegar, which showed promising results with regard to managing triglyceride levels. Definitely something to keep an eye on as more human studies are conducted.
Healthy Tummies, Healthy Bodies
In recent years, the link between our intestinal health and immune response has been established. Maintaining a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in our digestive system has a direct impact on our well-being. Apple Cider Vinegar, along with other fermented foods like kimchi or yogurt, has amazing probiotic properties. Remember the Mother, the bacteria that ferment the ACV? Well, that’s exactly what packs the probiotic punch when it comes to Apple Cider Vinegar.
The Mother ensures your gut flora has a healthy balance of essential proteins and amino acids to keep everything running smoothly. Further, the acidity in the ACV aids with digestion by causing the body to produce more pepsin, an enzyme that helps break down proteins. So next time you’re headed to a meat-heavy barbecue, remember Apple Cider Vinegar might be just the thing you need!
No More Flakes
The acidity of Apple Cider Vinegar has antifungal properties and can stimulate the shedding of dead skin on your scalp. What does this mean? No more dandruff! Dilute a bit of ACV next time you’re taking a shower and rinse your hair with it. Make sure to let it sit on the roots of your hair a bit to really get into the scalp.
It’s not the nicest smelling product, so try it before you shampoo so you get the smell out when you rinse!
Bye Bye BO and Bad Breath
These benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar have been a biggie since ancient times, although nowadays we might have some better options. Applying ACV as a deodorant makes sense if the bad odor is coming from underlying conditions, especially issues dealing with fungus. Not the best thing to think about, but if it’s a hot, sweaty summer these things do happen.
ACV is also a great natural alternative to antiperspirants and forms an acidic barrier on your skin that fights off bacteria. Similarly, if you gargle Apple Cider Vinegar, it’s going to kill the smelly bacteria in your mouth. If you’ve got a hot date planned, swish a bit around your mouth before you pop a piece of gum.
Pep in Your Step
One of the most popular anecdotal benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar consumption we’ve come across is the energy boost you feel when you start taking it. Go on any ACV forum and you’ll hear how people are recovering quickly from strenuous workouts and avoiding their afternoon slumps by taking it around lunchtime.
The reason Apple Cider Vinegar helps you recover from exercise is that it helps combat lactic acid build-up in the body. Lactic acid is what accumulates around your muscle tissue and makes you feel that post-workout burn. Lessening this makes recovery much easier on the body, especially if you’re just starting a new workout regimen.
Stay Regular—the Other Kind of Regular
Women with hormonal condition polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have issues with regular menstruation, among other hormonal symptoms. Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to help women suffering from PCOS in regulating their periods and normalizing their hormone levels with daily use. We don’t know yet what all our hormones have an effect on, but if you are someone who has this condition, one to two teaspoons a day of ACV could help relieve some of the symptoms.
Clear the Runny Nose
Apple Cider Vinegar helps fight mucus that builds up in your sinuses. The potassium levels in ACV can thin out the mucus and the acetic acid is antibacterial, so it will help you fight off the bug that’s causing you to feel sick. This flu season, Apple Cider Vinegar might just do the trick and help you as soon as you start feeling a bit unwell.
Of course, there are sure to be more beneficial properties to Apple Cider Vinegar that we’ve yet to confirm, but this is a pretty comprehensive list of the main positive effects documented over the centuries. It’s fascinating to see that something used by the ancient Greek Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, is now featured on the Dr. Oz Show. Goes to show how some things are truly timeless remedies when they work!
Now go out and get yourself some organic Apple Cider Vinegar. And make sure it comes with the Mother, to get the most goodness out of your ACV! If you aren’t a huge fan of the sour taste, Apple Cider Vinegar now comes in gummy form too, like those made by Juci. These have all the same great benefits as the liquid variety (except for the topical ones, of course), but with a much more pleasant taste.
Whichever option you decide to go with, know that you’re doing wonders for your immunity, intestinal health, and blood sugar levels, among other things!