When I first started participating in hypothyroidism patient advocacy groups and discussing with other patients about their experiences, one of the most common digestive aides mentioned was using apple cider vinegar two to three times per day. It was touted not only to help aid digestion, but it also helped many people with metabolic disorder to absorb their thyroid medication better.
I looked into the medicinal and alternative health benefits of apple cider vinegar and spoke with my endocrinologist about using this product to complement treatment, and was amazed at what I learned. First, my doctor said that while he can’t say that apple cider vinegar works for any particular purpose, he confirmed that, for most people (always talk to your doctor about doing any medical treatment, alternative or not, before starting a new treatment), apple cider vinegar can’t hurt anything, and for some, it might help.
The second thing I learned was the incredible wealth of benefits apple cider benefits can provide. So what can you use apple cider vinegar for to help improve your health? Here are some of my favorite uses:
Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Lower Blood Sugar
One of the best researched and most well-known benefit of apple cider vinegar is its use as a dietary aide to help lower blood sugar. An article on WebMD says it might lower blood sugar as much as 4-6% in the morning when taken before meals. Just two tablespoons and slam it down, washed down with some water or juice to cut the taste, and you’re good to go. Eat like you normally would. The reason for this is believed to be because apple cider vinegar contains chromium, and chromium affects insulin levels, and insulin levels, of course, affects blood sugar levels.
Apple Cider Vinegar Aids Digestion
Stomach acid and digestion are linked together, and some people simply don’t make enough stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar helps to complement stomach acid in a healthy sort of way, so it can help aid and start digestion when taken with a meal, presumably allowing more nutrition to be absorbed from the foods you eat.
Apple Cider Vinegar Assists Weight Loss
There have been several studies about weight loss and vinegar in general, and a few specifically looking at apple cider vinegar. The studies, while they haven’t confirmed any assistance with weight loss, do show that participants felt fuller and were compelled to eat fewer calories when they consumed vinegar with their meals, or immediately prior to their meals. Eating fewer calories or feeling fuller and thus eating less food can help dieters lose weight over the long term.
Acid Reflux Treated with Apple Cider Vinegar
While it might sound counterintuitive to use acidy vinegar to combat acid reflux, but the RefluxMD website shares in depth information on how apple cider vinegar might help prevent or improve acid reflux. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve tried it myself on days when I’ve had acid reflux symptoms, and I’ll honestly say it helps. I’m so used to taking antacids or doing something soothing or creamy, to fight the acid, but when I tried it, within about five minutes, my stomach was settled and the burning feeling up into my throat was gone.
Apple cider vinegar is my go-to now when I start having trouble sleeping due to acid reflux, and it’s a lot cheaper than the drugs like Nexium that my doctor wanted to prescribe. It’s more natural too. A ‘shot’ glass of apple cider vinegar literally costs only pennies, while Nexium is over $200 per month at my local pharmacy.
Ask Your Doctor about Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar as a medical treatment might not be for anyone. Eating vinegar in a dressing, on a salad or with your food probably won’t bother anyone, but taking it as a supplement can affect some medical conditions. If you are wanting to try apple cider vinegar for a medical condition, talk to a naturopath or your medical doctor. Vinegar can interact with some medications-particularly diabetes and heart medications-so you want to make certain you’re not going to cause any problems with your medication or your medical conditions.
Once you have your doctor’s okay, do your research and learn more about what apple cider vinegar can do for you and incorporate it into your daily routine for a vast difference in your health and digestion.