Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a home remedy for a wide range of ailments. Some alternative health practitioners recommend drinking a tablespoon a day mixed with water and honey as a general tonic. While ACV isn’t a miracle cure, many of its health benefits are backed by scientific research. Here are ten reasons it makes sense to include apple cider vinegar in your daily diet.
1. It’s rich in antioxidants
Anti-oxidants work to neutralize free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that can damage cells and cause cancers to develop. Apple cider vinegar contains catechin, the same antioxidant that gives green tea its healthy reputation. It also a source of several other antioxidant phenolic compounds including gallic acid, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and p-coumaric acid.
2. It could help you lose weight
Japanese researchers investigated the effects of vinegar intake on the reduction of body fat in obese subjects. Over the course of the twelve week study, those who drank a beverage containing one tablespoon of vinegar lost an average of 2.6 pounds. Those who consumed two tablespoons of vinegar daily lost 3.7 pounds. The average body weight, BMI and waist measurement of both vinegar intake groups were significantly lower than in a group who drank a placebo beverage.
3. It could help to lower your blood pressure
Studies have shown that dietary vinegar lowers blood pressure in rats with genetic hypertension. The acetic acid in vinegar reduces the activity of an enzyme called renin which plays a major role in the body’s regulation of blood pressure. Similar research has yet to be done on humans, but if you are worried about your blood pressure, you might want to try a daily dose of vinegar.
4. It increases insulin sensitivity
A tablespoon of vinegar taken before meals will help to keep your blood sugar stable.
Insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Numerous human and animal studies show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals. It is thought to have physiological effects similar to the anti-diabetic drugs acarbose and metformin.
5. It could help prevent colon cancer
A daily apple cider vinegar drink might help to protect against cancer of the colon. In one study, scientists injected rats with azoxymethane, a toxic compound known to induce colon cancer. Some of the rats were then given vinegar in their drinking water. After 35 weeks, the rats in the vinegar group had significantly fewer and smaller tumors than those who drank plain water.
6. It could help prevent heart disease and stroke
When LDL cholesterol becomes oxidized, it travels to the inner lining of arteries and promotes the growth of plaques that restrict blood flow. This hardening of the arteries increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. Apple cider vinegar contains chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. Both of these antioxidants have been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized.
7. It could help prevent dementia
Acetic acid bacteria found in apple cider vinegar contain alkali-stablelipids (ASL) which are a precursor of sphingolipids, an important component of brain tissue. In one study rats with dementia symptoms demonstrated poor spatial orientation in a water maze test. After being administered with ASL for 14 days, they showed a significant improvement in learning ability.
8. It could help prevent esophageal cancer
Linzhou City, China has one of the highest incidences of esophageal cancer in the world. A study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors in this area. Researchers interviewed 211 people diagnosed with cancer and 633 healthy controls.
They found that vinegar consumption had a protective effect and was significantly associated with a decreased risk for esophageal cancer.
9. It could lower cholesterol
Taking apple cider vinegar with meals could help lower your cholesterol. In a Japanese study, one group of rats was fed a high cholesterol diet and another group was fed the same diet with added acetic acid, the main component of vinegar. After 19 days, rats in the acetic acid group had significantly lower values for total serum cholesterol and triglycerides.
10. It could reduce pain and inflammation from exercise
Acetic acid bacteria in apple cider vinegar contain anti-inflammatory membrane lipids. In one study 40 men and women were divided into two groups. One group took acetic acid bacteria supplements for one week and the other took a placebo. The participants were then asked to walk for 60 minutes at a pace that raised their heart rate to 120-130 beats per minute. The group that supplemented with acetic acid bacteria had significantly less ankle pain and fewer markers of inflammation in their blood.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8068036 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9045842 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12875624/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16611381