Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV, is a form of vinegar made from apple must or cider. ACV typically has a pale amber color to it. Organic or unpasteurized versions of apple cider vinegar contain an ingredient called “mother of vinegar” which can impart a cloudy, congealed look to the substance.
ACV is most often used in marinades, chutneys, and salad dressings. It’s generally made by crushing the juice out of apples and then adding yeast and bacteria to ferment the liquid into alcohol, which is further fermented into vinegar by the addition of other bacteria.
On his hit TV Show, “The Dr. Oz Show,” Dr. Oz outlines five health benefits that you can get by consuming apple cider vinegar:
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Apple cider vinegar improves the liver’s ability to absorb sugar from your blood. This implies that apple cider vinegar could help regulate your blood glucose level, which in turn might help your body burn more stored fat.
Decreases Insulin Levels
Apple cider vinegar has also been demonstrated to reduce the insulin to glucagon ratio, which has the effect of prompting your body to burn more fat.
Improves Metabolic Functions
A study on rats demonstrated apple cider vinegar’s ability to increase the AMPK enzyme in the body, which in turn decreases the production of fat and sugar in the liver.
Reduces Fat Storage
The same study mentioned above showed that apple cider vinegar has the potential to help reduce fat storage in your body, particularly around your midsection.
A 12-week study conducted on obese Japanese people had three groups of participants consume apple cider vinegar in varying amounts. At the end of the study, the groups which had the highest levels of ACV consumption had significantly lower BMI, waist circumferences, and visceral fat than the group which didn’t drink any.
Dr. Oz gives you pretty clear evidence that you can use apple cider vinegar to lose weight. Not only can apple cider vinegar ramp up metabolic processes by shifting insulin ratios and promoting enzymes in your body, but the aforementioned studies have concluded that the vinegar can actually help prevent the accumulation of some fat in your stomach in the first place.
Additionally, studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can also be helpful in delaying or preventing the onset of diabetes in those predisposed to the illness, such as people with the genetic tendency or the obese.
Apple cider vinegar is a multi-faceted and extremely useful supplement to add to your diet, but the acetic acid created by the second fermentation process gives it a rather nasty, sour taste. The best way I’ve found of using apple cider vinegar is through dilution and sweetening.
First of all, make sure you’re using the unpasteurized, organic version of apple cider vinegar as the “mother vinegar” mentioned above is a large, important part of what makes the substance work.
Pasteurized or non-organic versions of apple cider vinegar tend to filter out this “mother” vinegar, rendering the liquid much less useful. When you’ve obtained your vinegar, start by diluting one teaspoon into 8 ounces of water, and drink this mixture one time a day.
As you get used to the flavor and your body begins to adapt to the supplement, gradually increase both the dosage and the frequency of drinking. Research shows that the optimal quantity of ACV to consume is 2 tablespoons per day.
Additionally, if you find the flavor unpalatable, or if you simply wish to enhance the cocktail, feel free to sweeten your drink with raw honey. Raw honey not only makes the vinegar taste way better, but it carries a whole host of other health benefits beyond the scope of this article.