The rumors are true: Apple cider vinegar benefits are plentiful — and we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, back in 400 B.C., Hippocrates — the father of modern medicine — was prescribing apple cider vinegar for everything from cleansing and energizing the body to curing coughs and colds. It turns out he was on to something: New science proves that this inexpensive kitchen staple is so full of healing properties, downing a tablespoon or two daily can help you look and feel healthier in a variety of ways.
Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of this magical elixir before, or maybe you’re new to hearing how apple cider vinegar can improve your skin, weight, and energy levels. Either way, here’s how to get started in soaking up the best apple cider vinegar benefits nature has to offer.
1. Apple cider vinegar benefits for weight loss are real.
Adding 1 Tbs. of the vinegar to your two biggest meals daily helps you drop up to four pounds a month. “Cider vinegar’s acetic acid suppresses appetite, making it easier to stop eating,” says Earl Mindell, Ph.D., author of Prescription Alternatives.
2. It helps you conquer cravings.
Cider vinegar is rich in acetic acid, a plant compound that shows carbohydrate absorption in the intestines, preventing the wild ups and downs in blood sugar that trigger powerful food cravings and eating jags, say Swedish researchers. To do: Take 1 Tbs. of cider vinegar with any meal that contains carbs.
3. How apple cider vinegar helps heartburn.
If you’re prone to heartburn, consuming just 1 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar five minutes before each meal can prevent those painful flare-ups in as little as two days, says gastroenterologist Joseph Brasco, M.D., author of Restoring Your Digestive Health. “Apple cider vinegar’s malic and tartaric acids that speed fat and protein breakdown, so your stomach can empty quickly and effectively.”
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4. Apple cider vinegar helps cure tiredness.
Do you usually feel draggy? Adding 1 Tbs. of cider vinegar to each meal can make you feel more energetic in a matter of days, reports the Journal of Nutritional Medicine. Credit goes (again) to cider vinegar’s malic acid, which perks up your mitochondria, the tiny furnaces in every cell that help burn food and fat for energy, explains Mindell. Important: Apple cider vinegar may interfere with some Rxs. Check with your M.D.
5. Apple cider vinegar benefits for skin.
Want to look younger and have glowing skin? Apple cider vinegar benefits for skin are just another added bonus of this all-natural health booster. Combine 1 Tbs. of cider vinegar with 8 oz. of water in a spray bottle, close your eyes and mist your face each evening. Cider vinegar’s acids act as gentle exfoliants and astringents, drawing out toxins, unclogging pores and making skin look radiant again, says Mindell.
Get more apple cider vinegar benefits with honey.
Wondering how to consume apple cider vinegar? Remember one important trick about about this kitchen staple: Honey helps the vinegar go down. The same Rx Hippocrates prescribed is still the best: Mix 1 Tbs. each of cider vinegar and honey into 8 oz. of water and enjoy. To boost the benefit, use raw, unpasteurized honey, which studies show contains a variety of health-supportive substances, including heart-protective antioxidants and inflammation-inhibiting enzymes.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.