Apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is a common kitchen ingredient that is anything but common. It’s celebrated in the natural health world as an amazing “cure all” and internal body cleanser.
Celebrities like Scarlett Johanssen have been reported to use it every day as a natural skin toner treatment. She claims it helps keep her face clear and glowing without the use of harsh chemicals.
The most popular way to take ACV is to mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water and drink it.
From weight loss, improved digestion, blood sugar control, and heart health support to better hair, healthier skin, and even healthier pets, the benefits of apple cider vinegar are truly amazing.
Apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is basically fermented apple juice. It’s made by crushing fresh apples and squeezing the juice out into barrels or vats. Yeast and bacteria are added and the liquid is left to ferment into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, acetic acid bacteria is added and the alcohol turn into a rich, brownish liquid that we know as apple cider vinegar.
Some unfiltered apple vinegar brands have a blob in the middle known as the “Mother of Vinegar”, which is actually thin strings of bacteria. The Mother of Vinegar is often regarded as an essential part of the apple vinegar, containing lots of nutrients.
Generally, ACV is used in recipes like a drink or salad dressings. It is best used when a dish calls for an acidic ingredient or as a healthy food preservative. The antimicrobial properties of ACV also makes it a good natural household cleanser.
Here are the top 10 apple cider vinegar benefits we found:
Some studies have shown that drinking apple cider vinegar will leave you feeling more full and satisfied, which causes you to eat less calories and helping with weight loss.
Other studies in obese Japanese individuals showed that the subjects who drank the highest levels of ACV (acetic acid) had significantly lower amounts of belly fat and lower triglycerides levels compared to the group that was not on the apple cider vinegar diet or drank less amounts of it. (1)
For maximum weight loss, it is suggested you consume one serving along with meals that are high in carbs. And if drinking it seems unappealing just swap out balsamic or other vinegars from your homemade salad dressings and replace with ACV or add some to your all natural store bought dressing to mask the flavor while getting all the vinegar weight loss benefits.
Having tummy troubles? Drink a glass of water mixed with 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar 15 minutes before a meal to ensure that meal goes down easier.
How does it help digestion? Research has shown that drinking ACV helps increase your stomach’s production of hydrochloric acid (HCl). HCl is important for digestion because it helps convert proteins into amino acids. It also assists in the digestion and absorption of fats, carbs, and certain vitamins like A & E.
Additional ACV benefits include helping to improve other stomach and intestinal issues like heartburn and constipation.
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to help regulate blood sugar by slowing down the digestion of simple carbohydrates. In one study, researchers found that after-meal blood sugar levels of the test participants with insulin resistance lowered by 34 percent when they drank the apple cider vinegar. (2)
In another study, researchers found that taking two tablespoons prior to going to sleep lowered participant’s blood sugar levels by 4 to 6 percent by morning.
This is all good news for folks with diabetes or anyone trying to keep control of their blood sugar levels. So start using ACV more often in your kitchen, a simple dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar is great over steamed, grilled or baked vegetables as well as over salad and will give you all the wonderful health benefits.
#4 – Vinegar May Help Protect Against Certain Types of Cancer
There have been some studies showing vinegar has the potential to repress the growth of certain types of cancer like leukemia. While these studies are not conclusive, they do show the potential for cancer treatment. (3)
#5 – Can Help Prevent Candida and Normalize Intestinal Bacteria
Candida is a fungus that helps with the absorption and digestion of nutrients when in proper amounts your the body. If you have too much in your system candida symptoms may appear. If left unchecked in the digestive tract, candida breaks down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrates into your bloodstream, releasing toxins.
ACV is full of helpful acids, like acetic acid and malic acid, which are believed to improve the composition of your intestinal ecosystem. These acids have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can help control the spread of candida fungus in your intestines. (4)
#6 – Helps Strengthen Your Immune System
Many people say they experience fewer colds when they consume apple cider vinegar daily. There are a couple of theories why apple cider vinegar for colds is a good strategy.
First, it helps support good intestinal health and your intestinal health is an important part of your body’s immune system. By improving the health of your intestinal system, you help improve your immunity system as well.
There is also a substance called malic acid in apple cider vinegar. Malic acid is known for its strong antiviral properties, and may be one of the reasons people experience fewer colds when taking ACV.
Raw apple cider vinegar is also said to help support your body’s lymphatic system by helping to cleanse your lymph nodes and break up mucus in your body. This action helps provide relief for congestion, colds and allergies.
Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in the world, responsible for millions of premature deaths every year. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels in several studies. (5)
Other studies have shown that it helps lower blood pressure, which is a major risk for heart health. (6)
While the studies show promise, the tests were only done with animals. There’s more research needed to concluded that ACV lowers cholesterol for sure and should not be used as an alternative to medical treatment.
#8 – Fights Bad Breath
Everyone experiences bad breath from time to time. While there are many reasons why bad breath (or halitosis) occurs, some serious, the primary cause is the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. Over time, this bacteria can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
It can be used as a natural mouthwash. It has potent antiseptic properties which kills bacteria and helps keep your mouth healthy without the use of nasty chemicals.
To make an ACV mouthwash, simply mix one cup of warm water with one teaspoon of ACV. Use this mixture to gargle in your mouth for approximately 2 minutes, swishing it all around your mouth. Spit out this mix, do not drink it. Repeat this process daily for maximum effectiveness against bad breath and better oral health.
#9 – Makes a Great Detox Drink
Drinking one tablespoon of ACV in a large glass of water is believed to make a great apple cider vinegar cleanse. Besides the other great things it does for the body we’ve already listed, an apple cider vinegar drink before every meal is believed to help detox and cleanse your liver.
Mix one tablespoon of ACV in a large glass of water before each meal as a daily ACV detox drink. Over time, you can increase the apple cider vinegar detox dosage to 2-3 tablespoons, but I recommend building up to that over time.
#10 – Helps Improve Energy Levels
Are you looking for a way to boost your energy levels without drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks? Try sipping on some to get some extra pep in your step! While there are no conclusive studies proving that ACV boosts energy levels, it’s long been reported to help improve stamina and fight exhaustion.
Simply mix a couple tablespoons to a glass of water and sip on it whenever you’re feeling like you need a jolt of energy. Not only will it help your energy levels, it’s good in many other ways for your body. If drinking ACV does not sound appealing try making your own salad dressing or mixing it with fresh squeezed orange juice, whisk together then toss with your favorite fruit for a tasty snack or breakfast.
While there are numerous ways to use apple cider vinegar, the most common (and easiest) way to get it is to mix it with water and drink it down. You can also use it as a tangy and healthy ingredient in recipes like salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.
Some people take apple cider vinegar pills, but we don’t recommend it as there’s not enough evidence to show these pills provide the same amount of health benefits as raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
How much apple cider vinegar should you have daily? 1-2 teaspoons of ACV in a large glass of water before each meal three times daily is the most commonly recommended apple cider vinegar dosage.
Not only does ACV make a great home remedy and natural cleanser, but if you consume it every day, you’ll discover that the apple cider vinegar health benefits will make you feel amazing.
Besides the benefits of drinking it or eating it, there are plenty of other uses for it. What is apple cider vinegar good for? As you can see from the list below, ACV can be used in a number of home remedies.
Here are some of the more popular uses for it:
- Hair treatment – An ACV hair rinse will help keep your hair looking shiny and healthy. It can restore the natural pH of your hair, making it more manageable to style. After shampooing and rinsing hair thoroughly, add 2-4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to 16 ounces of water. Lean your head back and pour the rinse over your entire scalp, allowing it to run through your hair. Be careful to avoid getting it in your eyes. Let it sit in your hair for 1-2 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly.
- Acne wash – An apple cider vinegar acne wash helps naturally clear your skin and treat acne. Combine 1 part ACV with 3 parts water and use it to wash your face. Wash your face with an ACV mixture 2-3 times daily.
- Heartburn and acid reflux treatment – Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of ACV to a glass of water for an all-natural treatment for heartburn and acid reflux.
- Skin toner – Pour 1 part raw apple cider vinegar into a glass jar, bottle or container. Add 2 parts filtered water and shake to combine. Apply the toner to clean skin using a cotton ball or pad, being careful to avoid the eye areas. Apply moisturizer after the apple cider vinegar skin toner has dried.
- Warts, moles, and skin tags remover – Saturate a cotton ball with ACV and place it on the area holding it in place with a Band Aid. Repeat this process every 24 hours until wart is gone, usually within 7-15 days.
- Sunburn treatment – Soak a clean washcloth in apple cider vinegar and apply to your sunburned skin. Leave it there for a couple of minutes. You can also make an apple cider vinegar bath by adding 2-3 cups of ACV to hot bath water and soaking for 20-30 minutes to relieve sunburn pain.
- Fighting colds, stuffy noses, and sore throats – Mix the 1 tbsp ACV and 1 tbsp honey in one cup of warm water and drink.
- Dandruff fighter – Saturate your hair with a 50/50 mixture of ACV and water. Leave mixture in for 15 minutes before washing. Repeat this each night for about one week.
- Cures hiccups – Drink 1 tablespoon of straight apple cider vinegar. Drinking pure ACV will overstimulate the nerve endings in your throat and help prevent further spasms.
- Dog flea treatment and skin conditioner – Believe it or not, you can use apple cider vinegar for fleas and healthier skin for your dog. Spray a 50/50 mix of ACV and purified water on your dog’s fur before they go out to help protect them from those pesky critters.
Using ACV for dogs was my favorite use, because we all love our pets and want them to be as healthy as they can be. Here is an eHow video I found discussing more ways to use to improve your dog’s health:
I can’t possibly cover all of the uses because there are so many! Needless to say, there are a wide variety of apple cider vinegar cures and remedies for a variety of common ailments without harsh pills or chemicals.
Not only does ACV make a home remedy superfood, it also tastes really good when used in certain recipes. It’s best used as a salad dressing, but can also be used in BBQ sauce, sauces/chutneys, or as a marinade.
Here are a few tasty examples of apple cider vinegar recipes I have found.
A little apple cider vinegar dressing sprinkled over a salad makes a delicious and healthy addition to any salad. The basic idea is to mix olive oil, cider vinegar, a little bit of natural sweetener and herbs to create a nice apple cider vinegar salad dressing.
If you’re interested in a more complex ACV dressing, here’s a good one:
Apple Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 shallots, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or frozen chives
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Simply whisk together all ingredients and serve!
Here’s another way to get more ACV in your diet that tastes really good, too! Make a batch of this delicious apple cider vinegar barbecue sauce and keep it in a jar in your fridge for an easy way to include ACV with any meal. This recipe is from my cookbook Lose Weight by Eating, we love this over BBQ pork chops, chicken and even over turkey meatloaf.
Makes 2 cups
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup red wine (you could swap out for vegetable stock)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 chili in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and salt and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce reduces to about ½ cup.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and 1 cup water. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring often until the sauce has thickened (it will thicken more as it cools). Let cool completely before refrigerating, the sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
ACV has a tangy, fruity taste to it and adding it to your sauce and chutneys can help enhance their flavor. It’s best used when making fruit chutneys as it helps soften the fruit when added while cooking. Tomatoes are best suited for sauce as the vinegar acidity is a little high nature.
Marinating meat in ACV helps kill bacteria and tenderizes the meat, killing the bacteria. In ¾ cup of vinegar add your spices and herb for marination. Let the meat rest in this mix for a few hours or overnight.
Drinking apple cider vinegar is one of the primary ways most people get their daily dose of ACV. An apple cider vinegar drink is easy to make and quick, too. Just mix vinegar and water.
Wondering how to drink apple cider vinegar? It’s easy! Add one serving (usually between 1 tsp and 2 tbsp depending on your preference) of ACV into a glass of water, mix it up, and chug it down. No recipe or cooking necessary.
Some people don’t enjoy the taste of ACV and prefer to mix it with other juices or teas, which is fine. Just be sure to keep the ratio the same as you would for water and try to avoid using caffeinated drinks as it may slow the absorption process.
Also try not to mix it with a highly acidic juice or drink as the combined acidity of that and the ACV may be too much for some people.
For best results, I recommend using only organic apple cider vinegar. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains the maximum amount of beneficial ingredients and will be made with ingredients you know are all natural and good for you.
Here’s is my recommended choice for organic apple cider vinegar:
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
When you talk about apple cider vinegar, you’re usually talking about Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Braggs has been making this stuff for many years, and you usually can’t walk through the vinegar section of your local supermarket any more without seeing a stack of Bragg bottles.
Braggs ACV is GMO free and made with all natural organic ingredients. It’s considered a great brand and one I highly recommend.
If you don’t have Braggs in your local supermarket, you can pick up a bottle on Amazon here.
In doing the research for this article, I was amazed at the amount of positive research regarding the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
I highly recommend you give it a try for a week or two to see if it helps you feel better, but don’t do too much too fast or you may get some apple cider vinegar side effects like indigestion. But overall you are going to love the amazing health benefits of apple cider vinegar…I sure did!