Vinegar doesn’t get enough credit for its versatility.
I mean, just consider these three examples:
Treating wounds and making kale taste good? That’s some range. No wonder it has been a staple of the human existence for millennia, helping people with its culinary, medicinal, and cleansing properties.
With all of that said, though, many people are just now discovering the amazing health benefits of the various types of vinegar. Take apple cider vinegar (ACV), for instance. Sure, it’s been used in salad dressings and marinades, but it’s a lot more than that. It is packed with beneficial bacteria and nutrients that can increase absorption and balance blood sugar.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about what apple cider vinegar is and how it can help with health and weight loss.
Surprisingly enough, apple cider vinegar comes from cherries.
Just kidding. It comes from apples. But a lot has to happen in order for apples to transform from a semi-spherical fruit into ACV.
ACV is the result of a double fermentation process. First, the juice from apples is fermented into hard cider. Then, that hard cider gets fermented into vinegar. While all this is taking place, microorganisms like bacteria and yeast convert carbs and alcohol into acids. This results in the breakdown of nearly all of the sugar in apples, and it also leads to the creation of an important compound called acetic acid.
Acetic acid is a mild acid that can lead to a number of benefits:
Additionally, you may have heard about ACV being made with mother. We’ll talk more about what “mother” is in a second, but you should also know that the mother in ACV is made of acetic acid bacteria.
In its unfiltered and unpasteurized state, apple cider vinegar will contain a murky film that sits at the bottom of the cider bottle. This substance is called the mother, also known as Mycoderma aceti.
Some store-bought ACVs have the mother removed to give it more of a clear appearance since some consumers may be scared by the cloudiness. This is unfortunate because the mother is the healthiest part.
So even though it may look icky at first glance, you want ACV with mother. The mother has a high concentration of powerful antioxidants like gallic acid and is filled with probiotics that can keep your digestive system running smoothly. It also contains enzymes which are essential for breaking down foods into nutrients that your body can make use of.
Apple cider vinegar didn’t become the most popular type of vinegar in the natural health community by accident. Scientific research supports a number of health benefits of ACV related to weight loss, reduced cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and improved symptoms of diabetes.
Apple cider vinegar certainly won’t work any miracles on its own, but it can be a tremendously valuable weight loss aid. Recent studies are starting to show why it’s effective, mostly as a result of its ability to promote satiety and lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
In one study, those who took vinegar with a high-carb meal had a 55% lower blood sugar response one hour after eating. They also ended up consuming 200–275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
Another study found that a daily drink of 1T of vinegar in 500mL of water helped to reduce body fat, weight, and waist size in obese participants over a 12 week period.
The important thing to remember, though, is that you won’t reap the benefits of ACV if the rest of your diet and lifestyle lags behind. But since it can help you feel full and lower blood sugar levels, adding ACV to your diet can make a big difference in helping you reach your weight loss goals.*
If you are on or are considering the keto diet, apple cider vinegar might become your best friend. It can help you improve your results by improving energy levels and boosting clarity.*
Apple Cider Vinegar helps with ketosis in part because it contains malic acid, something that can facilitate ketone production. Consequently, one of the benefits of ACV is that it raises the ketone levels in your blood. This may be because ACV increases the number of mitochondria in your cells by stimulating a particular metabolic pathway called PGC-1 alpha.*
Just about everyone wants to keep their blood sugar levels in the normal range. Obviously, the best way to do this is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but vinegar has proven to be an effective way to manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
One study showed that it improved insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34%. Another one showed it reduced blood sugar by 34% for people who ate 50 grams of white bread. Even just two tablespoons of ACV before bedtime led to participants waking up with a 4% reduction in fasting blood sugar.*
For all of these reasons, vinegar is often recommended to those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or anyone who just wants to keep their blood sugar levels low.*
As we mentioned earlier, apple cider vinegar won’t work miracles on its own. You need to combine it with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
But here’s the thing – if you’re putting in the effort to eat healthy foods, you want your body to absorb the nutrients so it can get everything it possibly can. Fortunately for you, the acetic acid in ACV can assist in the nutrient absorbing process.
Heart disease consistently ranks as the world’s most common cause of premature death. Vinegar consumption has been shown to improve some of the major risk factors of heart disease, such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels.*
One study showed that both normal and diabetic rats fed with ACV had healthier cholesterol levels. Another study looked at hypertensive rats and showed that vinegar and acetic acid decreased their blood pressure.
If human studies are more your thing, then you should take a look at this one from Harvard showing that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease.*
By now, hopefully you’re starting to understand what a powerful, natural remedy apple cider vinegar is. It’s natural, it’s been used for centuries, and it leads to numerous health benefits. Surely there isn’t anything bad we could say about it now, right?
Here’s the thing. It doesn’t exactly taste great. In order to avoid the bitter taste, many people take ACV in super small doses – or they completely avoid it altogether.
Fortunately for you, there’s an easier way to get your ACV. Now, you can get your apple cider vinegar in easy-to-swallow pills. So unless you choose to wash them down with some liquid apple cider vinegar (which we don't recommend), you can get all the health benefits without having to deal with the bad taste.
So, what are the best ACV options? At Zeal Naturals, we make a few different Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements:
Combined, these pills have more than 1,100 five-star reviews on Amazon. If you’re curious about the benefits of apple cider vinegar and are looking for an easy, affordable way to start adding it to your diet, you came to the right place.
*Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
**Certified Organic by SCS Global Services
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