Thursday, February 28, 2013

Apple Cider Vinegar

Talk about a brilliant apple creation! 

I’m not talking about the newest technology release. I’m talking about apple cider vinegar, or ACV, which 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 a healthy terrain, weight management, and healthy blood sugar levels—among other things.  

Apple cider vinegar has recently entered the spotlight as a health tonic and supplement, but it’s been around for some time now.  In fact, 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 combination to cleanse the system and to promote good health. 

Jarvis believed ACV was a “cure-all” and “could destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract,” which is why he recommended ACV as a digestive tonic to be consumed with meals. Unfortunately, the interest in ACV waned somewhat after that, but there was a resurgence of interest in the health benefits of ACV in the 1970s. 

Fortunately, however, researchers are now actively revisiting Jarvis’ health claims concerning ACV, particularly the ones about blood sugar health, weight management, and insulin support. While more studies continue, some recent findings about apple cider vinegar include:

Blood sugar balance: Several scientific studies indicate that ACV significantly supports healthy glucose levels already in the normal range. For example, researchers at Arizona State University published a preliminary study in Diabetes Care writing that the participants who took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime had much healthier blood glucose levels in the morning.   

Blood pressure and heart health: Animal study findings reveal that ACV may support healthy blood pressure levels. 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. ACV may also inhibit something called angiotensin-converting enzyme from producing angiotensin II, a hormone which constricts blood vessels.

Cellular and cholesterol health: Some lab studies say that ACV may support cellular health. 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. In one study, people who took two tablespoons of ACV before two of their daily meals lost an average of one-half pound a week. 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 can also support alkaline-acid balance in the body and healthy digestion—both of which are cornerstones to optimal health.

Those are just a few reasons why I believe ACV is truly a brilliant apple creation!