Apple cider vinegar is a very popular "natural" substance that has been around for a long time. But what is it exactly that gives it its distinct flavour and what are its benefits? Read on to find out more.

Introduction

Apple cider vinegar is basically vinegar made from fermented apple juice. As yeast is added to it, ACV tastes sour and has a strong smell, unlike the sweetness that you get from drinking apple juice.

If you peek into its history, apple cider vinegar has been used for a long time to treat sore throats and varicose veins. However, the apple cider vinegar benefits for stomach are not limited to some home remedies only. Interested in knowing the full extent of apple cider vinegar uses and what makes it so special? Let’s find out.

Top 7 benefits of apple cider vinegar:

Some apple cider vinegar benefits that contribute to our good health are as follows:

  1. Antifungal properties:

    Fungal infections can be long lasting and are extremely common in people who have certain health issues, especially type 2 diabetes. Studies state that apple cider vinegar has a component called maleic acid, which can prevent various mouth infections. Thus regular consumption of apple cider vinegar benefits in keeping such infections away.
  2. Anti-bacterial property:

    Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar is effective against bacteria causing staphylococcal infections. Apple cider vinegar is also an effective cure against many infection causing bacteria. This is also considered one of the primary ACV benefits.
    1. Probiotic in nature:

      Even though all apple cider vinegar cannot exactly be labelled as probiotic, some apple cider vinegars available do have live microorganisms that impart probiotic benefits.
  3. Reduces blood sugar levels:

    Maintaining a safe blood sugar level is extremely important, especially for people with type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that consuming apple cider vinegar before any meal lowers insulin and triglyceride levels. The acidic nature of the vinegar may also help in lowering the glycemic index (a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels) of the meal, thus lowering the post meal blood sugar levels too.
  4. Aids in weight loss:

    If you’re planning on losing those extra pounds, try consuming ACV for weight loss. Drinking apple cider vinegar along with a calorie-deficit diet contributes directly to weight loss. Consumption of apple cider vinegar while following a healthy lifestyle may also help you decrease your body mass index and belly fat. Hence, apple cider vinegar for weight loss can be seen as an effective solution.
  5. Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides: There has been many researches showing lowered triglyceride and cholesterol levels in people who consume apple cider vinegar regularly. Additionally, ACV benefits heart health too, in various ways. How? It contains a substantial amount of HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol that is associated with lowering the risk of heart related issues.
  6. Hair and skin care:

    Apple cider vinegar benefits for skin and hair are immense. Applying apple cider vinegar on your face and hair as a rinse may improve your hair quality and reduce acne issues.

Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can prove to be a versatile addition to your kitchen pantry. The following are some ways you can use it on a daily basis:

  • For Cooking:

     A popular method to use apple cider vinegar in cooking is making some delicious marinades out of it. In fact, apple cider vinegar is a widely used component in many vegetarian and non-vegetarian marinades. This is because of the delicious sweet-and-sour flavour it imparts to food. Moreover, it is often used for the preparation of nutty mustard sauce and imli pickles.
  • For Baking & Confectionery: 

    When baking vegan delicacies, apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient that adds flavour and texture. It adds flavour to baked goodies like pancakes and lasagne. It can also improve the taste of homemade candies and caramels.
  • As Salad Dressing:

    Making your own dressing at home is a tasty yet simple way to make your salad taste better. There are many options available when it comes to choosing a dressing for your salad, but thanks to a plethora of health benefits, apple cider vinegar tops everything else.
  • As a Preservative:

     Much like any other vinegar, apple cider vinegar works well as a preservative. Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years as a pickling agent to preserve edible goods. It functions by raising the food's acidity, which disables its enzymes and eliminates any microorganisms that could otherwise spoil your food.
  • Others:

    Apart from the many tempting uses of apple cider vinegar that are mentioned above, it is also an excellent cleaning agent, facial toner, and odour neutralizer. In fact, you can mix some water and apple cider vinegar in equal quantities and you’ll have your very own homemade apple cider deodorising spray.

Conclusion:

The popular ways to have apple cider vinegar are to either make a hot cup of tea with it or just dilute 1 or 2 teaspoons of it in water and drink it. You can also add it as a salad dressing or use it to pickle vegetables. But before including it in your diet, always take the advice of your doctor/nutritionist.

With that said, it is very important to remember that apple cider vinegar is not a miracle cure. It can only help boost your health and provide its benefits if you eat healthy and stay active.