Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

The benefits of apple cider vinegar extend well beyond adding tang to a salad dressing. Apple cider vinegar—specifically the raw, unpasteurized, organic version containing the “mother”—is considered by some to be an unconventional beauty treatment and health tonic. The “mother” is the name for the cloudy fermented strands of enzymes that are often settled at the bottom of the bottle. The numerous benefits associated with apple cider vinegar are attributed to these enzymes, as well as the vinegar’s high acetic acid content.

In fact, the bottle I have in my fridge is plastered with dozens of health claims and promises, including younger looking skin, increased metabolism, and appetite suppression. Since I started drinking ACV regularly about 4 months ago, I have noticed that I am less sore after a hard workout and that I have experienced fewer blemishes on my skin. Of course it could partially be attributed to the placebo effect, but I am not ready to give up my daily dose of ACV just yet (see my exact recipe at the end of this article). Even though not all of the health claims have been backed by scientific research, those that have may make apple cider vinegar worth its hype. Below are just a few reasons and ways to add ACV to more than just your salads.

Weight loss and appetite suppression
According to WebMD, studies have shown that when taken with meals, ACV may trigger satiety sooner. The rationale behind this claim is that ACV contains high levels of pectin, a naturally occurring fiber compound. Once consumed, the pectin in the ACV expands in your stomach, which makes you feel fuller, which can reduce appetite. To try using ACV for appetite suppression, drink 1-2 teaspoons diluted in a an eight-ounce glass of water before a meal. 

Improved blood sugar control
This is ACV’s most researched health claim with evidence showing that drinking 1-2 teaspoons of ACV mixed in at least 8 ounces of water nightly can lead to lower blood sugar levels in the morning. This good news is not just for those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Maintaining steady blood sugar levels—e.g., avoiding the extreme post-meal spikes and dips often caused by over consuming refined carbohydrates and sweets—reduces your risk of developing insulin resistance later in life. 

Hair helper
ACV makes an amazing once-a-week hair rinse. The acidic vinegar helps remove gunky buildup and leaves hair shiny and silky. After shampooing (or skip the suds altogether) apply a mixture of 1/4 cup ACV and 2 cups water to your strands and let it sit for 5–10 minutes before rinsing clean. Conditioner is optional, too, but I usually still condition my hair because it is so dry. 

Clearer skin
Whether used topically or ingested, ACV can help reduce blemishes and breakouts, allegedly due to its antibacterial properties. To use as a toner or to treat a pesky pimple, simply dab a cotton ball with ACV and apply to affected area. 

Deodorant
Swabbing a little ACV under your arms may seem like it would only increase any pungency but once the vinegar dries, it has quite the opposite effect. For those concerned about using antiperspirants it is a nice alternative. (Hey, you never know when you may need a backup plan!) 

Acid reflux and indigestion
One would think that consuming something as acidic as ACV would only lead to increased acidity in the body, but quite the opposite is true. ACV may help balance the body’s pH levels, which can become overly acidic with a Westernized diet high in processed foods. In this regard, ACV can also relieve symptoms of acid reflux and indigestion.

Pre- or post-workout energy boost
ACV contains amino acids that can help the body breakdown lactic acid, a byproduct of exercise that leads to that sore muscle feeling. ACV is also rich in potassium, which is an essential dietary mineral that plays an important role in nerve function. 

Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
2 tbsp raw, organic, unpasteurized ACV
1/2 cup organic pineapple juice
8 ounces water
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Mix everything together in a cocktail shaker with ice and enjoy! You can also substitute organic apple juice for the pineapple juice. If it is still too sour, add a teaspoon of honey or 100% maple syrup to sweeten it up.

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19 Comments
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Tina K.
I used it a lot for sore throat.
Iris H.
I really like this article it has help with some of the things I was wondering about. Thanks for the help
Rebecca M.
This article is awesome. I've been wanting to try drinking ACV, but was wondering how it would taste. Thanks for the recipe.
Ciara N.
I've used ACV for my acne and it was awesome! Besides the smell :P and it's amazing for sunburns!
Damika J.
I love apple cider vinegar. On a regular basis I use it on my face, I cook with it, and from time to time dilute it with water to clean my hair.
Eva N.
ACV is indeed very good for us and it must say Mother as was noted in your comment. Thank you for sharing that info. I often encourage my support group to add this to our regimen as an anti-inflammatory. Almost same recipe. 2T ACV, 1 or 2 T of organic local grown honey and either drink it in warm water, or add it to apple juice. You can choose the size glass you wish as long as your getting the 1st 2 ingredients into your system. The honey is also a natural antibiotic and the combo is very good for our health and aches and excellent for digestive problems as well. It is suggested during research I just did the other day to drink this 2x's a day if you can. If you drink it 1/2 hour before meals it will help curb your appetite as well. Overall nature offers us so many medicines used for many thousands of years, even centuries. So happy to see this info being shared here.
TERESA G.
IT SOUNDS GREAT AND I WILL TRY SOME OF THESE TIPS THIS WEEKEND!
Komal R.
I m trying to loss my weight after my baby think this will work
SHERESE W.
I TOTALLY AGREE , BACK WHEN I WAS GROWING UP MY PARENTS TAUGHT US THE SAME USES AND WE THOUGHT THEY WERE WEIRD. BUT A LOT OF WHAT THE OLDER GENERATION HAS USED IS BEING PRESENTED AS IF THIS IS SOME NEW DISCOVERY. LIKE CHEWING YOUR PARSLEY ON YOUR PLATE AFTER A MEAL TO FRESHEN YOUR BREATHE.
Kallah W.
Anti-Inflammatory. ACV is also a natural anti-inflammatory. It works great on sore muscles and lasts for hours. There are two ways to use it. One is by pouring 1-2 cups of ACV into running bath water. Soak in the tub as long as you'd like, then rinse really well. Using some kind of body wash is a good idea - so you don't smell like vinegar! The other way is to mix a small amount of ACV with warm water. Thoroughly soak a washcloth with the mixture and apply to the area that hurts. This is a great article! Thank you for detailing so many uses of ACV!