In a world of instant gratification and miracle remedies, many of us are forever on the hunt for the next big thing to cure our health woes. But there is one elixir that has been around for centuries that even the Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, hailed it as a cure-all way back in 400 B.C. That elixir is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).
There’s a lot of hype surrounding ACV, so what exactly can it be used for? Read on to find out…
Now don’t get too excited, you can’t sip on some ACV while binging on pizza and expect to lose weight – though that would be awesome. No, you still need to a healthy diet and exercise to shift those pesky kilos. But some suggest that ACV may help to increase your satiety levels, leading to fewer kilojoules being consumed throughout the day.
Balances Blood Sugar
When added to meals, ACV can improve insulin sensitivity and help lower blood sugar levels by reducing the digestion and absorption of starch, making it a beneficial treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. However, ACV can interact with some diabetes medication, so be sure to check with your doctor before giving it a go.
Keeps You Regular
Anecdotally, ACV has been known to help aid those suffering from constipation. It is claimed that pectin, a water-soluble fibre in ACV, acts as a natural laxative which helps to improve overall digestion. But with little scientific evidence, the jury is still out on this one.
When consumed before meals, ACV fires up the acid content in the stomach. A higher acid content helps the digestive system get ready to break down food more effectively, meaning you absorb more vital nutrients. ACV is also full of malic acid which is effective in improving gut health and minimising bloating, indigestion and reflux.
Helps Your Heart
While human studies are limited, animal studies suggest that ACV shows potential in preventing cardiovascular disease and maintaining overall heart health. ACV can reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides and very low-density lipoproteins (the dangerous cholesterol), all of which can contribute to heart attack risk!
Allergy sufferers rejoice! According to many old wives’ tales the microbial properties of the acetic acid in ACV may help kill off bacteria to alleviate sinus infections, colds and boost the immune system. You can even use it as a gargle to help soothe a sore throat. So, stock up during winter and spring, lovelies.
Kill Off Candida
Candida, an overgrowth of intestinal yeast (ew!), is no match to ACV. When taken with water prior to meals, ACV creates an unfriendly environment for the yeast, causing a die off reaction and assisting in creating a healthy environment for good gut bacteria.
Detox Your Home
Thanks to its potent antimicrobial properties, ACV is an excellent alternative to harmful household cleaning products. Mix equal parts vinegar to water and use as a surface cleaner, fight mildew and even unclog drains. It’s a safer alternative for you and the planet too!
Tone Your Skin
Forget about expensive toners, thanks to the acetic acid content in ACV it can be used to help clear up acne and fade age spots. Mix one-part vinegar to two parts water and apply to a freshly cleansed face using a cotton pad, avoiding the eye area.
Make Your Hair Shine
Many fans of ACV swear that it has serious hair-care benefits. It is said to help remove product build up and keep hair glossy, shiny and dandruff free. Mix one-part vinegar to two parts water. Apply to hair after shampooing and conditioning. Leave in for a couple of minutes before rinsing.
While apple cider vinegar is not likely to cure all your health woes, there is no harm in incorporating it into your lifestyle as a part of a well-balanced diet. Just make sure to dilute it before consuming it and look for organic brands that contain the “mother”.