Lately, it seems like nutritionists, fitness gurus, and virtually all our favorite celebs are sipping their health and beauty—and advising us mortals to do so as well. Greens, bee pollen, charcoal, aloe vera, cayenne—basically everything but the kitchen sink can be found in the most buzzworthy and drinkable beauty elixirs these days. So when we noticed that apple cider vinegar (yep, the same stuff you put in your salad dressing and maybe even on your hair) was gaining some serious street cred, we decided to do a little digging to find out the many apple cider vinegar benefits.
Intrigued by this buzzy health tonic, we scoured the Internet for studies that actually back up the health benefits of apple cider vinegar (also known as ACV), and called on experts Isabel Smith, and Cassie Majestic, MD, for more info. Lo and behold, we found it not only soothes sore throats, but it can also combat bad breath. Keep scrolling to learn the potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Even though we try to get enough sleep, manage stress, and avoid excessive amounts of sugar and caffeine, we aren’t perfect. So when we haven’t been great about logging enough z’s and are guilty of consuming one too many scoops of ice cream, inflammation can become a problem, leading to digestive issues, aches and pains, tiredness, and breakouts. ACV, which undergoes a fermentation process, is chock-full of healthy bacteria and enzymes that your system loves. "ACV contains B complex vitamins and antioxidants. We know that both of these can contribute to fighting inflammation and reducing chronic disease burden, over time," says Majestic. Consuming the stuff (we recommend mixing two tablespoons with eight ounces of warm water and a touch of raw honey or lemon) helps normalize your body’s pH levels—thus alkalizing and cleansing your system.
Soothes a Sore Throat
Germs hate acidic situations. Therefore, gargling and sipping an ACV-laden tonic should help create an environment in your throat that discourages cold-causing germs and viruses from setting up shop. This is especially crucial in those first few hours when you feel like you’re coming down with something. Simply add a few tablespoons of ACV to warm water and gargle. Kick germs to the curb.
Lower Blood Sugar
Shown to improve insulin sensitivity, ACV can delay and may even prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. By slowing the blood sugar’s response to carbs and other types of sugars consumed during mealtime, ACV (which has an anti-glycemic effect) may help prevent or at least control that inevitable mid-afternoon crash that has you reaching for anything and everything in the office kitchen. You can incorporate this into your daily routine by swigging a tablespoon or two mixed with water before a meal.
Smith's favorite way to use apple cider vinegar is in salad dressing or kombucha, as these are easy ways to incorporate this superfood into your lunch to prevent that mid-afternoon crash.
Studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can promote fullness, helping to control cravings, and leading to a more stabilized weight. By taking a tablespoon daily, you can omit those mid-afternoon snack cravings. Can't stand the taste? You can also get all the benefits in supplement form, like these gummies from Goli.
Banishes Bad Breathe
The good-for-your system bacteria that discourage toxins (and that we mentioned above) are also powerhouses when it comes to annihilating dragon breath. ACV’s high concentrations of beneficial bacteria will help to nix the not-so-great bacteria that cause the funk in your mouth. Gargling the vinegar or simply sipping it is the best way to reap the de-odorizing benefits– just make sure to always mix with water to dilute the vinegar.
Slows Down Aging
Applying ACV to an oily complexion can act as an astringent and lead to a more even complexion, but drinking ACV (and all of its wonderful antioxidants) can also decrease the rate at which your skin and overall appearance ages over time. The antioxidants, in addition to a high concentration of beta-carotene, calcium, and potassium, are said to protect cells and, therefore, prevent damage and promote turnover. By protecting your skin cells, you are slowing aging and promoting an overall healthier complexion.
Calms an Unhappy Stomach
Food poisoning, constipation, gas—our stomachs can be the source of a whole lot of discomfort. Thankfully, the beneficial bacteria in apple cider vinegar can help break down food more efficiently, thus aiding digestion and decreasing the likelihood of various tummy woes. "ACV is acidic and can help improve digestion by increasing acidity in the stomach. It also has some gut healthy properties, due to fermentation may also help to boost gut bacterial health," says Smith. Sipping on a mixture with water and honey first thing in the morning is a great way to get your digestion going.
Naturally Boosts Energy
By now you may or may not have heard of kombucha and its touted energy-improving benefits (due to the drink’s fermentation process). A less sugary option, ACV is no different, as it undergoes the same kind of fermentation process, resulting in potassium and enzymes that may help boost your perk. Skip the kombucha and make your own tonic at home featuring apple cider vinegar, honey, warm water, and other taste-enhancing favorites.
Due to the acidity in apple cider vinegar, taking a spoonful or two a day can work to raise stomach acidity levels. "Apple cider vinegar increases acid and enzyme production in the gut," says Majestic. This helps to breakdown your food more quickly, aid in digestion, and therefore reduce stomach bloating. Its anti-microbial properties also can help to control stomach bacteria." Raw, unfiltered, and organic, it doesn’t get better than Bragg’s ACV. We suggest taking a tablespoon a day in the morning to get your digestive system going.
Contains Helpful Nutrients
Apple cider vinegar contains nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C. Majestic's favorite way to incorporate this superfood? "I find myself using apple cider vinegar in recipes for baked goods such as muffins or cookies!" Don’t want to make your own ACV tonic? You don’t have to. Thanks to Bragg, you can now buy ACV already diluted and mixed with honey.