Vinegar is one of the few ingredients that can be consumed for both its health benefits and in unique and serviceable ways, such as a home cleaning product.
When it comes to health benefits, apple cider vinegar, in particular, is often on the tongues of many health gurus.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from crushed apples combined with yeast and bacteria for fermentation.
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During a visit to a doctor’s office, you may have been advised to drink ACV daily or weekly for various health reasons.
But is vinegar, specifically ACV, good for you? Find out the health benefits and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
What kinds of vinegar exist?
White distilled, balsamic, rice, wine, apple cider and malt are all different types of vinegar.
Vinegar is generally used to add substance to foods like salad dressing, mayonnaise, marinades and for pickling foods.
ACV is the vinegar widely known for its potential health benefits and is often consumed as a beverage to aid digestion.
What is apple cider vinegar good for?
Several studies point to two main health benefits of ACV; weight loss and lowering blood sugar.
“ACV is a source of prebiotic fiber, which is food for your gut bacteria,” Christina Palmisano, MS, RDN, told Fox News Digital.
Ohio-based Palmisano is a functional and integrative dietitian at Being Functional Nutrition.
“When your gut bacteria are well-fed, they produce beneficial properties that support improved digestion and overall health,” she said.
When it comes to ACV for weight loss, the ingredient can assist in the breakdown of food.
“It is recommended to drink a tablespoon in a glass of water twice a day at the start of a meal to help you break down the food, especially carbohydrates,” Mia Stern, a certified holistic wellness counselor and natural food chef, told Fox News Digital in 2017.
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There have been a handful of short-term studies, according to Healthline, that support the idea that ACV may aid weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness when consumed.
In terms of calories, it is also very low and contains just around three calories per tablespoon. In order to see the potential health benefits of consumption, you only need one tablespoon per day.
In 2018, research was completed by several scientists to further answer whether vinegar had an impact on blood glucose control.
“ACV contains acidic acid, which helps your muscles take up glucose,” Palmisano said. “So drinking 2 tbsp of ACV in 6-8 oz water before a higher carbohydrate meal can decrease your post-meal glucose spike.”
The findings were published online in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. In this study, there was a reduction in mean HbA1c (average blood sugar levels for the last two to three months) observed after eight to 12 weeks of administrating vinegar, but the long-term outcomes were not as significant.
It is generally safe for a person without diabetes to consume small amounts of ACV for possible health benefits. It is important for those with diabetes to consult a doctor before incorporating vinegar into a regular diet.
What is “the mother” in ACV?
“The mother is made up of yeast and bacteria that is formed during the fermentation process required to create ACV,” Palmisano said.
“ACV, consumed with or without the mother, provides various health benefits related to digestion, gut health, and more,” she concluded.
How should I include apple cider vinegar in my diet?
ACV can be worked into your diet by various means. Mix a tablespoon of vinegar with water and hydrate as you normally would.
“I love using it in homemade salad dressings,” said Palmisano.
“A simple recipe for a homemade salad dressing with ACV is ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup ACV, juice from half of a lemon, 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard and 2 tbsp of lemon zest.”
Be careful to avoid too much ACV as it is known to erode enamel if consumed in large amounts. Additionally, mix ACV into a warm cup of tea for added benefits.
Easily include apple cider vinegar in your cooking.
It can be used to produce a glaze for various meats, in a dressing for salads or bowls, or to pickle vegetables like onions, cabbage, corn, carrots or cucumbers.
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