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Apple cider vinegar, sometimes abbreviated as ACV, is a sharp-tasting home remedy used to enhance wellness. It’s made by fermenting apples, then adding healthy bacteria to form acetic acid, ACV’s active ingredient.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains a substance known as the mother, which consists of proteins, enzymes, healthy bacteria and probiotics. Although the mother looks questionable, it’s perfectly safe to consume.
Apple cider vinegar isn’t a magic pill that cures all, but it does have many documented health benefits. When taken in moderate amounts, you should also experience few if any side effects.
Here are four ways apple cider vinegar can specifically benefit women.
1. Helps Regulate Your Hormones
Hormones are the messengers of your endocrine system, which regulates many important biological processes in your body. Hormones directly affect your blood sugar levels, sexual development, brain and nervous system development, growth and metabolism.
Along with your nervous system, your endocrine system ensures healthy communication throughout your body. Because hormones interact with each other, an imbalance in one area can easily affect and destabilize other processes throughout your body.
One hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels is insulin. Among other things, insulin can impact your menstrual cycle.
Women who struggle with irregular periods or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may benefit from taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day because it can help regulate insulin levels. In a study testing vinegar’s effects on PCOS patients, several women ovulated after taking vinegar for 40 days.
Many additional studies suggest that ACV helps regulate insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. Taking apple cider vinegar daily in moderate amounts may benefit your endocrine system.
2. May Help You Lose Weight
A study on vinegar’s effect on metabolism showed that acetic acid tended to increase feelings of fullness while improving the body’s ability to process food in a healthy way. Other studies have suggested that it may prevent weight gain by regulating how the body stores fat.
Of course, taking ACV shots doesn’t replace the importance of having a healthy diet and moving your body. There is no magic pill that can give you a new physique overnight.
Your body is like a carefully balanced ecosystem. Each change you make for the better is an investment that will exponentially grow over time, helping it become a healthier version of itself. Consistent, healthy choices like taking ACV will add up over time to take your body to the next level of fitness.
3. Can Benefit Skin and Hair Health
Apple cider vinegar has a pH level of 2-3, which is considered slightly acidic. When applied to your hair, it can help rebalance the pH level of your scalp, treat dandruff and clean out any leftover hair products.
ACV also coats your hair cuticles, helping tone down frizz and promote shiny, healthy hair. Dilute 3-4 tablespoons in 1 ¾ to 2 cups of water. Spray your hair and scalp thoroughly, then let sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
You can also use apple cider vinegar to naturally tone and restore healthy pH levels in your skin. However, make sure you dilute the vinegar to safeguard against drying out your complexion with the acid content! One part ACV to two parts water is a good place to start.
4. May Boost Gut Health
Your gastrointestinal tract is an essential component of your overall health. Your GI tract processes everything you eat and any foreign environmental microorganisms that make their way into your body.
The GI tract is filled with friendly microorganisms that work to keep your body healthy and protect you from disease. Studies on these microorganisms, also known as the gut microbiota, have found thousands of different types of good bacteria present in the human body.
Taking ACV as a daily supplement can improve the health of your GI tract because apple cider vinegar includes healthy bacterial strains in the form of probiotics. Probiotics are live strains of bacteria that are good for your digestive system and are often found in fermented foods.
The health of your gut affects many different systems in your body. By bringing beneficial probiotics to your GI tract, apple cider vinegar may reduce bloating, improve digestion and have an overall positive impact on your health.
How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar
The amount of ACV you use per day will depend on your specific health goals. In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to take 1-2 tablespoons a day, diluted in water.
According to recent research, it doesn’t seem to matter what time of day you take apple cider vinegar. However, because ACV is acidic, it’s probably best not to take a shot right before bed to avoid any possibility of acid reflux.
There are very few adverse side effects to taking ACV, and most of them only occur when people take large doses for extended amounts of time. Like other foods, moderation is key with ACV.
Large amounts of apple cider vinegar can have negative consequences, like eroded tooth enamel, osteoporosis and dangerously low potassium levels. If you’re concerned about protecting your teeth, you can rinse your mouth with water after each use.
If you have diabetes or kidney disease, talk to your doctor before incorporating apple cider vinegar into your everyday routine. Because it affects blood sugar levels, it could potentially interact with some drugs. The acid could also place an extra burden on kidneys that are already struggling.
So far, there is little research on the safety of taking ACV while pregnant. While there haven’t been any reported cases of harm, the current medical opinion is that you should only ingest pasteurized ACV without the mother during pregnancy as an extra safety measure.
Try Out Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for women’s health in many different ways. Even better, you can incorporate this food into your daily routine with little expense or trouble.
Now that you know about the amazing health benefits of apple cider vinegar, how will you use it to increase your wellness?
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