Apple Cider Vinegar, prepared by combining the fermented juice of fresh apples with acetic acid, has certainly come a long way today, from its traditional usage in preserving dishes, curing toothaches and healing wounds.
Popularly and also quite accurately abbreviated as ACV, it is a household name in present times, being added to staple foods, fitness drinks, fad diets, skincare packs and hair masks. Also Read: Protein-Rich Quinoa Recipes To Stay Strong, Fit And Healthy
There are many staunch believers of apple cider vinegar’s ability to burn excess fat, stimulate energy metabolism, augment heart functions, diminish signs of ageing and supply long, lustrous tresses.
This is indeed quite surprising, for although several reports exist of its fabulous merits for wellness, it is all anecdotal. Few research studies have actually demonstrated the advantages of ACV for the human body and there is still a lack of concrete scientific evidence in this regard.
However, there is no doubt that apple cider vinegar definitely fosters optimal wellbeing. The only catch being it should be consumed internally or applied topically only in a diluted form with water, oil and in measured quantities.
How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Prepared?
Apple cider vinegar is manufactured using advanced fermentation techniques involving two major procedures.
Fresh apples are finely crushed and then treated with yeast, which prompts the fermentation process, converting the natural fruit sugars in apples to alcohol.
Following this, certain nourishing bacteria are introduced to chemically convert the alcohol to acetic acid. This is the primary active compound found in apple cider vinegar.
Owing to the high acetic acid content, apple cider vinegar in the undiluted form has a strong pungent smell and a tart, sour, acerbic taste.
Apple Cider Vinegar With Mother:
Apple cider vinegar available commercially is sold in two forms – filtered and unfiltered.
The unfiltered variant is known as apple cider vinegar with mother.
Mother refers to cellulose content and acetic acid bacteria, by-products from fermentation processes and is known to possess useful characteristics to uplift health.
Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition:
Apple cider vinegar’s benefits for health actually don’t stem from the plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants or proteins that is usually the case in any plant-based produce, be it fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds.
The main active component in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. It also contains trace amounts of potassium, which promotes nerve signalling, ensuring proper brain functions in the body, besides maintaining electrolyte balance.
Malic acid is a phytonutrient found in vast reserves in ACV, with exfoliating properties for enriched wellness of skin, hair and scalp.
A 100 gram serving of apple cider vinegar contains merely 22 calories, with absolutely zero fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and cholesterol.
This, coupled with its intrinsic astringent properties, make it an ideal ingredient to include in weight loss drinks.
Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss:
Apple cider vinegar has no fats, cholesterol and almost zero calories when diluted with water. Hence drinking a tonic of apple cider vinegar diluted in water with honey in the morning on an empty stomach is a time-tested solution to promote weight loss and stimulate metabolism.
Apple cider vinegar holds astringent traits due to acetic acid content, which burns body fat and belly fat rapidly, thereby averting the accumulation of visceral fat. This visceral fat is the main risk factor leading to instances of overweight, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Also Read: Why Apple Cider Vinegar Helps In Weight Loss
Other Health Benefits OF ACV:
The other benefits of apple cider vinegar comprise facilitating smooth digestion, regulating insulin levels, alleviating high blood sugar and diabetes symptoms and protecting cardiac functions. These are yet again thanks to the high acetic acid content in ACV.
Nevertheless, it must be kept in mind that ACV can benefit those with diabetes mellitus and heart conditions only if taken moderately and in a highly diluted form with water.
Can I Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Everyday?
Yes, but it should be taken in very little amounts. Nutritionists and health experts recommend consuming only 1 tablespoon of ACV in a day. Too much acid levels can hamper the functioning of vital organs in the body, including stomach, liver and kidneys.
How To Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar as such, simply diluted with water, possesses a rather strong odour, which can trigger nausea, vomiting and other digestive issues.
The best way to take apple cider vinegar is to dilute it in filtered water, mix some honey and ginger. This nourishing apple cider vinegar drink, when consumed in the morning on an empty stomach, enriches the physical fitness and metabolism of the body. This in turn assists in burning excess fat, providing energy for all activities and maintaining healthy body weight.
However, there have been many reports wherein apple cider vinegar, when consumed as a diluted drink, triggered health anomalies of flatulence, constipation and severe nausea with migraine and dizziness. This is due to its unfavourable acerbic smell and tart taste.
In such cases, apple cider vinegar pills are a better option, as they can be quickly swallowed, without having to encounter its strong odour and taste.
Apple Cider Vinegar Pills:
These are essentially supplements of apple cider vinegar formulated as tablets and capsules. They contain the dehydrated form of apple cider vinegar.
Each pill contains 500 mg of apple cider vinegar, which is equivalent to two teaspoons of the undiluted liquid. They are available commercially, either containing only ACV or complemented with certain bioactive components of spices like turmeric and cayenne peppers.
These apple cider vinegar pills can be taken on a daily basis, by people who are unable to tolerate the smell and taste of the liquid ACV. It is important to consult with a doctor before taking these pills, to ascertain the correct dosage according to pre-existing health problems, for it may interfere with other medications.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Skin:
Evens Skin Complexion:
ACV is a wonder ingredient that efficiently removes blemishes, dark spots, tans and reduces fine lines, wrinkles on the skin. Simply dab a small amount apple cider vinegar onto a water-soaked cotton ball and apply it directly to the affected areas. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse off with cold water. This home remedy visibly decreases discolouration on the skin, to reveal a bright, flawless complexion. Also Read: Uneven Skin Tone? Here's How You Can Bid Adieu To Those Dark Spots For A Flawless Complexion!
Apple cider vinegar is an astringent, which can function as a toner when applied to the skin. A toner helps cleanse and tighten the pores on the skin to protect it from acne-triggering bacteria, dust, pollutants, grime and other impurities. Apple cider vinegar when dabbed on to the skin, improves blood flow and minimizes pores.
Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial substances that cure stubborn acne and pimples by keeping the skin pores free from bacteria, oil, and dust. To make this home remedy, mix unfiltered apple cider vinegar with water. Now, apply it on your skin for 10 minutes using a cotton ball and wash off with warm water. Reapply it a few times daily for reducing pimples, scars and zits.
Suffering from sunburns is quite painful, resulting in redness, inflammation and peeling of the skin. Applying apple cider vinegar can help soothe the pain and speed up the healing process. For this remedy, mix apple cider vinegar with water. Dip a washed cloth into the solution and gently massage it on the regions of skin damaged by sun exposure for 2 – 3 minutes for lowering tenderness.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits:
For Dry Skin:
ACV contains beneficial organic acids that aid in restoring moisture to dull, withered skin. It also rejuvenates skin cells after cleansing with an alkaline face wash or soap, being intrinsically acidic in nature, to maintain the pH balance of the skin. Mix 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with 4 tbsp virgin coconut oil and spread an even layer across the face. This instils intense hydration to dry skin, for a soft, smooth texture.
For Oily Skin:
Possessing astringent properties, ACV rids the pores on the skin surface of all unwanted debris, harmful microbes and dust. This helps unclog pores on the skin, reduce the size of large and damaged pores, besides increasing blood circulation to skin cells. Wipe the face with apple cider vinegar diluted in a 1 to 4 ratio in filtered water, after cleansing. This remedy is a boon for mending acne and reducing excess oiliness, sebum secretions.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair:
Promotes Hair Growth:
ACV can facilitate a smoother blood circulation thereby boosting hair growth. This is because ACV contains a whole host of valuable elements that are essential for hair health, like potassium and Vitamin B, which can help in improved blood and nutrient flow to hair roots. Also Read: Henna For Healthy Hair: Fantastic Benefits Of This Herbal Wonder For Long And Lustrous Tresses
Apple cider vinegar has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also removes residue or product build-up from hair roots. The slightly astringent nature of ACV, due to its acetic acid content, helps kill the infection-causing microbes, hence controlling itchy scalp and dandruff while balancing the pH of the hair.
Averts Hair Fall:
Regularly rinsing your hair with ACV can strengthen hair and protect it against UV rays and various pollutants in the air. Robust strands of hair helps avoid bald patches on the scalp and also stimulates the growth of hair from the roots or follicles.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid and can be considered a low pH level liquid, to help in countering the alkaline nature and bringing down the pH level in the hair. Thereby, it seals hair cuticles, effectively detangling knots and taming frizzy mane, to supply straight to wavy tresses.
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses:
For Thick Locks:
Mix 1 cup yoghurt, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp honey and apply this mix from roots to tips. Let it stay for 15 minutes before washing off with a mild shampoo. This simple DIY hair care recipe incredibly boosts hair strength and thickness.
For Lustrous Tresses:
Take 3 tbsp each of apple cider vinegar and water, add to this mix 2 tbsp of aloe vera juice, 1 tbsp of rosemary oil and 1 tsp of honey. Massage this on to hair and scalp. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then shampoo. This mask adds that extra shine to the crowning glory.
Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes:
Creamy Spinach Dip
This flavourful dish serves as a great accompaniment for chips and crackers, with a tart taste thanks to ACV. Being made with almond milk, it is also a great option for those on a vegan diet.
A big bunch of spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt, to taste
2 cups almond milk
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium flame and temper the cumin seeds.
Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the nicely cut spinach leaves, along with salt, chilli powder, and pepper powder.
Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the spinach becomes soft and tender.
Transfer this mixture to a blender and pour in the almond milk and apple cider vinegar.
Pulse on high, until the mixture has reached a thick and creamy consistency.
Adjust for salt, if necessary and allow it to cool down a bit.
Serve it in a bowl alongside potato chips, salted crackers, nachos or french fries for a tasty and healthy substitute to store-bought processed ketchup.
Apple cider vinegar possesses acetic acid and malic acid, which stimulate digestion processes and promote gut health. Spinach is a storehouse of iron for healthy red blood cell synthesis and transport, besides preventing anaemia and fatigue. Almond milk is rich in proteins for strong muscles, growth and development. Olive oil is packed with healthy unsaturated fats for enhancing heart health. Also Read: Heart-Healthy Recipes To Include In Your Daily Diet
Zesty Salad Dressing
This subtly sweet topping, with a sourness due to ACV, is perfect for all salads, be it with just fruits, only veggies or both. It can be made crunchy as well, by adding some nuts like almonds and cashews.
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp mustard paste
2 tbsp honey
Salt, as required
1 tsp cinnamon
In a large bowl, mix the olive oil with apple cider vinegar thoroughly.
Add the mustard paste, honey and cinnamon and blend with a spoon or spatula, until they form a homogenous mix with the ACV.
Taste the mixture, sprinkle the needed amount of salt as per taste.
Garnish the dressing with mint leaves and incorporate it into fruit and vegetable salads for a wholesome meal.
Blessed with anti-inflammatory properties, ACV lowers the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular ailments and dementia. Honey is renowned for its antimicrobial traits which detoxify the stomach, intestines and improve metabolism. Cinnamon prevents the accumulation of fat in arteries, uplifting heart wellness. Mint leaves ease breathing difficulties and enhance lung functions. Also Read: Lung Power: Refreshing Recipes That Can Make You Breathe Easy
Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar:
Although it is advised to consume all foods in moderation, this is all the more important in the case of apple cider vinegar. Being highly acidic, it is not advised to consume large quantities of ACV on a daily basis.
ACV can erode the tooth enamel due to vast acetic acid levels, thereby damaging oral health.
It can also trigger a burning sensation in the throat due to acid content, causing much pain and discomfort.
Taking in too much ACV at once can reverse its beneficial effects on digestion, leading to acidity, bloating and heartburn.
Even while applying it topically on hair and skin, ACV must be diluted with water or oils and only then used, to prevent stinging sensations and burns.
Apple cider vinegar is very useful in tackling a host of minor skin, hair and health problems, but must be used in a diluted form and in measured amounts, to avoid any injurious side effects and to obtain best results.
Apple cider vinegar, obtained from the ubiquitous apples after fermenting them and combining with vinegar, is indeed an essential addition to the kitchen and medicine cabinets of every household. For it comes in handy to resolve minor health anomalies of indigestion, accelerate weight loss, flush out toxins from the system, besides remedy skin conditions and hair fall woes.
Keep in mind to use it in minute amounts and in a diluted form with water and oils, while cooking or applying topically on the skin, hair, so as to reap the splendid merits it offers, for overall wellbeing.