Apple Cider Vinegar 101: Process, Benefits, And Uses
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Apple cider vinegar recently has become a popular health remedy used by many to maintain gut health and immunity. In pharmacies too, you will find apple cider vinegar capsules that even doctors suggest. You might wonder how this simple kitchen ingredient became such a widely used health remedy. For that, you need to first understand how it's made.

The process of making Apple Cider Vinegar starts with Apple itself. Like Apples, many other fruits can also be used for making vinegar such as oranges, grapes, mangoes, plums, peaches, and so on. Even tiny maple syrup and beer can also be used for making vinegar.

For making apple cider vinegar, apples are squeezed out to extract the juice and pulp called cider, then the extracted cider is exposed to yeast to begin fermentation. The yeast helps in converting fructose and sucrose in apples to alcohol, which is called alcoholic fermentation. This creates hard cider with low alcohol content. After the hard cider is produced, it goes through a second fermentation cycle which introduces a bacteria named acetobacter to cider which converts the alcohol to acetic acid, giving the vinegar its classic sour taste.

After alcohol is converted to acetic acid, the vinegar is aged to let the flavours develop along with acidity. Once the vinegar is aged properly, it is filtered and bottled to sell. For ages, apple cider vinegar has been used in culinary as well as medicinal purposes. Read more in what ways apple cider vinegar can benefit your health.

Know These Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

1) Improves Gut Health

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Apple cider vinegar has been widely used as a tonic to improve gut health and digestion. A 2018 study examined the effects of apple cider vinegar on various gastrointestinal diseases. It was concluded that apple cider vinegar showed symptomatic relief of acid reflux, eased constipation and generalised abdominal pain, and was effective against dyspepsia. It is because of the probiotics that contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.

2) Strengthens Immunity

Apple cider vinegar helps in boosting immunity by improving resistance against bacteria and viruses, improving gut health and enhancing the nutrient absorption from food in the gut. It is because of the acetic acid, polyphenolic compounds, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C in the vinegar.  A study in 2021 investigated the effects of apple cider vinegar in broiler chickens. It was observed that the chickens fed with apple cider vinegar showed significant body growth, an increase in antibody titre against Newcastle disease virus, immune response against pathogens and enhanced nutrient absorption in gut health.

3) Aids Weight Management

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Apple cider vinegar can surprisingly help you with weight management and fulfilling your fitness goals by aiding weight loss. A study published in 2021 examined the effect on ACV lipid profiles and glycemic parameters. In it, it was concluded that regular consumption of ACV benefits glycemic index and lipid parameters in adults. A high glycemic index is a symbol of reducing body weight and controlling glucose and insulin in metabolism. Moreover, apple cider vinegar also helps you feel full and reduces hunger.

4) Reduces Cholesterol

Bad Cholesterol can lead to many chronic health problems like heart attack, heart problems and stroke. A study conducted for examining the effects of ACV on weight management and lipid profile in overweight individuals concluded that those who consumed ACV regularly showed lower cholesterol levels in the 12 weeks period and also significantly lost weight. Another study in 2021 published by NIH found a significantly favourable effect of ACV on FPG (Fasting plasma glucose) and blood lipid levels.

5) Works As A Skin Remedy

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The acetic acid, succinic acid, and citric acid in ACV can help in fighting the effects of harmful bacteria on the skin which helps in reducing acne and keeping the skin healthy. A study published in  2023 examined several home remedies used in dermatology, which also included the uses and benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. In it, it was concluded that ACV was effective against Pityriasis versicolor which is a superficial fungal infection of the skin. Also, ACV was proven helpful against Atopic dermatitis and restored skin barrier functions.

6) Fights Infection

The antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties of ACV are beneficial in keeping bacterial infections at bay. A study published in 2021 investigated the antibacterial effects of ACV on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterias that lead to soft skin tissue infections such as abscesses, furuncles, and cellulitis. It was concluded that ACV can have powerful antimicrobial effects directly resistant to the bacteria.

7) Antioxidants Fight Skin Aging

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The phenolic compounds found in apple cider vinegar including Catechin, Epicatechin, Chlorogenic acid, Phloridzin, Gallic acid and Caffeic acid possess potent antioxidant properties that benefit the body in many ways. These antioxidants help in fighting the signs of ageing, fight free radical damage, boost brain functions, fight cancer-producing cells and defend against oxidative stress. A study published in 2022 backed the effects of antioxidants in ACV and compared the results between artisanal ACV and industrial ACV, proving artisanal vinegar is more effective than industrial-produced vinegar.

Uses of ACV:

There are many ways to include Apple cider vinegar in your diet and consume it daily. 

1) You can add it as a salad dressing, mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV in water and drink it before and after meals.

2) Make a DIY skin toner with water and apply it to your skin.

3) Make your own healthy cider tonic by combining fruit, sugar and vinegar to create a mixed drink.

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There are many reasons why apple cider vinegar can be your magical elixir and impart your body with immense health benefits. Try adding it to your daily diet and see effective results from the get-go.