The Curious Case of Apple Cider Vinegar for Blood Pressure
Apple cider vinegar, usually known as ACV, is a well-known ingredient in many households. Interestingly, apple cider vinegar is 94% water, with 1% carbohydrates and no fat or protein. However, it has been a conventional remedy for centuries. Apple cider vinegar comes from fermented apple juice. You can use it in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, food preservatives, and chutneys.
A popular claim on the internet health circles is that it can keep your blood pressure in check, which is valid to some extent. Not just for blood pressure, apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy suggested for weight management and lowering bad cholesterol. Experts recommend taking apple cider vinegar daily for better and long-term outcomes. Regardless of its capacity to help cure multiple health circumstances, apple cider vinegar plays a tricky role in blood pressure management. Some people believe that a spoonful a day might support blood pressure levels. However, there are a lot of factors that come into play. Hence, it is best to consult your healthcare professional before adding it to your routine.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
It is vinegar with a sour taste. Fermentation of apple juice is a crucial process in manufacturing Apple cider vinegar. First, the process involves crushing apples and then squeezing out the juice. Next, bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, which converts the sugar present in apple juice to alcohol. In the second fermentation step, the alcohol is converted into vinegar (acetic acid) by acetic acid-forming bacteria. Malic acid and Acetic acid give apple cider vinegar a sour taste.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Lower Blood Pressure?
In today’s internet era, apple cider vinegar is everywhere, and everybody loves it. Most people use it for weight loss, but some might’ve encountered it as a remedy for blood pressure. However, drinking apple cider vinegar is not directly related to blood pressure. But, it works indirectly. Consuming it offers other health benefits that positively impact blood pressure. The following are a few ways apple cider vinegar can help you regulate your blood pressure levels.
By Promoting Weight Loss
Excessive weight gain and hypertension have a complex relation. Obesity, the leading cause of high blood pressure, remains among the most neglected health issues. However, several studies show that weight loss can help with reducing high blood pressure. For example, a study states that a decrease in weight by 1 kg can lower blood pressure by 3.4/1.3 mm Hg.
Drinking apple cider vinegar can help you with this weight loss journey. Since it is a fermented prebiotic liquid, apple cider vinegar contains short-chain fatty acid acetate. These chains help to regulate your metabolism and prevent excess fat deposition. Most people overeat because they don’t feel satiated. However, a study ascertains that short-chain fatty acid acetate has appetite-suppressing effects and promotes fullness. It, in turn, decreases calorie intake due to reduced appetite. When there’s the desired balance in calorie intake and expenditure, it’ll lead to healthy weight loss. Thus, it helps lower obesity-induced high blood pressure.
By Lowering Cholesterol
There’s an abnormal rise in blood pressure when the arteries become narrow and hard with cholesterol plaque deposition. Bad cholesterol and high triglycerides are the leading factors behind high blood pressure. Drinking apple cider vinegar can lower blood pressure and cholesterol simultaneously. A study supports the claim by concluding that apple cider vinegar paired with a restricted-calorie diet led to a significant decrease in triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. Further, it increased high-density lipoprotein levels, which is good cholesterol. And it’s fair to say that keeping cholesterol in check results in a favourable effect on blood pressure levels.
By Lowering Blood Sugar
High levels of sugar in your blood can lead to insulin resistance. Analysis of a study states there’s a cause-effect relationship between insulin resistance and high blood pressure. That shows insulin resistance can cause high blood pressure or vice versa. So, the first step in blood pressure management is lowering sugar levels. When it comes to apple cider vinegar and blood sugar, drinking it on an empty stomach can reduce blood sugar levels. As a result, it is incredibly beneficial to those who have difficulty regulating blood pressure due to diabetes.
Another study assessed the effect of apple cider vinegar on type 2 diabetes patients. As per the results, it shows improvements in fasting blood sugar. However, this won’t replace medications required for diabetes-induced blood pressure.
How to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar for Blood Pressure?
Apple cider vinegar is readily available in health food stores and grocery shops. Recently, there have been various products formulated with apple cider vinegar. For example, you can buy apple cider vinegar enriched teas, fermented foods, gummies, and capsules. Nonetheless, most people prefer to drink it only with water. However, no matter how you drink your daily dose of apple cider vinegar, it is crucial to take it with plenty of water to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort. Unless diluted with water, drinking apple cider vinegar can cause acidity, throat irritation, and heartburn.
You can try an easy recipe for apple cider vinegar and honey shot for the perfect dosage of apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Water
- Servings: 1
- Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Hot water: 1 cup
- Apple cider vinegar (raw, organic): 1 tablespoon
- Raw honey: 1 teaspoon
Method of Preparation
- Add honey to the cup of hot water and mix it well.
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the solution of water and honey. Mix them all.
- Even though it’s optional, you can add a twist to the drink by adding ginger for additional antioxidant benefits.
Other Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Skin Conditions
Apple cider vinegar can be an excellent addition to your DIY skincare recipes. It is an antibacterial exfoliant that balances pH for people with oily and acne skin. Further, the malic acid in apple cider vinegar improves hyperpigmentation. Finally, a diluted formula can improve the protective skin barrier and treat conditions like eczema.
However, using it directly on the skin can lead to chemical burns, irritating the skin and drying it. An easy way to avoid this is to keep a ratio of one part apple cider vinegar to four parts water.
Boost Hair Health
According to a study, apple cider vinegar is laden with antimicrobial properties. Along with its naturally low pH, the antimicrobial nature of apple cider vinegar helps your hair fight off bacteria. In addition, it eliminates the microbes that deteriorate the health and appearance of the hair. Thus, various natural shampoos contain apple cider vinegar as one of their primary ingredients.
Natural Food Preservative
Apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, kills pathogens, including harmful bacteria. In addition, vinegar can clean, disinfect, and treat nail fungus, warts, and various infections. Some cases also show that apple cider vinegar inhibits bacteria like E. coli from growing in and spoiling food. Therefore, it is a food preservative. So, if you want to use a natural food preservative, apple cider vinegar can be a good choice. In addition, it can be a pickling agent as it deactivates the food enzymes and slows down spoilage.
Possible Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
Everything has its pros and cons. Excessive consumption or use of anything can have adverse effects. For example, apple cider vinegar is acidic and can cause side effects if consumed in large amounts or taken undiluted.
Here are some possible side effects of apple cider vinegar.
Can Potentially Cause Nausea
Some people complain that consuming apple cider vinegar makes them feel sick and nauseous. Subsequently, this results in poor appetite. It can be due to its sour taste, acidic properties, and lower sugar levels. Also, everyone cannot tolerate acidic food products. It makes their stomach upset and might cause diarrhoea. For example, some people throw up after drinking apple cider vinegar due to sour and unpleasant flavour.
Can Cause Tooth Decay
Some people ask, “Can we drink apple cider vinegar every day?” The answer is yes, as long as they consume it in moderation and do not overdo it.
Because of its acidic properties, drinking higher concentrations of apple cider vinegar can gradually cause tooth decay. It erodes the tooth enamel, rendering the teeth more prone to infections and tooth decay. However, too much of anything is harmful. Therefore, you should not have apple cider vinegar every day in large amounts. Consumption of small portions after every few days is enough for most people.
Too Much of ACV can Stress the Kidney
If you suffer from chronic kidney disease, apple cider vinegar will put extra stress and pressure on your delicate organs. In addition, your kidneys might not be able to process the excess acid that comes along with drinking apple cider vinegar.
Even if you do not suffer from any kidney disease, drinking large amounts of apple cider vinegar regularly puts pressure on your kidneys. Hence, too much acid could ultimately lead to kidney problems in the long run.
Certain medications could interact with apple cider vinegar:
- Diabetes medication: Be careful if you take insulin or insulin-stimulating medications and consume vinegar. The interaction of these two can make you experience deficient potassium levels or blood sugar.
- Digoxin (Lanoxin): It is a medication that lowers your blood potassium levels. Combining it with apple cider vinegar could reduce your potassium level substantially.
- Certain diuretic drugs: Some diuretic medications make your body excrete potassium, causing potassium deficit. Do not consume such drugs with a large amount of vinegar to prevent potassium levels from dropping too low.
Recommended Intake of ACV
You should not consume large quantities of apple cider vinegar in large amounts every day. The recommended intake of ACV is a maximum of 30 ml per day, diluted in water, depending on your tolerance.
You should take it on an empty stomach in the morning. You should stop consuming apple cider vinegar if you notice any change or any side effects in the body and immediately consult a doctor.
If you don’t wish to drink plain apple cider vinegar, you can also consume it in other ways like:
- As a salad dressing
- To marinate meats, grains, vegetables, or other dishes
- Adding it to tea with some honey
Despite several claims, it is only valid to say that apple cider vinegar does not directly impact your blood pressure levels. However, it can help lower blood pressure by acting on the factors causing it. Therefore, drinking it can work as an extra boost to your blood pressure treatment plan. Do not consume it undiluted as it can cause burns or nausea because of its acidic nature. Besides having it with water, you can use it as salad dressings or via marinated vegetables and meat.
However, despite being endorsed by science, apple cider vinegar won’t work miracles in your blood pressure levels. Of course, you’ll feel better and see a certain extent of improvement. But apple cider vinegar won’t replace the need for regular exercise and a balanced diet. Unless you’re taking holistic and healthy steps towards your life, apple cider vinegar doesn’t significantly impact blood pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Q. What is the best drink for high blood pressure?
A. Unsalted tomato juice is one of the best drinks to lower blood pressure. It helps lower blood pressure, manage cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to its antioxidant content. Other options are beet juice and pomegranate juice.
Q. Does vinegar lower blood pressure quickly?
A. Apple cider vinegar can be beneficial in lowering blood pressure gradually with time as it helps control renin, a hormone produced by your kidneys. As a result, it prevents blood pressure from rising. In addition, apple cider vinegar keeps the vessels relaxed; hence blood pressure doesn’t rise.
Q. Is Apple good for blood pressure?
A. Yes, apples are fruits rich in dietary soluble fibre. Eating sufficient soluble fibre can lower the bad cholesterol levels in your body. When there’s a reduction in cholesterol levels, you’ll see improvements in blood pressure. Further, apples have polyphenols, which can help lower your blood pressure risk.
Q. Can I drink apple cider vinegar every day?
A. You can drink apple cider vinegar daily to achieve maximum benefits. Make sure to consume it in diluted form. However, excess consumption can cause acid reflux and a drop in potassium levels. Thus, the standard dosage is 1–2 tablespoons mixed in a large glass of water.
Q. Who should not take apple cider vinegar?
A. Even though apple cider vinegar shows potential benefits on blood sugar, people on diabetics drugs or insulin must avoid it. In addition, those taking diuretic drugs and Digoxin must also avoid it to prevent possible drug interactions.
Q. Is it better to drink apple cider vinegar in the morning or at night?
A. There’s no strict schedule for drinking apple cider vinegar. However, drinking it early in the morning is often recommended. Some people take it before meals or bedtime to manage blood sugar levels. It is best to consult your healthcare professional before adding it to your routine.
Q. Should we drink ACV empty stomach?
A. Yes, it is preferable to take apple cider vinegar early in the morning on an empty stomach. Drinking it first thing in the morning can accelerate metabolism and fat burning. Drink it with lukewarm water after waking up or before the morning coffee.
Q. Does apple cider vinegar make you poop?
A. Since ACV is a byproduct of fermented apples, it contains pectin, a soluble dietary fibre that acts as a natural gelling agent. This pectin in ACV can help bulk up your stool, promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, and reduce inflammation. Thus, it helps aid digestion and better stool passage.
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