Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Apple cider

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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a version of vinegar made from apple cider that is commonly used as a tangy dressing, form of vinaigrette, or added to hot or cold drinks. With roots dating back centuries, it was once a popular ancient medical remedy for coughs and infections and was even purposed as a disinfectant.

Today, ACV is praised as a 'cure-all' liquid for blood sugar regulation, as well as fighting foot odor bacteria and even relieving minor sunburns. While the claims flow freely, and encompass many areas of health, science has found only some of these claims to be true, an only to an extent.

During the process of producing apple cider vinegar, the sugar from apples is fermented by yeast or bacteria added to the cider, in turn making alcohol, then acetic acid, and, finally, the vinegar. Many ACVs are branded with the 'Mother' on the bottle, which attributes to many of its beneficial properties. Simply put, the 'Mother' is the bacteria added to the vinegar that gives it a cloudy appearance—often mistaken for the product being 'off', leading to many brands removing it altogether via filtering.

Given the popularity of the health claims surrounding ACV, it has become a mainstream product and is now sold in liquid, capsule, and chewable forms.

Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition Facts

The nutritional information for one tablespoon (15g) of Bragg's ACV is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  • Calories: 0g
  • Fats: 0g
  • Sodium: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Sugars: 0.4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein


In terms of its macronutrient count, Bragg's ACV contains virtually no carbohydrates, fats, or protein in a 100-milliliter serving, with no substantial calorie or nutrient output.

Potassium


ACV contains a small amount of potassium, 11 grams per tablespoon or around 73 milligrams per 100 milliliters (of your 2,600-3,400 milligram recommended daily intake). Nevertheless, this nutrient contributes to the body by regulating the heartbeat and nerve and muscle function.

Health Benefits

There is a long list of claims touting the benefits of ACV, yet the majority of these claims lack any concrete scientific backing. Although some people may experience positive effects from ACV, many of the claimed benefits have yet to be proven on a larger scale. However, ACV that has not been pasteurized does contain natural bacteria from the fermentation process. Some of these bacteria may affect our own gut bacteria. In addition, ACV also contains antioxidants.

May Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Glucose acts as the main source of fuel for the body. When blood sugar levels rise too high over and over again we are more susceptible to developing diabetes. It appears that in some cases, ACV may reduce your blood sugar response after consuming starchy foods if it's consumed as part of the meal (ie a vinegar dressing on pasta salad or a side salad with a vinaigrette)..

A small study followed four men and seven women (ages 40-72) with type 2 diabetes. Each day the participants took two tablespoons of ACV daily as part of a standardized meal plan prior to sleep. The study showed that consuming ACV had a positive impact upon waking glucose levels for participants of typical fasting glucose of >7.2 mmol/L.

Another study looked at blood glucose levels after eating a meal for people ingesting vinegar or a placebo and found that the meals with vinegar included yielded a lower blood glucose response.

May Help Reduce Cholesterol

Cholesterol, a wax-like substance found in blood, is what the body needs to make hormones, Vitamin D, and even digest food. However, too much of the bad cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), can cause a build-up of plaque in the arteries.

An eight-week study on 19 patients with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) analyzed their blood at baseline and then at weeks two, four, and eight. The consumption of ACV caused an overall reduction in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL, as well as an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the 'good' cholesterol which carries cholesterol to the liver to be removed from the body.

Although a 2018 study found similar results, further research using much larger groups of subjects is required before making any recommendations

May Aid in Weight Loss

ACV has a reputation for aiding weight loss due to its satiating effect, which may result in a reduced appetite. The satiating effect may also be related to extra fluid intake. Note that results from various studies are inconclusive and more studies are required.

Good To Know

Although ACV is safe to consume in recommended concentrations, it has not been approved to treat any health conditions.

Adverse Effects

The ingestion of vinegar has been known to cause nausea as a result of its acidity with symptoms amplified if taken undiluted and on an empty stomach. It can also cause degraded tooth enamel if taken straight and may aggravate the throat. Ingesting around two tablespoons a day, mixed in water, is generally safe for consumption. The dilution helps protect tooth enamel, which cannot be restored once it erodes.

Varieties

Apple cider vinegar is manufactured as sold as either raw or pasteurized vinegar. The pasteurized versions will not have the live bacteria in them. Companies also offer organic ACV, made from organic apples and apple cider. Because of the popularity of the health claims around ACV, companies have created ACV supplements. Much of the research on ACV is on the raw vinegar.

Storage and Food Safety

As it's acidic in nature, ACV will maintain its quality for two years unopened at room temperature, although it can last much longer although the quality may decrease. Once opened, it's good for around a year. Seal the lid tightly each time and store away from direct sunlight. You may notice particles settling on the bottom or a change in cloudiness, if the vinegar is unpasteurized both of which are normal, as a result of the mother, and can happen over time.

Recipes

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Article Sources
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