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Jar of apple cider vinegar alongside some red apples

Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin, Hair and Weight Loss

Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin, Hair and Weight Loss

Apple cider vinegar has in recent years been suggested as a virtual panacea for mankind’s ills.

With a long history of usage as a home remedy, the vinegar is one of the most commonly-touted substances in the world of natural health: an ancient ‘superfood’ whose appeal is enhanced by wellness gurus, the influence of whom is compounded by massive social media platforms.

But what can apple cider vinegar do for skin, hair and those wishing to lose weight? In this article, we aim to outline the key benefits.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?


Apple cider vinegar is made when crushed apples and yeast interact to ferment fruit sugars and turn them into alcohol; afterwards bacteria is added to the solution, further fermenting the alcohol and transforming it into acetic acid.

The mysterious ‘mother’ is frequently mentioned when apple cider vinegar is brought up. The mother is simply a reference to the complex culture of beneficial bacteria inherent in the very process of making apple cider vinegar.

It is this mother which is deemed to be associated with the countless health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

Unrefined, unfiltered, ‘raw’ apple cider vinegar is the type to look out for, as it still contains the coveted mother culture. This particular ACV mightn’t look as appetising (it’s murky, while the refined, non-mother vinegar has a clear appearance) but it is the one known for its healthful properties.

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin

Speaking of therapeutic properties, one of the most commonly cited is for skin. Apple cider vinegar is employed in countless skin and beauty remedies, and is often diluted with water: it can cause a burning sensation if used undiluted, so most favour a 50:50 mix.

Topical application of apple cider vinegar offers a convenient, cheap and entirely natural alternative to synthetic skin creams or moisturisers. As well as keeping the skin fresh and supple, apple cider vinegar’s key skin benefits are outlined below

• Helps combat acne and blemishes

There are many reported accounts of individuals alleviating acne not with drugstore cleansers but with apple cider vinegar. The popularity of the treatment has rocketed in recent years, after actress Scarlett Johansson discussed using an apple cider vinegar face wash in her skincare routine.

It is thought that the vinegar’s antibacterial and antifungal properties are what make it so beneficial for those with acne, skin infections and outbreaks. ACV also works to remove excess oil from the skin and balance skin pH levels.

• Minimises wrinkles and age spots

There are more anti-ageing creams available on the market than we care to count, but apple cider vinegar is a great, 100% chemical-free alternative.

For age spots, it is usually recommended to apply undiluted, directly to the spots themselves, and repeat several times each day for at least 30 days. However, some have professed to achieve better results mixing the vinegar with fresh orange or onion juice rather than water.

• Draws toxins out of the skin

Adding a cupful of apple cider vinegar to a hot Epsom salt-infused bath may help flush toxins out of your body via the skin. The acids in apple cider vinegar can attach themselves to toxins and help the body eliminate them more efficiently.

• Cools sunburn

Yes, apple cider vinegar can even help cool the soreness of sunburn. Try adding around 200ml to a warm bath and soak in it for a quarter of an hour.

You can also use ACV as a salve: just mix 100ml with a litre of water and pour onto a towel to soak; then apply gently to areas of sun damage.

Of course, it should be remembered that what we ingest impacts the appearance of our skin; so as well as experimenting with topical application for specific complaints, you should consume apple cider vinegar to aid general detoxification.

A tablespoon in water once or twice a day should do the trick. Just don’t consume undiluted: straight vinegar, as with other acids, can damage the lining of the oesophagus and lead to ulcerations.

When applying ACV to the skin, you can blend with water, honey, natural juice or even a pinch of baking soda, to minimise irritation. Experiment to find out what works for you, or do a little digging online to read personal testimonies.

You simply do not need synthetic products to restore a youthful, clean glow to your face.

What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do for Hair?

As well as being used as a face wash, apple cider vinegar has been suggested as a means of treating damaged hair and enhancing shine. There are several reasons for this. One is that because apple cider vinegar is acidic, it can lower the pH of hair (which deviates towards alkalinity) and thereby reverse signs of dullness or brittleness.

Another reason apple cider vinegar is proposed for hair treatment is because its mild acids and enzymes can help control the bacteria which leads to irritation of the scalp.

Rinsing your scalp with apple cider vinegar mixed with water is a great way of keeping the bacteria which causes dandruff, itchiness and flakiness to a minimum.

As noted by Hair Loss Revolution, apple cider vinegar is also an effective natural treatment for hair loss and helps to stimulate better circulation of hair follicles. The better your circulation, the stronger the roots and the healthier – in theory at least – your hair.

The alpha-hydroxy acid content of the vinegar furthermore exfoliates both the scalp and hair, permitting the removal of dead skin cells and build-up which can accrue from sweat or regular haircare products.

To make an apple cider vinegar rinse for your hair, blend a cup of water with 2-4 tablespoons of raw ACV. After shampooing and rinsing, simply pour the blend over your scalp and allow it to soak into your hair. Massage into the scalp and, after a minute or two, rinse fully.

You might also want to consider adding a drop or two of lavender oil to the mix; like ACV it has antimicrobial properties, and a 2016 animal study showed it capable of increasing the number of hair follicles in female mice.

Is It Useful for Weight Loss?


A number of human studies bear out the claims that apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss, mainly by increasing satiety. In one study by Arizona State University’s Department of Nutrition, those who consumed ACV with meals ate on average 200-275 calories less per day.

The results dovetailed with data from the Lund University in Sweden, showing that consumption of 30ml of ACV not only improved blood sugar and insulin but prolonged the state of feeling full in healthy adults.

In a third study, published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, apple cider vinegar intake correlated with a reduction in body weight, body fat mass and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Participants taking 15ml of ACV per day enjoyed all these benefits, though those taking 30ml enjoyed greater reductions in subcutaneous fat.

“Energy intake, meal content and physical activity did not differ among the three groups throughout the test period. Therefore, vinegar intake was considered to decrease the BMI of obese subjects via a reduction in body fat mass, regardless of the type of adipose tissue,” noted the researchers.

You may choose to gulp a tablespoon before your main meal, although it is most commonly added to warm water and drunk. Raw honey makes an appealing natural sweetener for those who can’t abide the powerful (some say unpleasant) taste.

The important thing to remember is that you must take ACV consistently to enjoy the weight loss benefits: that means months rather than weeks. Still, there are so many advantages to incorporating apple cider vinegar into your wellness plan, and the majority of them will be noticeable before any reduction in fat.

What About Heart Disease Risk?


It may not be the most well-documented benefit, but apple cider vinegar can help to lower cholesterol thanks to the presence of pectin, a complex carbohydrate and soluble fibre found in apples.

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol, binds itself to pectin and is eliminated from the body as waste. The antioxidant chlorogenic acid also protects LDL cholesterol particles which hang around from becoming oxidised, a vital step in hampering the heart disease process.

Furthermore, mice studies have shown that the acetic acid in ACV is useful in reducing serum cholesterol and triglycerides, and as mentioned, human studies prove that drinking apple cider vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase the ‘fullness’ feeling and reduce the number of calories you eat for the rest of the day.

Given that body weight is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, this only strengthens the claims that ACV helps in this area.

Along with a good-quality fish oil, consuming apple cider vinegar is a recommended step towards protecting your heart.

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Apple Cider & The Mother: Benefits & Creative Ways To Use It To Boost Health

Apple Cider & The Mother: Benefits & Creative Ways To Use It To Boost Health

Apple cider vinegar has long been known for its incredible health benefits that include weight loss, prevention and treatment of diabetes, and improved blood sugar levels. It has also been used in many home remedies for skin and hair care.

Not all apple cider vinegar will get you these amazing health benefits. If you want the best product with the most nutrition, upgrade your current apple cider vinegar to include the mother.

Amazing Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is formed when the sugar in apples are allowed to naturally ferment into alcohol. Longer fermentation processes allow for a combination of yeast and bacteria to accumulate, which is known as the mother. The mother contains a unique strand of proteins, healthy bacteria and enzymes that many people believe are responsible for enhancing the benefits of apple cider vinegar.

  1. Antimicrobial and Wound Healing
Apple cider vinegar contains antimicrobial properties that may also be able to kill some types of bacteria. In the context of food preparation, apple cider vinegar is an excellent way to wash and preserve foods. It can also be used to treat wounds.
  1. Lowers Cholesterol
According to a study published in Medscape General Medicine, apple cider vinegar can be used to treat high blood pressure. The study also indicated a lower risk for fatal ischemic heart disease in people who regularly consumed oil and vinegar salad dressings.
  1. Anti-tumor Properties
Apple cider vinegar is a good source of polyphenols, which are plant chemicals that in one study showed benefits as a promising cancer preventer. It is also a good source of antioxidants, which further protect cells from tumor formation.
  1. Anti-glycemic Effects

Research shows that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one ounce of cheese at night before going to bed improves waking blood glucose levels. The study stated that the active ingredient in vinegar, known as acetic acid, also contributes to starch digestion and delayed gastric emptying, which may help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Amazing Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar With The Mother

Apple cider vinegar and the mother provide a unique set of health benefits that should not be confined to the kitchen. Here are some creative ways to use this amazing product.

  1. Acne
Because of its antimicrobial properties, apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient in many homemade acne remedies. It can also be used to reduce dark spots, restore pH balance to facial skin, promote an even tone, and fights wrinkles. To use, apply a pea sized amount to a cotton ball and rub all over your face and neck. (We suggest doing a patch test first).
  1. Food Preservative and Rinse

According to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Food Production, apple cider vinegar may be used to treat E. coli from growing in food, which makes it a great way to naturally preserve and clean your foods at home. For big batches of food, fill your sink up with water and add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Stir the mixture together and drop your vegetables in. Let the vegetables sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.

You can also combine a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a spray bottle full of water and spray your vegetables clean. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before washing off.

  1. Disinfectant and Natural Cleaner

Take advantage of the mother’s bacteria-killing benefits by making your own organic homemade disinfectant. According to a 2006 study, undiluted apple cider vinegar with the mother may be effectively used for cleaning dentures. The study stated that unlike bleach, vinegar residues that were left on dentures were not associated with muscle damage.

To clean kitchen tops and other areas of your home, mix one cup of water with ½ cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Use this mixture to spray on windows, glass, mirrors, bathroom tiles and microwaves.

  1. Salad Dressing
Making your own apple cider vinegar salad dressing at home can help protect your risk of developing fatal ischemic heart disease1. Try the following recipe for a tasty health boost on your next salad:
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar and shake well to mix. Allow the dressing to sit for 30 minutes before use if possible. Will last for up to a week in the fridge.
  1. Dandruff Remedy

Apple cider vinegar can be used on dry hair to treat dandruff and a dry scalp. To use, combine ¼ cup raw honey with 10 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply the mixture to your hair. Leave it on for approximately 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.

 

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Should You Be Supplementing Your Diet With Organic Apple Cider Vinegar?

Vinegar has a bad reputation; it’s been associated with greasy chips and oily fast food for years, and the fact that it doubles up as a potent antibacterial agent leads many people to (incorrectly) conclude that it’s dangerously corrosive. However, new evidence suggests that one type of vinegar could be extremely beneficial, and might even encourage weight loss if taken correctly.

The vinegar in question is apple cider vinegar; a potent health tonic that’s made by combining apples with bacteria and yeast, before allowing the mixture to ferment over a number of weeks. This fermentation process creates a nutritious, amber coloured liquid that’s loaded with important nutrients, and rich in acetic acid.

The Acetic Acid in Apple Cider Vinegar Could be the key to Better Weight Loss.

In 2010, The Japanese Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry used a double-blind study to demonstrate that people taking regular shots of apple cider vinegar could shed between 5 and 15 lbs more than a control group that were not provided with routinely-administered doses of acetic acid. Another study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry just two years ago, showed that mice fed regular doses of apple cider vinegar over a number of weeks were better able to suppress the accumulation of body fat, and just last year two American doctors published a third trial that implicated acetic acid in the reduction of excess weight, and demonstrated that patients taking regular shots of this powerful health tonic enjoyed increased protection from harmful liver lipids

What does this mean? Basically, these studies tell us that regular doses of Apple Cider Vinegar could help you to shed excess weight, and obtain better health.

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Encourage Weight Loss?

At present, we believe that it’s the interplay between acetic acid and the enzymes in your liver that lends apple cider vinegar it’s potent weight-dispelling properties. Studies show that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is responsible for upregulating the expression of genes responsible for the production of fatty acid oxidation enzymes in the liver. This process of upregulation causes a suppression in body fat accumulation, and slows the weight gain process, as well as inhibiting the production of liver lipids.

It’s also thought that drinking regular shots of apple cider vinegar might prolong the feeling of satiety that you get at the end of every meal, and ensure that you feel full for longer, which will help to limit your caloric intake, as well as improving the speed with which your body can deal with any excess fat.

Apple Cider Vinegar Isn’t Just an aid to Weight Loss

Alongside a healthy dose of acetic acid, apple cider vinegar also carries an abundance of other important compounds, including alkaline ash, malic acid and potassium. As well as encouraging weight loss, this potent natural tonic could also help you to:

  • Regulate your blood pressure
  • Restore your body's pH balance
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Enhance your bodies metabolism
  • Clear up skin conditions
  • Increase your resistance to bacterial infections

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is also thought to help prevent tooth loss, brittle hair and the deterioration of your cardiovascular system by providing your body with some of the alkaline minerals it needs to maintain your good health.

Adding Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet

If you're interested in benefiting from the addition of apple cider vinegar to your diet, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s both very easy, and very quick to incorporate in a variety of recipes. You might want to try adding it to your next salad dressing, salsa or chutney.

It’s also very easy to mix 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. Drinking the resulting apple cider vinegar tonic is probably the most popular way of consuming this powerful, nutritious health supplement, and it can be doubly healthy if you use antioxidant, alkaline water.

Due to it’s rising popularity, you’ll find apple cider vinegar in most good health stores.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about this article, or you want to know more about the multiple health benefits associated with apple cider vinegar, you can always call us on +44 (0) 1764 66211 or send us a message through the Water for Health Website.

If you’d prefer to read the studies referenced in the body of this article, you’ll find the following links useful:

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bbb/73/8/73_90231/_article

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf900470c

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