What Are the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vineger?

by Karen Curinga, Demand Media
    Apple cider vinegar's health benefits have been known for centuries.

    Apple cider vinegar's health benefits have been known for centuries.

    An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but there's good reason to believe apple cider vinegar will too. This golden elixir has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. As early as 400 B.C., the father of medicine, Hippocrates, is thought to have used apple cider vinegar to treat patients. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are numerous. Whenever possible, use organic, cold-pressed apple cider vinegar that is brownish in color. If it's cloudy at the bottom, that's OK. This kind has greater nutritional value than white vinegar.

    Nutrient Content

    Apple cider vinegar provides nutrients that Include minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, and copper. Potassium is essential for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction in your body. Iron carries oxygen throughout your body. Calcium is necessary for healthy bones and teeth, nerve function, blood pressure regulation and immune system health. Copper is needed for several enzymes and iron metabolism.

    Digestion

    Taking a small amount of apple cider vinegar before a meal increases stomach acid production. This benefits digestion and nutrient absorption. The pectin in the vinegar is a water-soluble fiber that absorbs water, fat, toxins and cholesterol in the digestive tract and eliminates them from your body. And pectin helps improve glucose metabolism and helps lower blood pressure. Mixing 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar with 4 ounces of water has been used as a natural after-meal remedy for heartburn.

    Bowel Function

    In addition to the water-soluble fiber in the form of pectin, apple cider vinegar also contains insoluble fiber. This insoluble fiber benefits the body as an intestinal scrubber and bowel cleanser, encouraging elimination and regulating bowel movements. Use of natural apple cider as a diarrhea remedy is well known. It helps settle the intestines while replacing potassium and magnesium that usually get lost with diarrhea. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a glass of water. Drink three times a day until your condition improves.

    Skin

    When externally used, apple cider vinegar is a beneficial skin toner, helping to close pores and encourage smooth skin. The use of alkaline cleansers and chlorinated water strips your face of the fine, slightly acidic protective layer that acts as a barrier against bacteria, viruses, wind, and pollution's free radicals. Use of apple cider vinegar as a toner restores pH balance to your skin. Equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and distilled water makes an effective toner. Apply the toner to your face with a cotton ball after washing. Using this mixture on blemishes helps reduce inflammation.

    About the Author

    Karen Curinga has been writing published articles since 2003 and is the author of multiple books. Her articles have appeared in "UTHeath," "Catalyst" and more. Curinga is a freelance writer and certified coach/consultant who has worked with hundreds of clients. She received a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

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