Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains probiotics and antioxidants, making it rich in nutrients that are good for your health.
ACV is made by fermenting apple juice. During the process, bacteria or yeasts interact with the natural sugars, transforming them into alcohol and then vinegar. It is mainly composed of two active components: acetic acid and polyphenolic compounds.
While there are different kinds of ACV available in the market, only raw, unfiltered, or unpasteurized ACV contains the “mother” or cloudy substance that floats in the bottle, which is the by-product formed during fermentation and what is especially beneficial to the body.
9 health benefits of apple cider vinegar for women
- Helps with painful periods: ACV can help relieve bloating, cramps, and irritability caused by PMS or periods.
- Regulates blood sugar levels: ACV may help regulate blood sugar levels, especially after a starchy meal.
- Fights dandruff: Diluted ACV sprayed onto the scalp is believed to combat flaking, inflammation, and itchiness. The acetic acid changes the pH of the scalp, making it harder for yeast to develop.
- Kills body odor: ACV is believed to prevent bad body odor by balancing the pH of the skin and killing bacteria that cause odor.
- Helps weight loss: Research suggests that apple cider vinegar can increase the feeling of fullness and thus reduce craving. This can help you eat fewer calories.
- Improves digestion: Taking ACV before eating protein-rich meals may help promote digestion. ACV increases the acids in the stomach, which increases the activity of pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down protein.
- Manages cholesterol: According to some studies, ACV may help lower both total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can lead to serious diseases such as heart attack or stroke.
- Boosts hair and skin health: Using diluted ACV as a hair rinse can help promote shiny hair, while ACV in toners may help with treating acne.
- Antioxidant benefits: Polyphenols and vitamins in apple cider vinegar offer protection against oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which are related to premature aging and cancer growth.
Precautions to take with apple cider vinegar
Since ACV is highly acidic, it should be diluted before use. Some recommend diluting 1-2 tablespoons in 240 mL of water and taking it before meals. Also, ACV should not be directly applied to the skin, as it can be damaging.
Before using ACV for medicinal purposes, consult your doctor to be aware of the potential risks and side effects.
Halima BH, Sonia G, Sarra K, Houda BJ, Fethi BS, Abdallah A. Apple Cider Vinegar Attenuates Oxidative Stress and Reduces the Risk of Obesity in High-Fat-Fed Male Wistar Rats. J Med Food. 2018 Jan;21(1):70-80. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29091513/
Singh A, Mishra S. Study about the nutritional and medicinal properties of apple cider vinegar. Research paper. 2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322953260_STUDY_ABOUT_THE_NUTRITIONAL_AND_MEDICINAL_PROPERTIES_OF_APPLE_CIDER_VINEGAR_ARTICLE_INFO_ABSTRACT
Shmerling RH. Apple cider vinegar diet: Does it really work? Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703
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Vaginal Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include vaginal pain with urination, vaginal discharge, odor, and itching.
Treatment is generally OTC medications. A man can contract a yeast infection from his female sexual partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include penile itching. Treatment is with oral or topical medication.