There has been a lot of buzz around this tart tonic as of late. More and more I hear about how amazing apple cider vinegar is. From taking care of warts and head lice, lower blood sugar levels, apple cider vinegar seems to be able to do it all. What I want to talk about today is the actual health benefits that have been show to work in human clinical trials and how you can take advantage of these benefits today.
What are health benefits? Well, there really aren’t too many. At least, there aren’t too many that have been backed by research. Here they are:
Improved insulin sensitivity – Studies show that taking apple cider vinegar will decrease the amount of circulating glucose in the bloodstream. This means steadier blood sugar levels prior to meals with carbohydrates. Also, apple cider vinegar decreases the amount of insulin needed for glucose disposal from the bloodstream. Scientists hypothesize apple cider vinegar works very similarly to medications used by type II diabetics to control blood sugar levels.
Increased satiety – There is solid evidence supporting the appetite suppressing effects of apple cider vinegar. Researchers found that when subjects ingested vinegar prior to eating a slice of bread felt more full that those who did not. This is supported by the fact that vinegars have been used for a long time (like, a thousand years) for weight loss because it seems to decrease people’s appetite.
**Side note – It may be the acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar and not so much “apple cider” part. In one of the studies, researchers only used white vinegar and noted the amount of acetic acid the subjects took during the study. The good news is there is acetic acid in every vinegar; balsamic, rice wine, red wine, etc.
So far, these are really the only science-backed benefits of apple cider vinegar on humans that I am aware of. And while I do acknowledge the existence of other benefits, I am hesitant to write them as fact in this article. For instance, there are studies showing the Cardiovascular benefits of apple cider vinegar and there appears to be benefits on both cholesterol and blood pressure in mice. Interesting stuff though.
I am a fan of apple cider vinegar and use it very frequently. I usually just come from work or the gym and pour a small amount into a glass of water. I don’t really measure the amount but occasionally, I’ll fill up a shot glass with the goods and add water. I will also throw it on top of a salad with extra virgin olive oil or make a salad dressing out of it.
This is a perfect segue for the final section of this article.
How can you use it?
In a Beverage – add either 2 teaspoons or 1 oz (1/2 of a shot glass) to any beverage of your choice and drink it.
Dipping Oil – In one of the studies I used for this article, subjects actually dipped bread into the vinegar for the experiment. Pour some extra virgin olive oil onto a plate, drizzle in some apple cider vinegar, sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Simple and delicious.
Salad Dressing – For those who know me, I tend to (and like to) eat a lot. And that can easily add up to a lot of calories even when eating just chicken and rice. One of the strategies I use to combat this is have a big salad with lots of veggies (Pot Luck Salad article link) and add apple cider vinegar on top. I’ll use apple cider vinegar as is but I prefer to use this dressing:
1 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Honey
2 tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
There you have ladies and gents, nothing too special but definitely some positive takeaways. I would categorize apple cider vinegar as something you can use occasionally before big meals like a party or holiday to help blunt the effects of the meal. I would definitely not use it as a silver bullet to help with weight loss or any other health-related issues. But it can absolutely be used as a tool in the health toolkit. Give the salad dressing a try and let me know what you think.