Apple Cider Vinegar: What's with the Hype?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has become more and more popular among health-conscious individuals for a variety of reasons. One justification for why ACV keeps popping up is that it has been proven to have a beneficial impact on your health. Here's a bit on whether the claims about ACV are true, what amount is healthy to consume, ideas for recipes, and other uses.

Benefits of ACV

The range of proposed health benefits associated with apple cider vinegar is vast. It cures hiccups and colds, reduces blood pressure and blood sugar, and can even aid in weight loss. But which of these claims are backed by science? Let's take a look.

First, the Journal of Prosthodontics published a study observing ACV's antifungal effects. This study found apple cider vinegar to show antifungal properties against mouth infections like Candidiasis and denture stomatitis. Further studies have also shown that ACV inhibits enzymes that help break down starch in the body, dulling your body's blood sugar response. his undigested carbohydrate can slow down stomach emptying, increasing how long you'll feel full after eating, which could potentially aid in weight loss. As the undigested starch moves through your digestive tract, it acts as a prebiotic by feeding your gut's healthy bacteria, which is essential to immune and digestive health.

It's important to note, however, that apple cider vinegar is a strong acid that is also linked to dental erosion. With the regular consumption of an acidic substance like ACV, strain can be put on the kidneys, which need to work harder to maintain your body's acid-base balance. This creates concern around regularly using ACV as a mouthwash, teeth whitener, or sore throat alleviant.

Ways to Use It

Taking all of this research into account, here are a few recommendations for using apple cider vinegar at home.

  • Considering ACV's strong acidic properties and minimal impact on health when compared to diet and exercise, use it sparingly in your dishes as a flavoring agent or base for salad dressings. Avoid drinking it as a beverage because large amounts will impact your teeth and kidneys.
  • If you do want to drink ACV as a health cocktail, always dilute it with water or another beverage to reduce the acidic effects on your teeth and throat.
  • Know that all vinegars have the same effects that ACV touts, so don't feel limited to just using ACV.
  • ACV can be used beyond the kitchen. Use it as a natural remedy for dandruff, fleas, weeds, acne, warts, bruises, and odor. You can even use it as an ingredient in a homemade cleaning solution.

While some research shows that ACV has numerous health benefits, it has not been proven to work better than a balanced diet and exercise. Its strong acidic properties can erode teeth and stress the kidneys when consumed frequently. Thus, as with most things, ACV is best utilized in the kitchen in moderation as a flavoring agent in dishes, sauces, and dressings. However, ACV has great potential to be used around the house in numerous natural remedies and household cleaners.

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