The use of apple cider vinegar as a home remedy dates back for centuries. Over time, it has been used as a cooking ingredient, cleansing agent, disinfectant and as an ancient remedy for curing a wide variety of ailments. In recent years, apple cider vinegar has become recognized by many as a powerful health tonic.
Apple cider vinegar is comprised of vitamins, mineral salts and amino acids. The main ingredient, acetic acid, is responsible for vinegar's bitter taste and strong odor. To make vinegar, apples are pulverized and then left to ferment. During fermentation, bacteria and yeast enzymes break down the sugar in the apples to create alcohol. Vinegar is created when the alcohol continues to ferment. There are two basic kinds of apple cider vinegars. There is commercially produced vinegar that is found in the cooking aisle of supermarkets, and there is natural, raw, and sometimes organic, vinegar that is found in health food stores. In terms of health benefits, it is the raw, natural variety that should be utilized.
There are many factors at work in apple cider vinegar that may be responsible for the possible boost in immune system health. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, apple cider vinegar helps provide vital nutrients that the body may be missing. Raw apple cider vinegar contains anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that can work as immune protectors against a wide variety of germs. In addition, apple cider vinegar helps balance pH levels in the body and helps to maintain the body's natural alkaline state. When the body is alkaline, it is better equipped to stave off colds and other viruses that thrive in an acidic body. These viruses cannot develop and grow properly in a body that is alkaline because it is not conducive to the environment these germs need to survive.
The use of apple cider vinegar as a weight loss supplement is nothing new. Weight loss is one of the most common reasons people turn to apple cider vinegar, and for thousands of years, people have relied on its health benefits to help trim their waistlines. It is believed that the acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with foods that are eaten in a way that helps boost iron absorption. When iron is absorbed at a high rate, oxygen is utilized rather quickly, and the result is a higher metabolic rate. A higher metabolic rate leads to increased weight loss as a result of more calories being burned.
Although apple cider vinegar has thousands of supporters who swear by the weight loss benefits, there are no scientific studies that prove these claims to be true. Some research over the years has suggested that apple cider vinegar may have a possible weight loss link, although more studies need to be conducted.
It is the combination of acids and minerals found in apple cider vinegar that are associated with improved digestion. Though the exact reason for this is unknown, one popular theory suggests that the acids and minerals together help prevent bacteria from developing and breeding in the digestive tract. Bacteria in the digestive tract are a common cause for slowed digestion and digestive illnesses. An acidic digestive tract is required for these bacteria to thrive. When the minerals in apple cider vinegar form a bond with the acids, they become neutralized, which balances out the digestive tract to become more alkaline.
Next to weight loss, detoxification is one of the most popular reasons why people turn to raw apple cider vinegar. For hundreds of years, people have relied on apple cider vinegar and its cleansing properties to remove toxins and impurities form the body. It is believed that apple cider vinegar assists with detoxification by aiding circulation and boosting the liver's ability to purge toxins. Once again, it is the acids found in apple cider vinegar that are believed to be responsible for the cleansing effects. The acids help to eliminate impurities by binding to free radicals and other toxins that are stored in the blood, fat cells and organs, and 'pulling them out' of the body. In addition, apple cider vinegar supplies the body with a large amount of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, which is essential to a body that is purging out toxins.
Apple cider vinegar is touted as a natural remedy for a wide variety of skin conditions. From removing warts and freckles to treating acne and soothing the pain of sunburn, its use as a topical treatment is widespread. While supporters insist on apple cider vinegar's ability to improve skin health, there are very few studies that support this popular theory. The few that have been conducted suggest that although apple cider vinegar may help with conditions such as shrinking warts, treating lice and dandruff and eliminating acne, it will not help as quickly or as effectively as traditional medication.
Although apple cider vinegar is not as widely known in health circles for its ability to treat diabetes and lower blood sugar, this is probably the one area with the most research in the medical field. The underlying reason for apple cider vinegar's effect on glucose is not yet understood. However, even conventional doctors cannot deny the results of numerous studies which suggest that there is a definite correlation among the two. It is important to note that individuals suffering from Diabetes should never start an apple cider regimen without a doctor's supervision. The chromium contained in apple cider vinegar can have an effect on insulin levels, and any use of apple cider vinegar should be closely monitored by a health care practitioner.
Natural health enthusiasts claim that apple cider vinegar can have a positive effect on elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Not many studies have been performed on the effects apple cider vinegar may have on high cholesterol. The few that have been performed suggest that the vinegar may help lower cholesterol, but more research needs to be conducted. The same thing goes for apple cider vinegar and blood pressure. If there is in fact a correlation between apple cider vinegar and a decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol, two of the major factors in heart disease then it stands to reason that taking apple cider vinegar daily may help to improve overall heart health.