Apple cider vinegar has been popular for decades as natural remedy “cure all.” While it may not cure quite everything, research has shown it to be effective for both balancing blood sugar and supporting weight loss. It is often promoted as a digestive aid, however, there is no current research to back up those claims, yet clinicians use it for that successfully.
Apple cider vinegar is essentially fermented apple juice. With the help of bacteria and yeast, the sugars from the apples are converted to ethanol (the chemical name for alcohol) and then to acetic acid. The acetic acid is what is thought to be the supportive ingredient that helps with blood sugar management and weight loss. Studies show modest weight loss (2-5 lbs) after use of apple cider vinegar for 3 months as well as up to significant reduction of blood glucose levels after meals and improvement of insulin sensitivity.
For people with diabetes who are already on blood glucose lowering medications, such as insulin, it’s very important to consult with your doctor before starting any other therapy that could potentially drop blood sugar too low. For those with pre-diabetes or insulin resistance, however, incorporating apple cider vinegar daily could enhance the preventive effects of low glycemic diet. Similarly, for those with weight loss goals, apple cider vinegar may be a good complement to a balanced diet and exercise regimen. Typically, apple cider vinegar is taken diluted in water (1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon) before meals. It can also easily be incorporated into your cooking as part of salad dressings or other sauces. A good amount would be 2 tablespoons per meal.
It can be purchased either pasteurized (bacteria killed) or raw and sometimes contains the yeast solids responsible for fermentation called “the mother” in the bottle. The mother adds a cloudy appearance to the bottle but also contributes a small amount of minerals not present without it. Which type you choose is not as important for the effects of acetic acid, however, it will no longer be a fermented food, with other benefits, if you choose pasteurized. Pregnant or lactating women should discuss the use of fermented foods with their doctor.
Quality brands will contain between 4 and 6% acidity. Never consume a vinegar with 20% acidity or higher – it becomes poisonous to the body! On that same note, there are harmful effects of consuming too much vinegar, including enamel erosion and impaired nutrient absorption. You would have consume quite a bit to experience these issues, however, your benefit won’t increase much by consuming more than a small amount each day with meals so it’s best to keep your intake moderate.
You can also find apple cider vinegar pills, however, these have been found to be much less effective so we recommend sticking with the real thing. Get started incorporating apple cider vinegar into your meals with this easy dressing recipe!
Raw Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Dijon mustard helps create an emulsion so your dressing won’t separate as quickly.
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey, as needed for sweetness
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in glass mason jar, then seal the lid and shake until the honey dissolves and the ingredients are well combined. Adjust flavor to taste, if necessary. For best flavor, allow the dressing to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving over your favorite greens. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week, and shake well before serving each time.
Recipe from Detoxinista at https://detoxinista.com/raw-apple-cider-vinaigrette/, accessed March 2018.
Written by Flannery N., Bastyr Intern
Apple Cider Vinegar Review — Bottled Liquids and Pills. ConsumerLab.com, www.consumerlab.com/reviews/apple-cider-vinegars-review/apple-cider-vinegar/?j=424830&sfmc_sub=17863650&l=529_HTML&u=6155352&mid=7276525&jb=98.
LaMotte, S. Apple cider vinegar: what the experts say. CNN. August 31, 2017. https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/health/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/index.html