Apple cider vinegar has been a part of human civilization for centuries due to its medicinal and therapeutic properties. Currently it’s the rage of the internet generation – touting its benefits from beauty care to health care to home care. But not all claims are true. Here we bring the scientific and validated benefits of apple cider vinegar with ‘the mother’. Read on.
The “mother” in apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made through the process of fermentation of apple juice. The product of the first fermentation is called hard apple cider. The output left after second fermentation is the apple cider vinegar, which we bring home from stores. When the fermentation process for making apple cider vinegar is slow, it causes yeast and bacterial buildup. It’s this buildup that is referred to as the “mother” of apple cider vinegar. The mother is rich in enzymes and proteins, considered beneficial to human body. The cloudy appearance in ACV is attributed to the presence of the mother.
Probable health benefits of apple cider vinegar
Aids in weight loss
Consuming a small amount of apple cider vinegar (ACV) before meals can lead to weight loss. ACV promotes satiety and fullness, causing people to eat fewer calories and leading to reduced belly fat and weight loss. Research on a group of Japanese adults suggest that people who drank a small dose of ACV regularly for 3 months lost more weight, had reduced waist circumference and their visceral fat was lower than the placebo group. Belly fat or visceral fat is linked to metabolic syndrome that affects heart health.
Improves gut health
Apple cider vinegar promotes growth of gut microbes that aids the digestive process, improves immune health and also promotes mental health. ACB is produced by fermenting apples which contains probiotics, well known for providing various health benefits. The cloudy “mother” strands found in ACV is the beneficial probiotic that draws people to this acidic liquid. Additionally, ACV contains antiviral, antifungal and anti-yeast properties, making it pro digestion and healthy.
Reduces blood sugar level
Apple cider vinegar can reduce blood sugar levels caused due to carb-heavy meals. Even a few spoons of ACV supplementing a heavy meal is good enough to influence the glycemic response of the body. It’s especially beneficial to Type 2 diabetics suffering from high blood glucose levels. Studies reveal that people with insulin resistance also benefit from small doses of ACV.
Eliminates germs from fresh produce
Wash off germs and pesticides from fresh fruits and vegetables using apple cider vinegar. Studies have suggested that ACV can eliminate over 99% Salmonella bacteria from salad vegetables. Some people mix lemon juice to ACV, boosting the potency of the anti-bacterial solution.
Improves hair health
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature, and so is the scalp and hair of humans. Normal shampoos are alkaline, disrupting the pH balance of hair and scalp – making hair brittle and dry. Additionally, water’s pH is neutral and can alter the pH balance of hair. Using ACV as a post-shampoo rinse can help to maintain the pH balance of hair, making your strands shiny and healthy. Besides, the anti-fungal property of ACV helps to treat dandruff, caused by oil buildup or due to Malassezia.
Improves oral health
Antibacterial property of apple cider vinegar has been used to eliminate bad breath. Rinse your mouth with a solution containing ACV mixed in water to kill odour-causing bacteria. Do it twice daily for better result. Apple cider vinegar can be used to get whiter teeth, as it helps in removing tooth stains. Use it as a gargle or a paste (made by mixing apple cider vinegar and baking soda) to get white teeth, brightening your smile and appearance.
How to incorporate apple cider vinegar in food
Apple cider vinegar is a staple ingredient in many kitchen pantries. It gives an acidic and tart bite to recipes and also enhances the nutrition of your food.
Here are a few ways to incorporate ACV into your diet.
Use it as salad dressing
Add a nutritional punch to your salads with apple cider vinegar. Create a salad dressing with ACV mixed with herbs, spices and oils. Using store bought salad dressing containing ACV as the primary ingredient also provides similar health benefits.
Make your own probiotic
Make your own probiotic drink using apple cider vinegar, fruits and a sweetener. Keep it in fridge for a few days. Serve with fresh berries for a pop of color.
Apple cider vinegar helps to tenderizes meat and poultry before cooking. Make your own marinade using ACV, spices and herbs to give a flavourful twist to recipes.
Serve in cocktails
Get creative with drinks by using apple cider vinegar. Substitute the regular recipe of Bloody Mary with ACV and watch your friend’s reaction.
Side effects of apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is safe to be consumed in small doses. But doctors are quick to limit a dose of below 8 ounces per day. Consuming more than that can cause low potassium levels in body, leading to weakness, muscle cramps, and can even be fatal in extreme cases. Diabetes must consult their doctors before getting into ACV diet as it lowers body’s glucose level. People with a history of health conditions also need to consult their physician before making it a part of their daily supplement. Apple cider vinegar is acidic and can damage the esophagus, cause tooth decay and may erode tooth enamel.