1. Helps improve digestion
Like other fermented foods, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar contains healthy bacteria – the gut-friendly bacteria that helps keep your digestive system working properly. Cider vinegar could provide relief for those with stomach problems like indigestion or heartburn. This is because it neutralises stomach acid whilst acetic acid fights harmful bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to have antiviral and anti-yeast and antifungal benefits, which are all helpful in supporting microbiome and overall immune balance.4
2. Supports your immune system
Prevention is better than cure, so protecting your immune system means you’re more likely to ward off diseases and infections. And here’s where the healthy bacteria in raw cider vinegar come into play.
Studies have found that healthy bacteria can help you recover sooner if you do get sick. Meanwhile, ACV’s antibacterial properties can reportedly fight off pathogens in our body, such as E-coli, staphylococcus aureus and candida albicans.5
3. Condition of your hair
If you have dry, brittle hair or an itchy scalp, replacing your usual shampoo with a bottle of unfiltered cider vinegar could give you more manageable tresses. Research found that using high alkaline shampoos leads to hair breakage and dryness.
The acetic acid in the mother is thought to help lower our hair’s pH to combat that dry, frizzy feel. The pH level of our scalp and hair is acidic at around 5.5. Normal hair products are alkaline, which can contribute to our hair becoming brittle and dry. Water can have the same impact too because it’s pH neutral. But because apple cider vinegar is acidic, it can help restore hair’s pH balance if you pour it on your hair after shampooing.
4. Improve your skin and nail health
Thanks to its natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, apple cider vinegar is used as a natural treatment for healthier skin and nails. Applied as a toner, it may help to balance skin pH and has an exfoliating effect that smooths and softens. And, for rough, cracked heels or mild fungal nail infections, apple cider vinegar is commonly used as a foot soak.
5. Lowers blood sugar levels
Keeping your blood sugar levels in check is important and studies have shown that the acetic acid found in cider vinegar could be beneficial. It’s believed the acetic acid blocks the enzymes that help digest starch. As a result of this, blood sugar levels don’t fluctuate as much after eating starchy food, such as pasta or bread. In fact, drinking 4 teaspoons of vinegar before a high-carb meal may help prevent blood sugar spikes.
A 2017 review of studies published in Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice suggested just that having more vinegar with meals can decrease fluctuations in insulin and blood sugar after you eat.6
6. Fighting dandruff
Thanks to apple cider vinegar’s antifungal properties, it can tackle oil build-up or excessive amounts of the yeasty fungus, malassezia; two of the main culprits of dandruff.7
7. Boosting nutrient levels
Apple cider vinegar contains magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, amino acids, antioxidants and only three calories per tablespoon.8
8. Aiding weight loss
Research has found that apple cider vinegar may be effective at helping people lose weight. In terms of how it works, it’s believed ACV makes you feel fuller, so it prevents people from overeating.9
9. Improving heart health
Apple cider vinegar lowers triglycerides, which cause fatty plaque along your arteries to build up. It also happens to contain a fibre called pectin, that’s present in apples and vinegar and can help neutralise bad cholesterol.
Is it safe to have apple cider vinegar every day?
Yes, it’s ok to drink or sprinkle apple cider vinegar on your food every day, but how much you have of it will very much depend on how much you can tolerate it, as it does have an extremely strong taste.
What’s more, drinking it neat may damage your tooth enamel over time. And large amounts of it may cause cavities. The acetic acid that’s present in the vinegar is pretty potent stuff and may weaken dental enamel and lead to loss of minerals and tooth decay. To prevent this from happening, always drink one part vinegar to ten parts water and sip it with a straw.
How can you use apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar can be incorporated into cooking or used in salad dressings.
If choosing to drink apple cider vinegar, make sure that it is sufficiently diluted – it is too acidic to drink straight. Given that it’s a traditional remedy and not a medicine, there are no official guidelines on how to consume it. Some people choose to stir between 1 tsp – 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water.