So what’s the deal with apple cider vinegar? I’ve been hearing about it for years but it wasn’t until I saw a large display of a popular brand at my local health food store that I thought I should find out more about it. Plus, I have a friend who takes a shot of it every morning even though she says it tastes terrible. Tastes bad so it has to be good for you, right?
The Weight Loss Theory
A lot of people drink apple cider vinegar because they think it helps with weight loss – and they’re partly right. Most of the studies conducted to test the theory were done on mice and rats, however. Even so, test results showed that acetic acid, the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar, can suppress body fat accumulation in animal test subjects. But before you reach for the bottle (of apple cider vinegar, that is!) a Japanese study with human subjects showed an average weight loss of two to four pounds over a three month period, which could be a little discouraging, to say the least.
Some research also points to the fact that apple cider vinegar can help you feel fuller longer after taking a tablespoon or two. This sounds more believable to me, but I’m far from a medical professional.
A Blood Sugar Regulator
What is more concretely known about ACV, though, is that it is effective when it comes to controlling blood sugar spikes for people with type 2 diabetes and even for prediabetics. Experts think that acetic acid intercepts enzymes that break down starch molecules, and starch causes blood sugar spikes, which in turn stimulates the appetite.
Will it Damage my Teeth?
When you think about drinking pure vinegar, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it is an acid and can affect your teeth. Some websites even suggest using ACV as a teeth whitening hack by taking a swig and swishing it around your mouth. Dentists couldn’t disagree more. Like soda and grapefruit juice, apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel with prolonged consumption and leave you prone to cavities.
If you think you’re in the clear because you brush your teeth right after consuming something acidic, you’re not. Experts suggest waiting half an hour before brushing since your enamel is in a weakened state and brushing can remove even more enamel and open the door to very expensive dental bills.
Ways to add it to your Diet
If you’re worried about ACV affecting your teeth and you don’t want to down a shot of it every morning, you can consume it in other ways. Incorporating it into a homemade salad dressing or slaw works well, simply swap out regular vinegar for apple cider. Mix it into mashed avocado to spread on toast or add it to oil, whole grain mustard, salt and pepper and pour over cut up root vegetables and roast in the oven.
A Topical Remedy
Besides drinking it, you can use apple cider vinegar to soothe bites and stings (soak a cotton pad in a 50/50 mix of ACV and water and apply), calm sunburns with a 25/75 mix, use as an astringent for your skin (soak a facecloth in a diluted mixture of ACV and water and apply) and detangle, add shine and remove product buildup from your hair with a one to one ratio mix of apple cider vinegar and water.
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