What is Apple Cider Vinegar? Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a juice extracted from fermented apples. Acetic acid is produced in the fermentation process and the resulting liquid is called vinegar. A beneficial bacterial culture called ‘the mother’ is added during the fermentation process. ‘The mother’ contains enzymes, gut-friendly bacteria and proteins, which help in healing our body.
Types of Apple CIder Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is available both in distilled/filtered form and raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered form. The unfiltered form looks cloudy or murky due to the presence of ‘the mother’, whereas the filtered form looks clear. ‘The mother’, just like its name suggests, wishes the best for you—a sign of goodness and top quality.
Most of the nutrients of apple are lost during the process of fermentation. Water is the major constituent of ACV. Apart from sodium, iron, and potassium being present in low quantities, ACV basically has little or no nutrients. In spite of this, ACV has been used since centuries in folk medicine for its various benefits. As part of our ‘natural and healthy living’ series, let us take a look at the 10 most popular benefits of ACV.
#1 – DIABETES CONTROL: Any search on the Internet about the benefits of ACV will invariably show ‘diabetes’ in the result. Yes folks, this is true! ACV has been shown to be effective in reducing glucose levels in prediabetics (who are in the range of developing TYPE 2 DIABETES in the future; who have insulin resistance). The acetic acid in ACV helps in improving insulin resistance and other metabolic abnormalities associated the prediabetic state. No such effect has been seen in individuals with type 1 diabetes. Since vinegar can amplify the effects of blood sugar meds, it is always advised to consult your doctor before trying out ACV as a remedy for type 2 diabetes.
Methods of use:
- ACV can be diluted with water and consumed before a meal. This method is popular in Mediterranean diet.
- It can be added to salads. ACV acts on the starch content of food, so be sure to add some ACV to your salads before a starchy meal.
- You can add it to sauces and marinades for some tangy taste.
- It also tastes great in soups and dishes.
#2 – HAIR CARE: ACV can be used as a hair rinser or leave-in conditioner. It makes the hair super silky. It treats dry, itchy scalp. Due to its antifungal properties, it works well for treating dandruff.
Method of use: Wash your hair in your preferred, normal routine. Massage diluted ACV into the roots of your hair and work it through the rest of the scalp. Apply all through the length of the hair. Follow this routine twice a week for best results.
#3 – SKIN CARE: ACV can be used to dry out pimples, fade dark spots, treat warts, and can also be used as a skin toner. It also helps with sunburns. Be very sure to use DILUTE ACV; otherwise, there is a HIGH RISK of causing BURNS on the skin.
Method of use: Mix one-fourth cup of ACV with three-fourth cup of water. Apply on pimples, dark spots, or sunburnt areas. Wash with lukewarm water after 20 minutes. For treating warts, dab on diluted ACV on the wart with a Q-tip. DO NOT OVERDO IT AND USE ONLY DILUTED FORM.
#4 – NAIL CARE: ACV can treat a condition called ‘paronychia’, a nail disease, caused due to fungal, bacterial or yeast infection at the base or side of the nail. Fingernails are usually affected. This condition is often painful. Soaking the affected nail in diluted ACV helps treat the condition.
Method of use: Mix ACV and warm water in 1:3 ratio. Soak the fingers in water for around 15 to 20 minutes a few times a day.
#5 – FOOD WASH: ACV is finding increasing popularity as a washing agent for washing the surface of fresh fruits and vegetables. This reduces bacteria and viruses on the surface of foods.
Method of use: Take the fruits and vegetables in a large bowl. Cover with ACV (10% ACV and 90% water) and leave for 15 minutes. Drain and wash with normal water. This method is not recommended for porous or fragile fruits.
#6 – FOOD PRESERVATIVE: Used as a pickling agent for centuries, ACV is used as a preservative in pickles. Now-a-days, it is even gaining popularity as a natural preservative agent in processed poultry and meat industries. Usually, white distilled vinegar is used as it does not affect the color.
#7 – WEIGHT LOSS AGENT: ACV is gaining popularity as a weight loss agent. It helps in lowering visceral fat and triglyceride levels. Some people see significant difference in waist measurements.
Methods of use: Mix ACV and olive oil in 4:1 ratio and drizzle on salads. You can add it to sauces and marinades. Also, it is good if you can drink it with water, since water makes you feel full and thus helps in weight loss.
#8 – SOOTHING MORNING TEA OR TONIC: Many people use ACV for digestive wellness, using it first thing in the morning by mixing in their tea or as a tonic.
Method of use: Mix 1 tbsp ACV with 1 cup warm water and use as a tonic. Mix 1 tsp of ACV in your regular tea or a glass of juice and savor it.
#9 – HEART HEALTH AND CANCER PREVENTION: Due to its antioxidant properties, ACV has been claimed to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides. Though there is not much evidence to support these claims, there is always no harm in trying out! But ACV should never be used as an alternative to medications.
#10 – NATURAL HOUSEHOLD CLEANER: ACV can keep creepie-crawlies at bay. It is also used as a natural household cleanser because of its antimicrobial properties. It is biodegradable and effective against mold. It is most effective against waterborne bacteria.
Method of use: Mix ACV 1 part with 1 part water. Spray on kitchen floor and kitchen platform. Wipe clean with a tissue or clean cloth. NEVER MIX WITH BLEACH OR AMMONIA.
The Bottomline: Never use ACV in an undiluted form. Use of ACV for teeth whitening is not recommended as it contains acetic acid, which is harmful for tooth enamel. ACV can only aid in your weight loss or diabetes control, but never expect it to be a ‘miracle cure’ or a ‘quick fix’ solution.
The undiluted, unpasteurised, raw apple cider vinegar with ‘the mother’ is available at Mesmara. This is made from Himalayan apples. The fresh apple juice is turned into vinegar by fermentation with naturally-present bacteria. No heat or harsh chemicals are used during the processing. Due to its multiple uses, we would recommend grabbing a bottle of unfiltered, raw ACV with ‘the mother’. It comes out as a MULTITASKER and gets a big THUMBS UP!