Is this common acrid-tasting ingredient a suitable weight-loss aid, or is the truth bittersweet?
There are a number of potential health-promoting and weight-loss aids out there that aren’t found in the supplement aisles or over the counter at your local health store or pharmacy. Rather, they reside on the shelves of your local supermarket.
Apple cider vinegar is one such product and has long been revered by proponents of natural remedies and medicine for its numerous health-promoting attributes, including its potential to aid weight loss.
Most of apple cider vinegar’s health benefits are derived from the acetic acid it contains, which is said to kill bacteria. It has traditionally been used as a disinfectant to clean wounds and to treat bacterial infections of the ear, nose and throat.
This antibacterial property also makes it a useful natural preservative. Various online resources also suggest that it can be used to treat fungal infections, acne and warts.
Additional claims suggest that apple cider vinegar can be used to aid and ease digestive maladies, treat acid reflux, reduce inflammation, regulate pH balance, alleviate allergy symptoms, ease nausea and heartburn, and that it can even help to detox the body.
Does it sound too good to be true yet?
Apple cider vinegar also contains a variety of antioxidants in the form of catechin, gallic acid, caffeic and chlorogenic acid, which offer a variety of health benefits.
What has been confirmed by science is that apple cider vinegar can aid the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat and that the acetic acid in the vinegar helps to lower cholesterol.
In another study, this one published by the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, drinking water with vinegar was found to increase good gut bacteria.
Apple Cider vinegar as a weight-loss aid
There are a few small studies that have demonstrated that there may be some benefit to including apple cider vinegar as part of a comprehensive weight-loss plan.
These studies have shown that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and lower a person’s blood sugar response during and after meals, as well as lower fasting glucose levels.
This not only has the potential to benefit those suffering from pre-diabetes or diabetes but also has a beneficial spin-off in terms of promoting weight and/or fat loss.
Researchers found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered the waking blood sugar levels of the 11 type-2 diabetic participants in a study by between 4-6 percent.
How to use Apple Cider vinegar
Advocates of this approach recommend that you stick to organic, unfiltered and unpasteurised apple cider vinegar variants. This is because this variety contains mother of vinegar, a natural cellulose produced by the vinegar bacteria, along with proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance.
Either drink it with water or add it to salads as a dressing, but don’t drink it neat as the acidity can burn your throat.
Regardless of how you choose to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet, it seems there are benefits to be gained from its use, but it should not be considered as a miracle weight-loss aid. Rather, it should be used, if at all, as a supplement to a healthy, balanced diet and exercise plan, alongside other proven weight-loss and fat-loss products.
Author: Mariska du Plessis
Writer, photographer, videographer and Wellness Blogger.
Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_