You heard right. An apple a day—in the form of apple cider vinegar, that is—may really help keep the doctor away. But what is this apple creation called apple cider vinegar or ACV? Simply put, ACV is made up of pulverized apples allowed to ferment, producing a tangy, healthy apple cider vinegar. ACV’s main ingredient is acetic acid, which is known for helping to support weight management as well as healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels as well as cellular and heart health.
Apple cider vinegar is nothing new, though. It’s been used to make pickles, to clean coffee makers, as dressing for salads, as a disinfectant, and even for killing weeds, polishing armor and taking the “ouch” out of jellyfish stings. More recently, however, apple cider vinegar has entered the spotlight as a health tonic.
ACV was literally put on the U.S. map in 1958 when it was highlighted in the D.C. Jarvis, M.D., New York Times best-selling book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health. In his book, Jarvis advocated an apple cider vinegar and honey combo to cleanse the system and to promote good health. He believed ACV was a “cure-all” and “could destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract,” which is why Jarvis recommended ACV as a digestive tonic to be consumed with meals.
There was a resurgence of interest in the health benefits of ACV in the 1970s, but researchers are now actively re-visiting Jarvis’ health claims concerning ACV, particularly the ones about blood sugar health, weight management and insulin balance. They may be on to something, too. While more studies need to be done, some recent findings about apple cider vinegar include:
- Blood sugar: Several scientific studies indicate that ACV significantly supports healthy glucose levels in those with unhealthy blood sugar levels and in those who have already-healthy blood sugar levels.
- Blood pressure and heart health: Animal study findings reveal that ACV may support healthy blood pressure levels and a healthy heart. Although researchers aren’t sure why the effects on blood pressure and heart health are so positive, they think that ACV may increase levels of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels.
- Cellular & cholesterol health: Some lab studies say that ACV may support cellular health and fight off those nasty unhealthy and unwanted cells. Additionally, a 2006 animal study suggests that ACV may support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, mostly through its acetic acid content.
- Weight management: D.C. Jarvis was one of the first proponents of ACV for weight management. He believed that people who consumed apple cider vinegar regularly burned fat instead of storing it. Researchers believe that ACV’s acetic acid content may inhibit carb absorption and may help people to feel full and can, therefore, assist with controlling weight.
In addition to these health benefits, ACV is also thought to support alakaline-acid balance in the body and to support healthy digestion.
For those who want to add a little ACV to their diets, be sure to select the least processed apple cider vinegar you can find—the murkier and darker the liquid, the better. And, of course, it’s always wise to choose organic. So try some ACV today. It’s an apple creation you won’t want to miss out on!