Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
It might seem like a big leap from Big Charlie’s favorite midwestern steakhouse to touting the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, but bear with us. Apple cider vinegar, ACV for short, is one of our salad dressing’s key ingredients. So it’s got an important place of honor in Big Charlie’s kitchen.
And for good reason, too. ACV is a beacon of healthy living for anyone that decides to smother, drip, or drizzle our dressing on a fresh, crisp, mouthwatering salad.
Why Is Apple Cider Vinegar So Good for You?
That boils down to two key components: acetic acid and, an interesting cocktail of goodies called, the mother.
Acetic acid is formed as the apples that make ACV are fermented. They’re first converted into alcohol then, after a bacteria is added, they’re further fermented into acetic acid. It’s this acid that makes ACV taste and smell particularly sour.
But what about the mother? Have you ever looked at the small solid particles floating in ACV? Those are strands of yeast and bacteria that are formed during fermentation and make it a potent probiotic.
When all is said and done, acetic acid, the mother, and a few nutrients you would normally find in apple juice—like some B vitamins and antioxidants—are what gives ACV its formidable reputation as a nutrition-dense liquid ready to be used for food and medicinal purposes.
What Are the Health Benefits of ACV?
Which brings us to the scientifically proven health benefits of ACV.
ACV can lower blood sugar levels.
That’s the conclusion made by this study, and it’s thanks to acetic acid. The compound slows down digestion, allows your body to process glucose, and prevents a blood sugar spike after you’ve eaten a meal.
While ACV won’t cure diabetes, it certainly has been proven to keep blood sugar levels in check.
ACV helps with digestion.
Apple cider vinegar is also a key ingredient in improving digestion. It can raise acidity levels for people who have low stomach acid levels, kill bad bacteria in the gut, and decrease gas and bloating.
ACV is antimicrobial.
Want to know how researchers proved this one? They tainted a salad mixture with salmonella, then doused it with vinegar and lemon. Turns out, vinegar (and lemon) significantly reduced the levels of salmonella to near non-detectable levels.
We say that’s one experiment to leave to the experts; we’ll stick to dousing our salads with Big Charlie’s Original Dressing instead.
Bonus: Apple cider vinegar also kills other bacteria, like E. coli, and can be used as a natural preservative.
ACV can help you lose weight.
Drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar with a meal (around 1-2 tablespoons) can make you feel fuller. This can prevent overeating and a high calorie intake. Less calories now, means less pounds down the road.
ACV is good for your skin.
Remember how ACV has antimicrobial properties? That’s led some people to use it as a skin toner, to help prevent acne, eczema, and dry skin.
The idea behind this is that the acidity in vinegar can help balance the pH levels of your skin and help protect the skin barrier—though this particular benefit of ACV needs further research.