Apple Cider Vinegar: a Remedy That Goes Back To Ancient Greece
“Let food be thy medicine and let medicine by thy food.” —Hippocrates
Fun fact: Hippocrates himself used to treat digestive discomfort and wounds with vinegar. Two-and-a-half millenia later, and celebrities and health bloggers are adapting the ancient practice into their morning routines. Move over coffee; the new go-to morning tonic is a shot of apple cider vinegar diluted with water. One need only to search on YouTube to see what a viral sensation this ancient remedy has become in the modern era.
We hear a lot of claims about what this combination can do for you, but here’s what scientific research confirms about this morning tonic.
4 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
1. It’s Antimicrobial
Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, one of the most potent natural antimicrobial compounds that’s not dangerous to human health. Antimicrobial compounds kill off pathogenic bacteria, so drinking one tablespoon of ACV in the morning diluted in water can help support the health of your gut microbiome. You can also use diluted ACV to wash your produce.
2. It Helps Protect Your Skin
Apple cider vinegar contains higher levels of polyphenols, compounds that help clear out harmful cells in the body. Specifically, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid are found in higher levels in apple cider vinegar. Consuming a tablespoon of diluted ACV in the morning will help with hydration. It’ll also help clear out harmful cells that can damage your skin.
3. It Improves Lipid Profiles
A small study found that drinking apple cider vinegar improved cholesterol, HDL, and LDL cholesterol levels over eight weeks. A healthy diet with the addition of ACV may help.
4. It Decreases Glycemic Index For Healthy Weight
When ACV is added to food, it may decrease its glycemic index. In other words, it’ll help slow down the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the body. This can increase the feeling of being full, helping people to eat less. Because the morning is when you set your blood-sugar control for the entire day, drinking diluted ACV first thing sets you up for a more metabolically balanced day. You can also try adding two tablespoons of ACV to rice or quinoa dishes to give it a tangy flavor and decrease its glycemic index.
A Few Caveats on Apple Cider VinegarFirst, not all apple cider vinegars are created equal. Look for an organic and raw vinegar that contains the mother. (It should look cloudy, not clear.) Pasteurized or otherwise processed varieties kill off the good bacteria in the process, rendering less benefits to your body. Bragg is a trusted brand HUM recommends. Next, one study found that apple cider vinegar can lead to enamel erosion over time. To keep your pearly whites strong, you might consider sipping this cure-all morning tonic through a straw.
Finally, if you suffer from acid reflux, ACV may exacerbate symptoms. However, some people with acid reflux report a benefit from it. At the end of the day, people are different and it’s important to find what works best for you.