Could a dose of apple cider a day keep excess pounds away? That’s not exactly how the old adage goes, but it's just one of the lofty health claims being made about this pantry staple. The fermented tonic has quickly become the latest must-have superfood—er, superdrink. So what’s all the buzz about? Find out the top reasons people cite for drinking the stuff. Then, bottoms up! (Beer is also another drink with awesome health benefits. Check out these 7 Healthy Reasons to Be Drinking Beer .)
1. It could help you lose weight. Research is very limited, but a small Japanese study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry did find that people who took vinegar daily for twelve weeks lost slightly more weight (1 to 2 lbs) than those who took water. Experts believe vinegar may stimulate genes that help breakdown fat. Another study in the International Journal of Obesity found sipping the stuff could suppress appetite, but this was due to the fact that the pungent taste caused people to feel nauseous—less than appealing.
2. It may banish bad breath. The vinegar's anti-bacterial properties may help break down plaque and kill bacteria that cause halitosis and even a sore throat.
3. It protects your heart. Japanese research showed apple cider vinegar reduced blood pressure in rats—but the same results have yet to be showed in humans. (Did you know apples are one of The Best
Fruits for a Heart-Healthy Diet ?)
4. It keeps blood sugar levels in check. Multiple studies give weight to the claim that apple cider vinegar can help with diabetes and blood sugar regulation. Drinking the stuff was shown to improve insulin sensitivity to high-carbohydrate meals—slowing the rise in blood sugar levels.
5. It aids digestion. Fermented foods, like vinegar, have been shown to aid digestion by encouraging the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
6. It prevents cancer. This is a stretch, but apple cider vinegar is rich in polyphenols, which help fight oxidative stress. Research has shown that eating diets high in antioxidant-rich foods may help reduce your cancer risk, but don’t expect a magic panacea.
7. It balances your pH levels. Proponents claim apple cider vinegar helps restore alkalinity in the body, which can boost metabolism, strengthen immunity and slow the aging-process to give you clearer, wrinkle-free skin—but there’s no research to verify these claims.
One thing to note before you pour yourself a glass: The taste can be tough to swallow, so, if you want to give the trendy drink a dry, we recommend mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water and honey or a fresh fruit juice. Opt for the cloudy, unfiltered version, as it’s believed to be the most potent—just don’t drink too much. Over-indulging may damage your tooth enamel or irritate your esophagus due to its high acid content.