The easiest way to add apple cider vinegar into the diet is by using it for meal preparation, but apple cider vinegar capsules are also a great way to get nutrients without the sour taste
With the arrival of spring, we start to see fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables in the produce section of the markets, inspiring us to add more healthy meals into our regular diets. In addition, this is a great time to start experimenting with zesty dressings or meat marinades, particularly vinegars.
One of the more popular types of vinegar also has a number of health benefits.1 Apple cider vinegar, like many other medicinal compounds, also has a long culinary history going back to ancient times.
Bioactive ingredients of apple cider vinegar capsules or drinks
Vinegars are made up of a number of bioactive properties, including acetic acid, gallic acid, catechins, ephicatechins, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, and ferulic acid.2 Of these, acetic acid provides the distinctive sharp, sour smell and taste associated with vinegars and is considered responsible for a variety of health benefits.2 Cider vinegars, in particular, contain anywhere from 5-6% acetic acid.2
CentreSpringMD recommends starting your day with shot of apple cider vinegar capsules or a drink to counteract a weak immune system and improve gut health.
“This is a great way to keep your pH balanced,” they write. “The pH scale in our bodies ranges from 1 to 14, with 7.3 to 7.45 being our ideal range, and can be determined by using a saliva or urine test. Lower than 7.3, you are two acidic and are more likely to have a weak immune system; higher than 7.45, you’re too alkaline and could have trouble metabolizing key nutrients, or have low oxygen levels in the blood. An ACV shot also helps with gut health by improving the gut microbiome and helping with the metabolism of fat — both keep immunity healthy.”
There are records dating back to ancient times for the use of apple cider vinegar as both a food preservative, as well as a medical treatment to prevent a number of infectious diseases, including nail fungus and ear infections. More recently, an article in Scientific Reports examined the possibility of using apple cider vinegar as an antimicrobial agent against the common pathogens E. coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans.3
The researchers used different dilution strengths for each pathogen, yet found that apple cider vinegar proved itself to be an effective antimicrobial agent against each strain.3
Managing blood sugar levels
High blood sugar is often associated with diabetes, although it can accompany a number of other metabolic conditions.4 A 2004 article in Diabetes Care examined the effect of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar levels for study subjects who were diabetic, insulin resistant, or insulin sensitive (the control group).
All subjects ate a high-carb meal two minutes after consuming an apple cider vinegar-based beverage. The insulin-resistant subjects saw an improvement in blood sugar levels of 34%, while those who were diabetic saw an improvement of 19%.4
Eczema and dry skin
As mentioned previously, apple cider vinegar is slightly acidic. This may make it an excellent remedy for skin conditions, which often are the result of too much alkaline in the body.
Apple cider vinegar is thought to help rebalance skin’s natural pH level. The best way to use apple cider vinegar to improve skin is to add two cups to a warm (not hot) bath. After soaking for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse off with a shower, but don’t use soap. Pat dry, rather than rub, to retain as much moisture as possible.
Take one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to start, stirred into an 8 oz. glass of water per day, working up to two tablespoons. However, the easiest way to add apple cider vinegar into the diet is by using it for meal preparation, as noted previously. Apple cider vinegar capsules are also a great way to get nutrients without the sour taste.
Fortunately, the arrival of summer fruits and vegetables can provide an abundance of ideas for how to easily add apple cider vinegar into your diet.
- 18 ways to cook with apple cider vinegar. Cooking Light. Accessed 4/28/2018.
- Ho CW, Lazim AM, Fazry S, et al. Varieties, production, composition and health benefits of vinegars: A review. Food Chemistry. 2017;221:1621‐1630.
- Yagnik D, Serafin V, J. Shah A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans: Downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports. 2018;8:1732.
- Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care Jan 2004:27(1):281-282.