Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Really That Great? Everything You Need To Know

Leah Bourne
benefits of Apple cider vinegar

Are the benefits of ACV really that great? We break it down. (Getty)

Megan Fox
 swears by it during cleanses, Miranda Kerr drizzles it on her salads, while Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow drink it solo for its supposed health benefits. We’re not talking about some newfangled miracle concoction, but rather good old apple cider vinegar, which some swear is the key to a healthy, thin body.

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If you’re rolling your eyes at this supposed Hollywood health secret, don’t. A-listers may now suddenly be catching on to apple cider vinegar, but it’s by no means a new phenomenon, and people have been taking advantage of it for centuries, a practice that reportedly dates back to ancient Chinese medicine.

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So, do the benefits of apple cider vinegar really hold true? Are there side effects? How does it taste? Here, we break down all of the common questions surrounding ACV, plus how to add it into your diet, what it actually does, and the no-no’s of consuming it.

What exactly is apple cider vinegar
How apple cider vinegar is made is actually quite similar to how alcohol is made. First, crushed apples are exposed to yeast, which turns the sugar from the apples into alcohol. Then bacteria is added, which further ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid. While there no vitamins or minerals in it, it does contain potassium, and some amino acids and antioxidants. It’s also very low in calories—only around about three calories per tablespoon.

How do I consume it?
The best way to add apple cider vinegar into your diet is to include it in recipes with foods you’re already eating, like salad dressing, marinades, and mayonnaise. However, most die-hard fans also like to dilute a tablespoon in water, and drink it as a beverage. Chugging it on its own isn’t advised: It’s extremely acidic and hard to swallow.

How much should I ingest?
Experts recommend a dosage ranging from 1 to 2 teaspoons to 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. In other words, don’t go overboard and start swigging apple cider vinegar whenever you’re thirsty.

What exactly are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are wide and varied. While there’s little scientific research around the benefits, a quick google search of apple cider vinegar, and you’ll see countless testimonies of people who swear by it. One of the biggest reasons celebrities and others are such big fans is that many believe it helps to reduce your appetite. The combination of vinegar along with a high-carb meal, some say, increases the feeling fullness, leading you to eat less after you’ve ingested it.

Others report that vinegar has a lot of benefits for diabetics, and those looking to control their sugar levels. Studies have shown that those with diabetes who regularly ingest vinegar have improved insulin sensitivity, and that it lowers blood glucose and insulin responses.

Researchers are also studying to see if vinegar could be used to reduce the risk of heart disease. Researchers at Harvard conducted an observational study that showed that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease in the long-term.

Other reported benefits? Treating nail fungus, heartburn, lice, warts, ear infections, and even acne.

What kind should I buy?
One of the most common apple cider vinegar brands people swear by is Bragg organic apple cider vinegar, available online and at most grocery stores. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s contains “mother” strands of proteins, enzymes, and good bacteria which is what many of apple cider vinegar’s biggest fans believe is responsible for all of these so-called miracle health benefits.

Are there any side effects?
Very few side effects seem to exist, which means giving it a try to see if you experience benefits isn’t a bad idea. Experts do warn against ingesting more than the recommended daily dose, and some warn that the apple cider vinegar tablets are less effective. But for the most part, apple cider vinegar appears to be very safe.