Apple Cider Vinegar: Uses, Side Effects and Cures

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar Guide

Apple cider vinegar is not a new miracle substance on the market but has origins that date back hundreds of years. The product is made in a different way than standard vinegar is used since this type of vinegar primarily relies on the use of apple juice, which is fermented in order to achieve the apple cider vinegar. The substance consists of water primary, with some apple cider vinegar solutions containing as much as 94% water content. In addition to water, a small number of calories are in the substance.

ACV contains a very small amount of carbohydrates as well, primarily in the form of sugars. Furthermore, no minerals are lost during the process where the apples are fermented into vinegar. In particular, the following minerals tend to remain present in vinegar after the entire fermentation process has been completed.

100 Grams of Apple Cider Vinegar Contains:

  • 7mg of Calcium
  • 5mg of Magnesium
  • 5mg of Sodium
  • 0.04mg of Zinc
  • 0.20mg of Iron
  • 73mg of Potassium
  • 8mg of Phosphorus

This type of vinegar has multiple uses. People often utilize apple cider vinegar in salads and other types of food. Apart from using apple cider vinegar in food, there have also been many claims about the potential health benefits surrounding this particular type of vinegar since the 1970s.

While apple cider vinegar is thought to retain some nutrients that come from the apples used in the production of the vinegar, many states that the substance holds absolutely no nutritional value, at least in terms of vitamins.

The vinegar is made when apples are crushed and then squeezed in order to produce fresh apple juice. The juice that has been extracted is then combined with yeast and bacteria. This allows a fermentation process to commence, in which the substance will be converted into fermented alcohol – the sugars that are found in the apple juice turn into alcohol.

Once the alcohol has been fermented into the substance through the inclusion of the yeast, as well as bacteria, acetic bacteria that are known to form acid are added to the substance in order to continue the fermentation process. During this final fermentation process, malic acid combines with another type of acid, known as acetic acid. This is what will essentially cause the vinegar to possess a sour taste.

While there still is insufficient scientific data available to support the health claims that have been made about acv, many people have found that the use of this vinegar substance has been able to provide them with effective results with both topical and orally ingestible applications. There is, however, some concern regarding the safety of the vinegar, but when used in moderation instead of excessively, positive results can be achieved without experiencing any significant or potentially harmful side-effects as a result of the content that is found within the vinegar.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Apple cider vinegar became very popular in the 1970s, and people quickly began rushing to their local health shops in order to get their hands on this substance. People use this vinegar for a variety of reasons, ranging from a flavoring agent for foods that they prepare, all the way to applications that focus on taking advantage of the potential health benefits that it might may yield.

There are also different ways to use it, each with particular purposes – such as to pour the vinegar over food, to drink it in a solution, or to apply the substance on the skin to areas affected by certain conditions.

Before considering the uses for apple cider vinegar, it is important to take into account the fact that the evidence behind the use of apple cider vinegar, especially for medicinal purposes, is very limited at the moment. Further research is still needed in order to provide evidence in terms of the various claims that have been made suggesting that vinegar can be used in the treatment of certain conditions.

4 Ways to Cook with Apple Cider Vinegar

Let’s start by considering the uses for apple cider vinegar in cooking. One of the most popular uses for this vinegar in cooking is as a salad dressing. Vinegar is often mixed with other substances, such as herbs, sugar, and olive oil, to prepare a tasty salad dressing. There are other types of recipes that also utilize vinegar, such as:

  • Sauces
  • Fruit chutneys
  • Marinate
  • Salad Dressings

ACV is sometimes also used as a preservative, as well as an agent to help reduce the risk of bacteria growing on foods that will be stored for some time.
In some recipes, acv can also be used as a substitute for other ingredients. Vinegar can be also used in a recipe as a substitute for eggs, as well as for lemons, depending on the specific recipe that is being prepared.

Medicinal Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

People are not only using vinegar as a flavoring agent when they cook but have also been using this vinegar substance for the potential medicinal properties that the substance have been promoted for.

One particularly popular use for apple cider vinegar in terms of medicinal properties would be for weight loss. Thousands of people have tried to drink apple cider vinegar once a day in order to help increase the rate at which they burn off excess fat. There are even some weight loss products on the market that specifically focuses on vinegar as an active ingredient.

People drink vinegar for other reasons as well, such as to assist in the treatment of high blood glucose levels, to reduce blood pressure levels, to calm their stomach, to treat a sore throat, and more.

The scientifically proven potent anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties of apple cider vinegar is also a great way to treat candida as well.

Apart from weight loss, many people would apply vinegar as a topical solution as well. The substance is commonly used to assist in the treatment of acne, as well as general skin infections. As a topical solution, apple cider is sometimes also used to treat shingles, sunburn, dandruff, and bites.

3 Huge Benefits of ACV

Apple cider vinegar has been associated with many benefits, and many claims have been made about this particular substance. While there is truth to many of these benefits, we do have to start here by debunking a myth that some publications have made about this type of vinegar. Surely apples are high in essential nutrients that keep the body healthy – and some people believe that vinegar retains many of these nutrients. Unfortunately, the truth is, apple cider vinegar does not retain the nutrients from apples – in fact, there is little if any at all, vitamins found within this vinegar substance.

The good news is, there are many other compounds that are produced within the liquid while undergoing a fermentation process. Acetic acid, for example, is one of the main compounds that scientific studies look at when they study the potential health benefits that acv possesses, as this acidic compound has been shown to interact in various positive ways within the human body.

Let’s consider some of the most promising benefits that vinegar does entail for the user.

Retains Some Minerals

It is important to note that even though most vitamins are not retained during the fermentation process, the vinegar is known to retain many of the minerals that are naturally found in the apples used in the production of the vinegar.

Minerals that are contained within apple cider vinegar include:

  • Zinc
  • Sodium
  • potassium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

These minerals play important roles in the human body. For example, deficiencies in the mineral potassium are known to cause a person to experience cramps, especially in their legs.

When a daily diet is supplemented with some apple cider vinegar, potassium intake is increased, leading to a reduced occurrence of cramps.

Balances Acidity Levels In The Human Body

Another major benefit that should be considered in terms of using apple cider vinegar for its medicinal properties would be the fact that this vinegar can assist in improving the pH balance of the human body. This is an important benefit since an imbalance in the body’s acidity levels can lead to many adverse effects. With a better pH balance, the body feels healthier, and there is more energy available for a person to use in order to get through their daily lives. Digestion is also greatly improved, and the body does not feel as tired.

Balanced Blood Glucose Levels

Diabetes is a serious disease that causes many people to die prematurely every year. The main factor behind this disease is the fact that blood glucose levels tend to increase to dangerously high levels. This is another area where apple cider vinegar becomes beneficial. This specific type of vinegar contains several compounds that have been shown to assist in improving the regulation and distribution of glucose in the body. This, in turn, helps to keep blood glucose levels lower after a meal has been consumed, and reduces the risk of blood sugar spikes, which can cause a person to suffer complications.

Side Effects and How to Avoid Them

While information regarding the potential health benefits that can be obtained with the use of apple cider vinegar is readily available on the internet, there is less information available regarding the possible side-effects that the substance may cause. While the vinegar is considered to be a relatively safe product to be used as a topical solution, as well as to ingest orally, there are some side-effects that people need to be aware of before they start to make apple cider vinegar part of their daily diet.

In many cases where side-effects develop due to the use of apple cider vinegar, only mild symptoms will be experienced, and improvement will be observed in just a few hours, to a couple of days. When ACV is used chronically over a longer period of time, however, side-effects may become more serious and possibly even lead to injury. Thus raising the importance for the population to understand what the risks are and weigh these risks against the possible benefits.

One of the major concerns regarding the vinegar is the fact that some studies have shown a significant reduction in potassium levels within the body of long-term users. While apple cider vinegar is known to contain high levels of potassium itself, studies have discovered that when people use large amounts of this vinegar over an extended period of time, then they become at risk of experiencing a deficiency in potassium, instead of improvements in their potassium levels.

This also brings us to the possible interactions that may occur while using apple cider vinegar with certain types of pharmaceutical drugs. The main concern here is the fact that certain types of drugs are also known to reduce levels of potassium in the human body – when combined with the frequent and heavy use of apple cider vinegar, potassium levels may drop to dangerously low levels.

Specific types of medication that people should be wary of using with apple cider vinegar include:

  • Synthetic insulin in cases of diabetes
  • Diuretic drugs that contain furosemide, chlorthalidone, chlorothiazide, and hydrochlorothiazide
  • Digoxin drugs

In addition to these side-effects, it should also be noted that apple cider may decrease levels of glucose in the bloodstream. When combined with medication that also reduces blood glucose levels, a person may experience an interaction where their blood glucose levels become too low. Blood sugar levels that are too low may lead to issues developing with a person’s central nervous system.

Complications may include symptoms such as dizziness and weakness, as well as light-headedness. In more severe cases, a person may even lose their consciousness and possibly experience a seizure.

Furthermore, it is often advised that women who are pregnant be cautious about using apple cider vinegar, especially orally. This is primarily due to the fact that there is not enough scientific evidence available to provide an accurate overview regarding the safety of apple cider vinegar in pregnant women. The same applies to women who are breastfeeding. It is not currently known if the compounds found in apple cider vinegar may transfer to the baby and cause them harm.

Cure Sore Throats, Indigestion and Helps Manage Weight

While some people rely on vinegar to add some flavor to salads and sauces they use in food, others have discovered the many medicinal properties that the substance have to offer. This has led to the widespread of information claiming apple cider vinegar to be a “cure-all”, and potentially even better than tea tree oil and some of the other antimicrobial natural agents that have been used in the past.

The great thing about vinegar is that it can be administered orally or applied as a topical solution, and provides a range of potential benefits with both applications.

Let’s consider some of the claims about how vinegar can be used as a way to “cure” certain conditions and ailments that people tend to experience on a day-to-day basis.

Relieves a Sore Throat

A sore throat is often caused by the accumulation of bacteria within the throat, leading to inflammation, pain, and accompanying symptoms. Due to the potent antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar, relieving a sore throat could be as simple as gargling with some apple cider. The majority of germs that are known to cause a sore throat will not be able to survive in the acidic environment that apple cider vinegar creates.

To use apple cider as a remedy for a sore throat, simply mix equal parts (approximately ¼ cup) of apple cider vinegar with warm water. Gargle with the solution on an hourly basis during the entire day until you feel that the symptoms are starting to become relieved.

Reduces The Risk Of Indigestion

Indigestion is a very common problem that people experience, and it can be extremely unpleasant. For many people, indigestion occurs after they have had a big meal – some people even have specific triggers that can make indigestion worse.

Vinegar is known to help reduce the risk of experiencing indigestion after having a meal.

Simply mix about one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, along with some honey, in a glass. Fill the glass up with warm water and have it as a drink approximately half an hour before eating.

Assists With Weight Management

The weight management benefits of apple cider vinegar are well-known, and many people rely on the substance, as well as apple cider vinegar supplements, to reduce their body weight. Vinegar can help to suppress a person’s appetite, leading to lower caloric intake. The substance also helps to speed up metabolism and reduces the body’s ability to retain water. The combination leads to better results in terms of weight loss.

In most cases, people tend to mix about one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Many people would have this drink as soon as they get up in the morning.

Treats Leg Cramps

When leg cramps strike at night, it can make sleeping very difficult and cause a person to become very uncomfortable. In most cases where a person suffers from frequent leg cramps, they would have a deficiency in potassium. Fortunately, apple cider vinegar is high in this nutrient.

It is usually suggested to mix some apple cider vinegar (about two tablespoons) and honey in a glass of water. The water should be at a warm temperature. This mixture should be consumed at night time before going to bed, or when the leg cramps strike.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss

Apple cider vinegar has many uses. People have been using this vinegar to treat diabetes for many decades, and it is often used to assist in the treatment of many gastrointestinal conditions. One of the most popular topics that come to mind when talking about apple cider vinegar in the modern day, however, would definitely be weight loss. Millions of people have tried to use vinegar to help speed up their weight loss results, and many of these people have experienced positive results.

The good news is, there are ways that apple cider vinegar may assist in helping a person lose excess fat in their body faster, but the individual will still need to add effort from their side if they wish to achieve successful results.

There are different ways that vinegar may help a person lose weight – it is not a single mechanism that leads to these results. Let’s consider each of these actions individually in order to better understand the role of apple cider vinegar in weight management.

Reduces Appetite

One of the main reasons why people tend to gain weight quickly is due to an unhealthy appetite. They eat breakfast and just a few hours after, find themselves grabbing for a snack before lunchtime. After lunch, many people find themselves opting for another snack – often the unhealthy kind – as they are waiting for dinner time to arrive. An unhealthy appetite leads to excessive and binge eating, which then leads to weight gain as a complication.

This is one of the most significant benefits that apple cider vinegar has. By drinking a solution that contains vinegar, appetite can be suppressed. With a suppressed appetite, a person would not be inclined to eat as much as they used to. The reduction in their food intake already helps them avoid the rapid gain in weight that they have been experiencing.

Helps To Keep Blood Glucose Levels Stable

Another major benefit of apple cider vinegar is that the substance has been shown to assist in stabilizing blood glucose levels. Sure, this is a benefit that is often associated with people who suffer from a condition like insulin resistance or perhaps type 2 diabetes, but the balanced blood glucose levels also contribute to improvements in weight loss.

There are multiple reasons why unstable blood glucose levels can interfere with weight loss. For example, when blood sugar levels are unstable, it can cause the body to store more fat. Muscle mass may also be used as a source of energy due to unstable blood glucose levels – and this, in turn, causes the body’s metabolism to slow down significantly. The result is a much more difficult time losing excess weight, and gaining more weight becomes something that happens all the time.

Furthermore, when blood sugar levels are not stable, both high and low blood glucose levels may occur at times. In cases where blood glucose levels drop, this may lead to complications such as excessive hunger – causing a person to grab the nearest snack, even if it is something unhealthy like a doughnut.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar a Probiotic?

Many people think that apple cider vinegar is a probiotic but that’s not quite true. According to studies is very beneficial to aiding gut health and assisting probiotics with good digestion. The real useful ingredient is the pectin which helps promote a healthy gut.