Apple Cider Vinegar: Benefits + Side Effects (And More)

Apple cider vinegar is a popular and easy way to improve your health naturally.

It has many benefits including weight loss, allergies, heart health and much more.

Also, you should know the side effects of apple cider vinegar that I go over.

For this article, I have done extensive research on apple cider vinegar along with my own experiences.

Here is everything you need to know about apple cider vinegar to enhance your health.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is crushed apples that undergo a long two-step fermentation process:

First, apple cider is exposed to yeast, which ferments the sugars thus creating alcohol.

Second, bacteria are mixed with the alcohol, which turns the alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar.

The fermentation process allows healthy enzymes and probiotics to form.

It has much less calories and sugar compared to other apple products like apple cider or apple juice.

What is the best type of apple cider vinegar?

Organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the best for health.

Consuming organic apple cider vinegar is essential because you do not want any pesticide residue. Organic usually means the apple will be of better quality and better taste, from my experience.

Unfiltered is important because if it is filtered it may destroy healthy bacteria. Without the healthy bacteria, you may not get any health benefits from apple cider vinegar at all.

Look for apple cider vinegar that has “the mother”. This means the apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and will have the healthy bacteria you want.

To double check, if the bottle of apple cider vinegar is murky and has a light brown color at the bottom, it is likely unfiltered, and that’s what you want.

Do not expect any health benefits if it is non-organic and filtered. If the bottle is clear and translucent, you should avoid it.


 

Key point: Make sure you use organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar for health benefits.

How is apple cider vinegar different than white vinegar, or other vinegars?

Regular kinds of vinegar do not contain the health powers that apple cider vinegar has.

Most generic vinegar goes through intensive distilling and processing, which destroys most nutrients in vinegar. Whereas raw apple cider vinegar still contains the healthy bacteria.

What is the best brand of apple cider vinegar?

I have tested a few brands of apple cider vinegar and have read and researched extensively to find out which brand is the best.

The brand that has the best reviews and that I had the best experience is Bragg’s organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
braggs apple cider vinegar

What makes apple cider vinegar healthy?

Apple cider vinegar has unique properties that each play in important role to make apple cider vinegar healthy.

Here the properties of apple cider vinegar:

  • Polyphenols (antioxidants which help protect against cancer and heart disease)
  • Pectin (helps keep normal blood pressure and reduces bad cholesterol)
  • Malic acid (helps the body defend against viruses, germs and fungi)
  • Acetic acid (helps the body maintain a healthy sugar level)
  • Healthy bacteria (probiotic bacteria that eases digestive health)
  • Potassium (essential electrolyte)
  • Calcium (essential nutrient)
  • Vitamins - A, B, C and E (all vital for a healthy body)

Apple cider vinegar for weight loss

Apple cider vinegar can enhance weight loss.

In a study, people consumed two tablespoons per day of apple cider vinegar. Over 12 weeks with no other changes in lifestyle the participants lost an average of 4 pounds.

How does apple cider vinegar help with weight loss?

The pectin from apples may increase satiety. Satiety is the feeling of “fullness” after eating.

One study shows that drinking apple cider vinegar led to a decrease of almost 300 calories over the course of the day.

Another study found that mice who were given apple cider vinegar were less likely to gain body fat.

These mice had more energy, a higher oxygen intake, and burned more fat for energy compared to mice that drank water.

We know that apple cider vinegar helps with digestion. The theory of why it is effective for weight loss is that it enables you to metabolize more nutrients from food and lower blood sugar responses at the same time. Both may contribute to making you feel fuller throughout the day.

Eating less food and absorbing more vital nutrients allows you to eat less and lose weight.

It is not a quick fix to weight issues. Alone, with this one dietary change, you will not see drastic results.

It can help with weight loss, but it does not cause weight loss. If you eat a poor diet and do not exercise, you may gain weight even if you drink apple cider vinegar.


 

Key point: If used in the correct way, apple cider vinegar can help aid weight loss efforts.

Apple cider vinegar for improving skin health

Washing your face and skin with apple cider vinegar can improve your skin health.

The great thing is that it is an all-natural way to benefit your skin.

There are no artificial dyes, fragrances or other chemicals that can dry up your skin which is commonly found in many mainstream skin products.

Benefits of washing your skin with apple cider vinegar:

It can fight acne and remove toxins. The malic acid from the vinegar is antibacterial and antifungal which can help stop pimples from forming.

Apple cider vinegar can help reduce age spots and wrinkles. The acid in it can help remove dead skin. This will help reveal healthy skin that is hiding underneath the dead skin.

It can balance the pH of your skin. A balanced skin pH helps the skin from becoming too dry or oily.

Warning: Do not put pure apple cider vinegar directly on your skin, it can burn. Make sure at least half of the mixture that you put on your skin is water.

Also, just in case you have sensitive skin, test out the mixture on your finger first. Very few people have the sensitivity, but you should make sure you don’t before you use the solution on your body.


 

Key point: An apple cider vinegar skin wash can help with acne, age spots, wrinkles, and correct pH levels, leaving your skin with a youthful appearance.

Apple cider vinegar for blood sugar (diabetes)

Diabetes is the body’s inability to respond to the hormone insulin, which results in the irregular metabolism of carbs and sugar, which can elevate blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Apple cider vinegar might slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the blood and slow the breakdown of starches into sugars.

Here are some scientific studies relating apple cider vinegar to blood sugar:

A study by Diabetes Care, shows that insulin sensitivity can improve with vinegar intake. As much as 34 percent of people that have insulin resistance or diabetes.

In one study, eating white bread and then consuming vinegar led to a decrease in blood sugar levels by 31 percent.

Another study from Arizona State University, people drank apple cider vinegar with each meal. The people with insulin resistance had 34% lower glucose levels after eating.

In an animal study, giving diabetic rats apple cider vinegar for a month led to a decrease in blood sugar levels. 

Actionable tip #1: Try drinking 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water before you eat.

This tactic can help with your digestion of food, most importantly, help your body process sugar and carbohydrates.

Actionable tip #2: Drink 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water before you go to bed. (This is what I do)

Vinegar at bedtime reduces blood glucose in the morning. This indicates that it may promote insulin production.


 

Key point: Apple cider vinegar can be useful if you have diabetes by helping you digest carbs and sugar easier.

Apple cider vinegar for allergies

This is my favorite benefit from drinking apple cider vinegar. I mainly contribute apple cider vinegar for my allergies going away completely.

An allergic reaction happens when your body reacts to an unknown substance known as an allergen. Common allergens are dust and mold.

Allergens cause the release of histamine in the body. This mucus membranes in the body to produce symptoms of allergies.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antihistamine. The healthy bacteria in it can enhance your immune system. Also, it can support lymphatic drainage.

Some allergy symptoms that can be stopped with it include:

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Asthma

(For more tips on allergy relief check out this post!)

Ever since I started drinking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and water at night, I have had no allergies no allergies.

After a couple of days of doing this, I felt as though I could breathe easier. Especially in the morning.

Before drinking it, I would wake up with a lot of congestion. Then throughout the day I would sneeze or feel clogged up. If you suffer from allergies, I urge you to give it a try.

Also, if I wake up with a sore throat or if I feel sick throughout the day I will drink some apple cider vinegar in water. From my experience, almost every time the ill feeling goes away quickly after.


 

Key point: Apple cider vinegar is natural and effective way to fight allergy symptoms.

Apple cider vinegar for acid-reflux

Acid reflux happens when acid backflows from the stomach up into the esophagus which can lead to symptoms like heartburn, burping and nausea.

It is a common problem today with the abundance of processed and unhealthy food. Our digestive systems sometimes can’t handle all the artificial food, specifically fried and high-fat foods which cause acid reflux.

Drinking apple cider vinegar can offer relief from acid reflux symptoms for some people. The acid from the vinegar makes the digestive tract more acidic.

The best way to use apple cider vinegar to stop acid reflux symptoms is to drink it before you eat.

However, the best way to combat acid reflux symptoms is a diet with a lot of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats along with apple cider vinegar.


 

Key point: Drinking apple cider vinegar before meals can help with acid reflux symptoms.

How does apple cider vinegar help with heart health?

Apple cider vinegar can improve your heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

(For more tips to improve your heart health check out this post!)

Apple cider vinegar for blood pressure

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease. When a person’s blood pressure is high, the heart needs to work harder. This makes the heart weaker and less efficient over time.

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is key for helping to improve blood pressure.

In an animal study, rats were given acetic acid. It resulted in lower blood pressure.

In another animal study, it was found that vinegar blocked a specific enzyme that raises blood pressure.


 

Key point: Acetic acid can help lower blood pressure.

Apple cider vinegar for lowering cholesterol

Cholesterol, specifically LDL cholesterol is bad for heart health. It can cause a buildup of plaque, and over time by the process of atherosclerosis, it can cause your arteries to harden and restrict proper blood flow.

When your coronary arteries in the heart have a high amount of atherosclerosis the chance of heart attack or stroke increases. Signs of atherosclerosis ion the heart include high blood pressure and blood clots.

Many studies have shown that drinking apple cider vinegar helps reduce cholesterol levels.

In one study comparing normal and diabetic rats, vinegar lowered cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol which is the healthy form of cholesterol.

In another study with humans with high cholesterol, consuming apple cider vinegar showed a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol after eight weeks.

Another factor that causes atherosclerosis is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is when the body cannot fight free radical damage.

Vinegar can fight free radicals in the body. Due to its abundance of antioxidant enzymes and vitamins.

Actionable tip: Drink 1-2 tablespoons of it in a glass of water per day.


 

Key point: Apple cider vinegar is useful for slowing down useful for fighting the atherosclerotic process which can cause heart and health problems.

Home remedies using apple cider vinegar

Hiccups

The bitterness and acidity in the vinegar may be able to stop those hiccups that seem to never go away.

How to use: Mix a small amount of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it fast.

Dandruff

By balancing the pH level of the skin, apple cider vinegar will help your hair to thrive without dandruff.

How to benefit: Make a mixture of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water. Massage into your scalp and wait an hour. Repeat this about 2 to 3 times a week and your dandruff may go away altogether.

Warts

If you have a wart that won’t go away, apple cider vinegar can come to the rescue.

Apply pure apple cider vinegar directly to the wart and cover it with a bandage while you sleep. After a few days, the wart could eventually fall off.

Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

Digestive problems

Apple cider vinegar delays the time it takes for food to leave the stomach.

With people with gastroparesis (stomach nerves not working right) it can cause heartburn or bloating.

Low potassium levels

In one instance a 28-year-old woman drank 8 ounces of apple cider vinegar daily for six years.

She had low potassium, and she was diagnosed with osteoporosis (brittle bones).

The doctors believed that the extremely high amount of vinegar led to minerals being leached from her bones to fix the acidity in her blood.

Takeaway: Apple cider vinegar can be healthy, but never drink too much of it. It is a good rule to stick to 1-2 tablespoons per day if you are going to use it every day. 

Skin burning

Because apple cider vinegar has strong acidity, it can cause burning when applied to skin if you do not dilute it. 

People have tried to treat moles and skin infections with it and had burning of the skin.

Therefore, if you want to use apple cider vinegar for your skin it is best to:

 1. Dilute the apple cider vinegar with water.

2. Test to make sure you do not have a reaction to it on a small part of your skin.

Erosion of teeth

Many studies have show that the acetic acid in vinegar can damage tooth enamel.

In one case study, a 15-year-old girl had dental decay because she drank 237ml of apple cider vinegar every day without diluting it in water.

Reactions with drugs

Some medications can cause reactions with vinegar including:

Diuretics – can lower potassium too much.

Insulin – may experience low blood sugar or lower potassium too much.

Digoxin - can lower potassium too much.

How to drink apple cider vinegar for the most health benefits

Now:

Once you have apple cider vinegar, you can only unlock the amazing benefits from it if you should drink it the right way.

Let’s face it:

The taste of apple cider vinegar alone is not that great. This leads to people taking “shots” of apple cider vinegar. This is wrong. Over time this can be dangerous for the body.

Drinking pure apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. This acidity can lead to damage to your teeth enamel and possibly your esophagus.

The best way to drink apple cider vinegar:

1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into about 8 ounces of water.

I do this every night before I go to bed.

But not always, sometimes I spice it up a bit.

Different ways to consume apple cider vinegar

Tea – Sometimes I drink it with chamomile tea. I think it has a very nice and smooth taste. 

Salad dressing – Apple cider vinegar and olive oil, combined with basil and pepper can make a wonderful all-natural salad dressing.

Marinade – I have not tried this one yet, but many people say that marinating steak or chicken with apple cider vinegar tastes great.

Conclusion:

This post has covered an abundance of information on apple cider vinegar. 

Including:

  • What it is exactly.
  • The best brand (Bragg's).
  • The benefits 
  • Home remedies
  • The side effects 
  • How to it for the most health benefits.
  • Different ways to consume it.

If you have any questions or if there is something about apple cider vinegar you want to know more about please comment below.

What is your favorite way to use apple cider vinegar for health benefits?

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