apple cider vinegar benefits
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Apple Cider Vinegar Can Be Used for Just About Anything

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Dec. 18 2020, Updated 1:56 p.m. ET

Apple cider vinegar is not a new invention by any means. It may be the latest “food trend” these days, but this soured apple juice has been used as a natural remedy for everything from stomach cramps to weight loss to blood poisoning, and for thousands of years. It remains to be seen whether this tangy concoction is super effective at remedying every one of those things, but the many benefits of apple cider vinegar are definitely not to be overlooked. 

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apple cider vinegar benefits
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What is apple cider vinegar?

If we had to distill (get it?) apple cider vinegar down to a high-level definition, we would say that it’s basically just apple juice that’s gone bad. Essentially, it is made by using fermenting the sugar from apples. Other elements are added that help it to ferment further and become alcoholic, then non-alcoholic in turn. Things like bacteria and yeast, which eventually convert it to a sour-tasting, very acidic vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar is used as a flavor in things like salad dressings, barbecue sauces, salad dressings, marinades, and vinaigrettes. As a fermented product, it’s also used to preserve other foods as well. It can be used for cleaning and sore throats. In short, it’s versatile, and it is that versatility that we are looking to explore in full. 

What benefits do I gain by drinking apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has a very intense flavor, so drinking it straight isn’t going to be easy. That said, as long as you can stomach it, drinking 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day can provide you with many health benefits. If you don’t like it straight, mix it with a bit of water or as part of a vinaigrette in your salad. Bragg organic apple cider vinegar is the one that most readers will be familiar with, and it’s one of the most popular choices available. 

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apple cider vinegar benefits
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What health benefits does apple cider vinegar possess?

Apple cider vinegar contains a number of essential vitamins and minerals including magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, amino acids, and antioxidants. According to a 2010 study, antioxidants are proven to help reduce the risk of disease and certain cancers. But apple cider vinegar has even more benefits to your health than simple disease prevention. 

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Apple cider vinegar is good for digestion and is a natural laxative. It can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. It can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Several studies have indicated that apple cider vinegar is effective at helping people lose weight — though this only works if the vinegar is consumed as part of a low-calorie diet, as per ScienceDirect. It’s a miracle elixir, but it ain't magic, people. 

apple cider vinegar benefits
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Can apple cider vinegar help me lose weight?

As we said, apple cider vinegar is packed with vitamins and nutrients, it can curb your appetite, and it can strengthen your circulatory system, but it only aids in weight loss if you are utilizing other methods to reduce your weight at the same time. Combined with diet and exercise, apple cider vinegar can help you burn more fat than normal. 

Early studies using apple cider vinegar did indicate modest weight loss results if used on its own, without any other dietary changes. But the results were much more impressive when combined with a true weight loss program. This is partially due to the fact that apple cider vinegar increases your overall feeling of fullness, thereby helping you stick to your diet more effectively. 

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Does apple cider vinegar benefit those with diabetes?

Apple cider vinegar has been proven effective in diabetes prevention, but once again, it isn’t a magic potion or anything. According to UChicago Medicine, apple cider vinegar can reduce blood sugar levels and lower blood glucose. Nevertheless, true diabetes prevention methods like diet, exercise, and frequent blood sugar monitoring should still be undertaken. And please, contact your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar for your diabetes.

apple cider vinegar benefits
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Can apple cider vinegar lower blood pressure or cholesterol?

According to Medicomp, apple cider vinegar helps in controlling renin, which is the hormone that is responsible for constricting and dilating your blood vessels. Apple cider vinegar helps these blood vessels to relax and may be beneficial to renal health, which is important because the kidneys are what produce the renin in the first place. 

Does apple cider vinegar kill bacteria?

Apple cider vinegar has been used as a powerful antiseptic for thousands of years. It was used for disinfecting wounds and treating fungus in the old days, and it is quite good at killing and inhibiting bacteria, like E. coli. According to Medical News Today, it can even be used to treat staph infections. These antibacterial properties also make it a damn fine preservative and an effective cleaning agent — though white vinegar is better for cleaning countertops because it contains less sugar. 

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apple cider vinegar benefits
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Are there any benefits to skin and hair from apple cider vinegar?

As odd as it may sound, apple cider vinegar can even be used to care for your skin and hair. In skincare, it can be used as a toner, face wash, and even an acne spot treatment. Apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial properties make it very effective in terms of acne care, as its silt (sediment) kills surface bacteria. It helps tighten the skin and protect it from the elements as well, though most scientific studies into why these works have proven inconclusive.

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When diluted with water, apple cider vinegar can be used as a hair wash that might improve scalp health, strengthen hair, enhance shine, condition, and untangle knots. Its effectiveness has a lot to do with apple cider vinegar’s innate acidity and low pH. The acetic acid in it helps to lower the pH of alkaline or frizzy hair and bring it back into balance. Its antimicrobial qualities also kill the bacteria and fungus that can cause scalp issues like dryness and dandruff.

In the end, apple cider vinegar won't work miracles, but it will help enhance your life in ways you never thought possible. Best of all, it’s affordable, non-toxic, often sold plastic-free, and easy to fold into your diet and daily routine. 

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