When we think apple juice, we think of a refreshing beverage that is sweet and packed with nutrients. Crushed apples made into fermented juice, however, is an unfiltered version of the aforementioned that surprisingly provides more health benefits than the ingredient may lead you to believe. Functioning as an ingredient to many dining staples, here's how apple cider vinegar can benefit you and the risks associated with it under regular consumption.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar Used For?

Despite the sounds of it, apple cider vinegar isn't exactly a viable choice to pick up and drink. When the juice begins to ferment, its sugar is replaced with alcohol. The"vinegar" in its name is the one you'll want to pay closer attention to - it is not commonly drunk straight like other types of apple-based liquids, and functions best as an ingredient for salad dressing, baking, cooking and preservatives. It isn't abnormal to consume it directly, but that comes with its own set of risks if taken in excess.

Strangely enough, the ingredient has tons of medicinal properties that can cure colds, warts and even bug bites. The ingredient also has a place in cosmetics - serving as a natural conditioner. Because of its strong acidic properties, apple cider vinegar can also act as a household cleaner and odor remover. That is not to be confused with being inedible, as it can safely be used in soups, sauces, hot beverages and much more.

Weight Loss

According to a study, all it took for weight loss was two tablespoons (30ml) of apple cider vinegar daily for three months to generate weight loss. Like other natural foods, this isn't a cure for being overweight, but it does suppress one's appetite enough to slow food urges throughout the day. With apple cider vinegar being a completely natural product, calories and sugar levels are incredibly low. If your diet would couple this ingredient with other healthy food options and exercise, results are guaranteed!

Improves Digestion

Because apple cider vinegar contains heaps of acid, naturally that means that the digestive tract will be affected. The higher acidity count enables the body to create pepsin which is an enzyme that breaks down protein. Studies have shown that this ingredient was effective specifically for protein-based diets, which indirectly leads to mitigating constipation or other bowel irregularities.

Lowers Blood Sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a serious threat that grows every year and apple cider vinegar does a good job to reduce overall blood sugar levels. The fermentation process that creates the ingredient does away with sugar, which makes its natural count extremely low when added into foods. Additionally, apple cider vinegar has proven in research to improve the sensitivity of insulin in carbohydrate-heavy meals, which lowers blood sugar already in the body. It is not an antidote for high blood sugar levels, but it is one of the best ingredients to complement low sugar diets.

Good Skin Treatment

The high acidic content in apple cider vinegar also plays a role in balancing the PH levels of the skin. Conditions like eczema, dry skin, and insect bites are responsible for skin irritation - and alkaline-based cleansers can harm to the skin when overused. The ingredient also boasts anti-bacterial properties and can be applied on the skin sparingly to prevent acne breakouts and odor. Although its benefits lie in a more medicinal approach, apple cider vinegar can work just fine as a cleanser.

Good for the Hair

Apple cider vinegar tackles the hair on two fronts: the first, and arguably most important is its ability to get rid of dandruff. This is thanks to vinegar's acetic acid that alters the scalps PH level that prevents yeast build up - one of the culprits that creates dandruff in the first place. When applied in between washes, this ingredient can also moisturise the hair to a certain extent and prevent overall dryness. Once again, the vinegar serves as a catalyst more than a solution to existing hair conditions.

Slows Digestion

As anything that is taken in excess, too much of apple cider vinegar can cause a lot of health problems; the first also being indigestion. High acidity comes at a cost when overconsumed. Granted, this ingredient can do wonders for the digestive system, but things can get significantly worse when taking in too much. Although it does reduce blood sugar levels, the result of this also leads to food having a prolonged stay in the stomach. This slowed rate of absorption into the bloodstream can cause damage to the nerves of the stomach called gastroparesis. Other side effects to this condition include bloating, heartburn and nausea.

Weakens the Bones

The body faces a severe reduction in potassium levels when apple cider vinegar is consumed too frequently. The lack of potassium causes brittleness in bones. This is once again the byproduct of the incredible amounts of acidity found in the ingredient. Because of this, mineral transportation is interfered within the bloodstream which leads to this malnourishment. It also hampers the ability for new bone to grow, but it can be avoided if apple cider vinegar isn't consumed daily in copious amounts.

Can Cause Sore Throat

Adults may not deal with the brunt of this side effect but children have been reported to suffer from this when consuming this ingredient. Vinegar's high count of acetic acid specifically has been proven to be the leading cause of throat burns among children, which presents a risk that can easily be avoided with proper supervision. Adults have also faced a similar issue when consuming apple cider vinegar pills, which has caused severe throat irritation over the course of daily consumption.

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