Has all the online buzz about apple cider vinegar caught your attention? Many people swear by this unassuming product, but you may be wondering if it's really worth the hype. We've got you covered!
Here's what you need to know about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar — and how to reap them for yourself.
What is apple cider vinegar, exactly?
Despite its name, this golden liquid tastes nothing like the sweet, fruity drink you enjoy in the fall. Instead, the sour substance is made by fermenting crushed apples in a process that's actually similar to how wine is produced!
Essentially, the crushed apples are exposed to yeast, which turns the mixture into alcohol. When bacteria enters the party, it turns the alcohol into acetic acid. The end result is vinegar that has a similar nutritional profile to apples, including probiotics, B vitamins and antioxidants.
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar
Despite its humble beginnings, apple cider vinegar has been linked to several health benefits, some of which may surprise you! Seriously, who would have thought a sugary fruit could end up being so good for your blood sugar levels, gut health and overall well-being? Here are four health benefits of apple cider vinegar that will have you heading for the grocery store.
1. Controls blood sugar levels
Studies have found that drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar after a meal can lower blood glucose levels. This makes it a helpful supplement for those with diabetes — but it shouldn't take the place of medication, and you should consult your doctor before you start taking it for this reason.
2. Kills off fungus and bacteria
Apple cider vinegar has both antifungal and antibacterial properties. It's effective at killing common fungal infections as well as the bacteria that cause staph infections. Both of these conditions are serious, so if you think you're suffering from one, you should definitely see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
3. Improves your skin (and scalp)
Because of its antibacterial properties and ample nutrients, apple cider vinegar does as much for your outward appearance as it does for your internal health. Updating your beauty routine with a toner made with apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH of your skin and fight acne. Additionally, using the versatile liquid in your hair can remove residue from your scalp, reduce frizziness and increase shine!
4. Cleans your home naturally
Most commercial cleaning products use harsh chemicals to kill bacteria. Sometimes that's necessary, but for messes that don't require bringing out the big guns, apple cider vinegar can be a healthier, more eco-friendly way to clean your home. You can use it to clean counters, deodorize dishwashers, de-streak windows and more.
How to use apple cider vinegar
If these benefits sound a-peeling to you, there are several ways to incorporate this type of vinegar into your routine — even if you can't stomach the taste of it on its own. Consider giving these methods a try:
- Drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed into 8 ounces of water daily (we wouldn't blame you if you decided to add lemon or honey to improve the taste).
- Mix up your own apple cider vinegar salad dressing.
- Create a 1:1 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to use as a household cleaner.
- Use an 8:1 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar as a skin toner.
- Apply diluted apple cider vinegar to your hair after washing. Rinse it out after a few minutes.
It's important to note that there is such a thing as too much apple cider vinegar. Because it's so acidic, the vinegar can potentially weaken tooth enamel, dry out your hair or irritate your skin if it's not diluted. Just make sure to mix it with a generous amount of water and it'll likely be the next beauty staple to become the apple of your eye!
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