It’s been hailed as an all-natural solution to bloating and a healthy way to lower cholesterol and improve heart health, but before you go ahead and start on a regimen of a daily apple cider vinegar (ACV) shot, there’s more you need to know.
Why it’s so praised
Touted as a top probiotic liquid—and for under $5 at your local grocery store—it’s often on the list of top gut-healing drinks. But it’s benefits go far beyond just healing digestive issues and helping you debloat after an exceptionally indulgent weekend. In 2016, it was revealed that ACV could be a good and powerful way to prevent urinary tract infections. While it can’t exactly cure them once they’ve started, researchers say that with regular ACV consumption, you could actually have fewer and fewer outbreaks. Convinced to try it? Wait, there’s more. If you regularly suffer from headaches, whether they’re workout or caffeine withdrawal-induced, apple cider vinegar could be a handy solution. Using it in conjunction with a towel and a few cups of boiling water, you can create your own DIY steam headache solution. And at very little cost. When it comes to your skin woes, ACV can come to the rescue, too. If pesky bacne has been plaguing you for years, soak a cotton ball in some ACV and use it as a topical treatment for pimples. Research has already proved that it can help reduce swelling and inflammation, so a little dab of it on your breakout could just do the trick and reduce recovery time. And last, but definitely not least, if greasy foods and electrolyte drinks just don’t do it for you these days, try ACV as a hangover remedy. Spoiler alert: it works. Though certainly not an exhaustive list, it’s not hard to see why apple cider vinegar has risen to the top ranks of superfoods and elixirs. Its healing powers range across ailments, and health enthusiasts have embraced it as almost an all-in-one solution. But, as recent reports show, that might not be the best move.
Yes, you know all the benefits, so how bad can it be? If you’re thinking of joining the legion of people who take a daily shot, you might want to think twice. “Never drink vinegar straight,” writes Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian, in The Washington Post. “It is a potent acid that can be dangerous if aspirated, may cause burns to the tender tissue of the mouth and esophagus, and can lead to tooth erosion.” Plus, Krieger notes, since vinegar creates an adverse reaction with some medications you’re taking, make sure to talk to your doctor before you pursue this all-natural solution.
How you can still consume it
Not willing to let go of this magical tonic entirely? Use it in cooking, instead. Add it while you’re sautéing vegetables or toss into a salad in place of a store-bought salad dressing. If you’d prefer it in a drink, dilute it with water, or add to tea for a more hearty solution. Keeping your own health and safety in mind, make sure to drink it sparingly. That way you can still get the benefits, all the while minimising the risks.