By now, you’ve probably heard of apple cider vinegar – or ACV as it is affectionately known – and many of its health benefits. You may even use it on your salads, or keep some in your bathroom as a face wash or hair rinse!
But did you know that apple cider vinegar can be an effective weight loss aid? It’s true. Here are six ways in which this fermented tonic can help you drop excess pounds:
1. Balances Blood Sugar Levels
One of the most solid pieces of evidence on apple cider vinegar is its effect on blood glucose levels.
Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is one of the biggest keys to unlocking better overall health and Dr. Oz claims it’s also the secret behind losing weight and keeping it off. When blood glucose levels rapidly rise and fall – as they do after a carbohydrate or sugar heavy meal – this leads to mood swings, headaches, shakiness, cravings and hunger.
Researchers at Arizona State University studied participants with type 2 diabetes, over 70% of whom were on medication for high blood sugar.
The subjects were given a piece of cheese to eat before bed, accompanied by either apple cider vinegar or water. Blood glucose levels were tracked three days before the study and also during the two day trial. It was found that those who took the two tablespoons of ACV with the cheese experienced a reduction of 4% in fasting blood sugars.
However, other studies have shown even greater results.
When insulin sensitive participants and those with type 2 diabetes were given a placebo drink or an ACV drink before eating a white bagel and glass of orange juice (a meal guaranteed to skyrocket blood sugar levels) it was found that those who ingested the vinegar experienced improved insulin sensitivity – by between 19% and 34%!
Numerous other studies, in both rats and humans, show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals. This means apple cider vinegar can help reduce the effects of sugar or carb-rich meals, along with post-meal cravings and hunger.
2. Improves Satiety
Satiety refers to the feeling of being full and satisfied after a meal. Apple cider vinegar can help in this respect too, when taken before or with food.
When participants in a 2005 study were given varying levels of ACV along with carbohydrates in the form of white bread, the participants who had the most apple cider vinegar reported they felt fuller and were more satisfied after their meal than the others.
In addition, blood tests showed that the higher the levels of vinegar taken, the lower the blood glucose and insulin levels of participants.
Another study that same year found that adding apple cider vinegar (or peanuts!) to a meal helped to balance blood sugar levels, and improve feelings of fullness so much that the participants ate between 200 and 275 fewer calories during the rest of the day!
Increasing feelings of fullness without increasing caloric intake – as is the case with taking apple cider vinegar – is one of the most effective methods for losing weight over time.
3. Reduces Body Fat
Quite a bit of research shows that simply adding apple cider vinegar to the diet can reduce fat accumulation.
In animal studies, mice and rats were found to experience a reduction in cholesterol levels, triglycerides, blood pressure, body fat accumulation and liver fat when administered vinegar.
However, a human study confirms that it’s not just animals that experience these benefits. When obese individuals were given daily doses of vinegar over a 12 week period, they enjoyed reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss.
Those who drank one tablespoon daily lost 2.6 pounds on average; while those who consumed two tablespoons each day shed an average of 3.7 pounds.
Although it’s a modest weight loss given the time period, it was achieved with no other lifestyle or dietary changes!
4. It’s Probiotic for Gut Health
The human gut is a complex system which exerts a great deal of control over the health of the whole body. In fact, it houses around 80% of our immune system.
Improving the health of the gut has been found to reduce low level inflammation and may even help prevent obesity.
Rats given lactic acid bacteria while in utero put on significantly less weight than other rats eating the same high-calorie diet. They also had lower levels of minor inflammation, which has been associated with obesity. Similarly, in human babies gut bacteria has been shown to impact weight. Several other studies have found that obese adults have different levels of gut bacteria to slim people.
The good news is that you can still address imbalances in the gut as an adult.
One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggests that it may be possible to use probiotic bacteria to treat obesity and other chronic diseases, while other research found that obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5%, and their subcutaneous fat by over 3%, just by drinking a probiotic-rich beverage for 12 weeks.
You know what’s a great probiotic-rich drink? That’s right … apple cider vinegar!
Consume it regularly to enjoy better gut health and all the benefits that brings – from weight loss and better digestion to improved cognitive function and mood. Here are 13 more ways to improve your gut health naturally.
5. Promotes Better Sleep for Hormone Regulation
Apple cider vinegar in water, sometimes with a little added honey, is an old folk remedy for insomnia. Although it is not known exactly how or why this works, so many people claim it helps them get to sleep quicker and sleep much longer.
Cal Orey, author of ‘The Healing Powers of Vinegar’, recommends mixing two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with honey and warm water and drinking before bedtime to enjoy a restful sleep.
How will better sleep help you lose weight, you ask?
There is plenty of evidence to show that a good night’s sleep can reduce excess body fat.
Sleep deprivation lowers levels of leptin – the appetite suppressing hormone, while increasing ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating feelings of hunger.
UC Berkeley researchers who examined the brain regions that control food choices have even found that sleepless night makes us more likely to reach for doughnuts or pizza than for whole grains and leafy green vegetables, shedding new light on the link between poor sleep and obesity.
Another way that drinking apple cider vinegar to promote better sleep can help with weight loss is by reducing stress levels.
Because our stress hormone cortisol is actually regulated as we sleep, those who sleep poorly or go to bed too late are likely to experience high levels of cortisol and increased stress.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people with high stress and poor sleep were less likely to achieve a 10 pound weight loss goal.
The bottom line: apple cider vinegar is one of many tricks you can try to sleep better, thus regulating both the hunger and stress hormones which, in turn, can reduce your dress size!
6. May Encourage Other Healthy Habits
Taking the first step to a healthier lifestyle can be the hardest. But once we’ve made the switch, each little step we take gets easier – and leads us closer to our goal.
So if your goal is weight loss, then apple cider vinegar consumption may be the first step you can take to reach your desired weight. Once you begin to notice its effects on your health and body, then you will probably be motivated to make other little changes too – like one of these 50 evidence based weight loss tricks.
What the Experts Say:
While several studies clearly highlight apple cider vinegar’s effect on weight management, not everyone is convinced.
Katherine Zeratsky from the Mayo Clinic says that ‘apple cider vinegar isn’t likely to be effective for weight loss’, echoing the sentiments of Jaclyn London, a senior dietician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Nevertheless, there are countless anecdotal stories to back these studies up – including from the likes of model Miranda Kerr and actress Megan Fox who turn to ACV to keep their svelte figures.
Even though ACV alone may not be a magic bullet for weight loss, it appears to be a powerful complementary aid to weight loss efforts when coupled with other healthy lifestyle changes.
How to Take ACV for Weight Loss:
Want to try apple cider vinegar to help shift that stubborn flab? Here’s how:
- Choose the right vinegar – always look for an organic, raw and unfiltered vinegar which is cloudy, and has a sediment in the bottom known as ‘The Mother’. This contains all the probiotic bacteria and enzymes that make this product so powerful.
- Start slow – while a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8oz of water before a meal is a healthy dose, some people find they need to work up to this level. Start with a teaspoon and gradually increase the amount. If you prefer, you can also drizzle the vinegar over a salad – another surefire way to get on track to your goal weight. Alternatively, try one of these five tasty ways to get your daily dose of ACV.
- Be patient – apple cider vinegar favors the ‘slow and steady’ method of weight loss. As demonstrated by some of the studies, it promotes modest weight loss over a period of months. If you want to reach your dream weight faster, couple your new ACV regimen with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
While apple cider vinegar is a probiotic rich food, as opposed to a medicine, it is generally safe to take.
But if you have stomach acid issues (like GERD or indigestion), or are taking any medications with which it might interfere, then you should consult your doctor before consuming.
In more concentrated doses, apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel or burn the mouth and throat – which is why it is so important to dilute it well and consume it before, or with, a meal. For added tooth protection, rinse out your mouth with water afterwards.
Source: Natural Living Ideas
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