You’ve likely heard of people using apple cider vinegar for all sorts of things from personal ailments to helping with issues around the home. But are they myths or does apple cider vinegar actually help your body?
First, apple cider vinegar comes from the ‘mother,’ or the yeast and bacteria formation you can see, that turns the apples into vinegar. You might think bacteria is bad, but the microbes in apple cider vinegar are the friendly kind, otherwise known as probiotics. Probiotics have been found to be massively beneficial, and certain ones are vital to our body’s functioning.
Here are the ways it might help your body.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Blood Sugar
It sounds crazy, but apple cider vinegar, which isn’t a juice because it’s acidic, could possibly lower your blood sugar level.
Does that mean you have a cure for diabetes in your pantry? Definitely not, but it could help lower your blood sugar after a meal that may have pushed you over the edge, or if your blood sugar begins to creep up.
Its effects were proven in a study published in the Journal of the American Association of Diabetes. The study followed people that ate a carb-heavy meal and then consumed apple cider vinegar afterward. The researchers tested their blood sugar levels 30 and 60 minutes after consumption and the levels were lower compared to those who had a placebo.
So, while it’s not a surefire blood sugar control mechanism, apple cider vinegar could play a small role in a more comprehensive blood sugar management program.
May Help Manage Weight
If you’ve tried everything to lose weight and feel like you’re stuck, apple cider vinegar may be what you need.
It’s not a substitute for eating healthy or working out, but instead can supplement your efforts. In a study published in the Journal of Functional Food, they found that participants that consumed 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar after two meals a day and who cut their calories by 250 calories a day lost as much as 8.8 pounds in 2 weeks.
Again, this isn’t a crash diet or a way to eat what you want and then drink apple cider vinegar. It’s just another way to push your weight loss.
May Reduce Dandruff
Apple cider vinegar could help regulate your scalp’s pH level which might lead to less dandruff. A mixture of apple cider vinegar and water sprayed on your scalp could reduce itchiness, irritation, and flakes.
It’s found that the apple cider vinegar changes your scalp’s pH level which reduces the onset of yeast, which is what causes dandruff in many cases.
As a bonus, apple cider vinegar can also take the place of a clarifying shampoo by removing excessive hair product buildup. Even if you don’t have dandruff or product buildup, you might find that apple cider vinegar mixed with water is an invigorating hair rinse that leaves your hair soft and shiny.
Check with your stylist first to make sure apple cider vinegar won’t interact with any color treatments.
Could Decrease Acid Reflux
There are mixed feelings on this one, but many people claim that apple cider vinegar can slow down the effects of acid reflux—even though it’s acidic.
While some people swear by it, others experience the opposite and find that apple cider vinegar intensifies the burning associated with acid reflux.
Before you try it, always talk to your doctor first. If you do, consume about 1 tablespoon after meals and see if it has any effect on your acid reflux. It may help calm down your heartburn and make you feel better after eating a meal.
May Help Your Skin Glow
Some people claim that apple cider vinegar reduces the appearance of acne, but the jury is still out on that one. Where it can help, though, is with dry skin and eczema. The beneficial microbes in apple cider vinegar can help rebalance your body’s pH, which allows your skin to feel nourished and not suffer from so many bouts of eczema.
Because it’s also antibacterial, apple cider vinegar could help prevent infections that intense bouts of eczema may cause. You may use it daily on your face (diluted) as either a face wash or toner, but always patch test and watch how your skin reacts. You’ll also want to experiment with frequency of use so that you don’t take your skin’s pH too far in the other direction.
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits. Like any new treatment, run it past your doctor first to make sure it won’t counteract any medications you currently take or worsen any health conditions you already have.
In the right situation, apple cider vinegar can be antibacterial, cleansing, and help rebalance your body’s pH. It may help fight things like heartburn, high blood sugar, or it may even help you lose weight.
It shouldn’t take the place of any current remedies your doctor has prescribed, though. Think of it as a supplement that may help speed up any cures or help you reach your weight loss or skin goals faster.