apple cider vinegar :What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made by fermenting the juice of apples first with bacteria and yeast till it turns into alcohol and then fermenting it again with acetic acid forming bacteria so that it turns into vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has been used over centuries as a folk remedy and in alternative medicine for its many benefits. With only 3 calories per table spoon, ACV is very low in calories and a weightwatcher’s delight .
Antimicrobial: The highly acidic nature of apple cider vinegar is effective against many different kinds of pathogens and this is why it has been traditionally used to clean and disinfect wounds, treat nail fungus, lice, warts and ear infections. This antimicrobial nature of apple cider vinegar also makes it a great preservative for food and studies have shown that it prevents the growth of microbes like E. coli in food.
Lower blood sugar levels: One of the most common uses of apple cider vinegar is against Type 2 diabetes where blood sugar levels rise due to either insulin resistance or because the body is not producing enough insulin. High blood sugar levels can lead to a number of complications.
Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19–34 percent. Another study showed that apple cider vinegar can reduce your blood sugar levels by 31 percent after eating white bread. Yet another study found that diabetic rats fed on apple cider vinegar for four weeks had significantly reduced blood sugar levels.
If you are plagued by high fasting sugar, you can take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in 250 ml water right before going to bed to reduce your fasting sugar reading in the morning by 4 percent. You can drink this solution before meals to maintain stable blood sugar levels. However, before you start taking apple cider vinegar for blood sugar, please consult your doctor. Do not stop any medications that you are already taking. Also, remember that in a day, you must never take more than two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and that too only after it is diluted in water.
With all its weight loss benefits, however, apple cider vinegar is no miracle worker and you have to eat healthy and exercise for best results.
Works on acid reflux: Anyone who suffers from acid reflux knows how it can affect your quality of life adversely. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux, is a condition when the acid from your stomach travels up into your oesophagus causing heartburn, belching and nausea. Since this condition is sometimes caused by low levels of stomach acid, augmenting it by drinking apple cider vinegar may help your symptoms. Do remember to dilute two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 250 ml water. Never drink apple cider vinegar in the raw.
Improved digestion: Apple cider vinegar is well known for its role in improving gut health by introducing good bacteria into your digestive system. It also improves your ability to digest and absorb nutrients. One of the oldest home remedies for an upset stomach is a drink made with apple cider vinegar and water. The antimicrobial nature of apple cider vinegar makes short work of the bacterial infection. The pectin in apple cider vinegar will help control loose motions and give relief to stomach cramps. Mix two tablespoons in 250 ml water or apple juice. For probiotic benefits, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with fermented foods like kombucha or kefir.
Relief for night-time leg cramps: Painful leg cramps that occur while you sleep could be a result of low potassium levels. Counter this by drinking a solution of apple cider vinegar and water that is high in potassium. Keep a glass of water in which 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey has been mixed, by your bedside, for relief.
Cures bad breath: Fed up with the numerous medicated mouthwashes that you have tried for your halitosis? Try a dilution of apple cider vinegar and water instead to gargle and swill to get rid of bad breath causing microbes.
Antidote to common cold and allergies: are you one of those people who look forward to the changing seasons with utter dread because that is when you are going to be laid low with seasonal allergies that leave you sneezing, wheezing and with runny eyes? Well, this time around try drinking apple cider vinegar with water to up your immunity and improve lymphatic drainage. Apple cider vinegar contains tonnes of good bacteria that strengthen your immunity. Does your throat feel sore? Gargle with a solution of equal parts vinegar and warm water every hour to kill the sore throat causing bacteria with the strong acetic acid.
Drinking a glass of water with apple cider vinegar will give you much relief from a blocked nose as well. The potassium in apple cider vinegar works wonders in thinning mucus, while the acetic acid zaps the germs.
Detox drink: Overdone the partying and need a quick detox? Well, it’s apple cider vinegar to the rescue one again. Drink up the wonder solution of apple cider vinegar and water to balance your pH, encourage lymphatic drainage and enhance circulation.
The beauty benefits of ACV
Apple cider vinegar is not just great for your health it should be an essential part of your beauty arsenal as well for the many beauty benefits that it offers.
Acne fighter: Apple cider vinegar deals with acne on various levels. For starters, apple cider vinegar has components like acetic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid and citric acid, which stop the proliferation and growth of the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that causes acne. Some of these components of apple cider vinegar like lactic acid may help reduce scarring. A Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology study showed acne scars treated with lactic acid over three months led a reduction of pigmentation and scarring. It led to better skin texture as well.
Another reason why apple cider vinegar works is because our skin is naturally acidic and it helps in replenishing the acidic layer that wards off germs, and pollution. It also kills bacteria and removes the grease and dirt.
How to apply: Mix equal parts raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar with water. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply on the affected areas. Leave for 10 minutes and wash off. Repeat this a few times through the day and over a few days for best results.
How to apply: You could try either of these remedies. Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water and apply the solution on the sunburned skin. Or mix a cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup coconut oil and lavender essential oil to your bath water to soothe your skin.
How to apply: Never ever apply apple cider vinegar directly to your face. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with three tablespoon of water. Soak cotton balls in this diluted liquid and apply it to your face. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing off.
Skin toner: Apple cider vinegar is a very good toning lotion for the skin. It tightens your pores, balances the pH of your skin, removes dirt and oil while its astringent properties increase blood flow to your face.
How to apply: Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and dab the solution on your face with cotton balls.
Natural deodorant: Never felt comfortable using those alcohol-based deodorants that wreak havoc on your skin? Well, switch to apple cider vinegar instead. The antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar kill the germs that cause a bad odour in your armpits.
How to apply: All you need to do is dab a little on your armpits and keep felling fresh for a long time.
Helps absorb moisture: Apple cider vinegar has multiple uses for your hair. Firstly, it helps the cuticles of the hair to absorb absorb and retain moisture. It also smoothens the surface of the hair so there are no tangles, reduces frizz and even works on dry ends. Apple cider vinegar also stimulates hair growth so you can use it as a remedy for hair loss.
How to apply: Mix one part of apple cider vinegar with two parts of water and smoothen it on your hair. Do be careful that you don’t rub it into your scalp!
Beats dandruff: This is one of the most useful properties of apple cider vinegar. Seborrhoea (dandruff) is caused by a fungus that resides on the scalp. Apple cider vinegar, with its anti-fungal properties is very effective against this fungus which cannot survive in an acidic environment.
How to apply: Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and store in a glass spray bottle. After shampooing, just spritz on some of this on your hair and leave for 10-15 minutes. Wash off. Repeat this twice a week.
Removes dullness: Shampoo residue and dryness can make hair look dull. Get back the lustre and shine of your hair by using apple cider vinegar after you shampoo or as a hair rinse.
How to apply: Make a solution of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and use it to rinse your hair after you shampoo.
Teeth whitener: Embarrassed by your yellowing teeth? Before you go in for a teeth bleaching procedure at the dentist, try apple cider vinegar that is a cleansing agent and antimicrobial. So it will not only remove marks on your teeth but also kill gum-diseasing causing bacteria.
How to apply: Mix half teaspoon apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and gargle. Brush yor teeth after this.