focal point/ShutterstockThere are so many reasons apple cider vinegar is touted as a magical substance; the simple concoction seems to be able to assist with just about any ailment. (Don't believe us? Here are 15 ways apple cider vinegar benefits your health.) Lauded as one of the best health foods of the era, the acidic elixir has people worldwide embarking on a full-fledged apple cider vinegar diet. We don’t blame you, but before you go off doing go, make sure not to come at it misinformed.
All apple cider vinegar is the same.
Sea Wave/ShutterstockMany believe that apple cider vinegar is simply a vinegar made from apple cider, but it actually comes in two versions: filtered and unfiltered. If you are interested in less processed ingredients or want to use ACV to kickstart your own homemade vinegars, the unfiltered kind may be best for you. Luckily, there are ways to differentiate between cheaper store-brand options and high-end organic ones. The very clear, translucent ones will most likely have been filtered and processed, which means it has lost some elements that give it the valuable health benefits we love. The best kind will look intensely murky and brown—these are optimal for those looking for a more natural, organic substance.
It tastes terrible.
NoirChocolate/ShutterstockWe get that no one wants to drink undiluted vinegar—no matter how extensive the health benefits are. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid it or start chugging the bottle raw; there are a wide array of ways to mask the taste and create delectable concoctions from it. Popular methods include creating a salad dressing or mixing it with honey (for those with an avid sweet tooth). You can even make a sauce or smoothie from the versatile stuff. (But this is why you should never drink ACV plain).
It helps cure diabetes.
Syda Productions/ShutterstockMany understandably claim ACV is an effective weapon for diabetics due to its ability to stabilize glucose levels and prevent dangerous blood sugar spikes. However, while it may be beneficial for people with an insulin resistance or at preventing pre-diabetes in the future, there is no scientific evidence that indicates it will replace insulin and other diabetes medication necessary to cure or manage it. If you’re interested in trying it out, make sure to consult a doctor before incorporating ACV as part of an official medication regimen.
There are no significant health benefits.
Pixfiction/ShutterstockWe can go on and on about apple cider vinegar’s health benefits, but hear us out. The amazing concoction has been proven to lower blood sugar, help tummy troubles, clear a stuffy nose, and even eliminate certain acne breakouts (see what your acne location says about your health). Moreover, the FDA has even approved medication with acetic acid—which ACV is full of—for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
It can't possibly harm you.
DPRM/ShutterstockYes, apple cider vinegar is amazing for its many health benefits, but that doesn’t mean there are no side effects. Take careful heed to digest it properly; because of its acidic nature, ACV has been found to erode tooth enamel if consumed with no dilution whatsoever. If frequented in high doses, it could potentially lead to low potassium levels (here are some signs you're not getting enough potassium).
It’s bad for the skin.
JL Pfeifer/ShutterstockFirst instinct might tell you that ACV would be harmful for the skin with its strong odor and acidic properties, but that instinct would be terribly incorrect. In fact, the substance can be used as facial toners when mixed with water, and even be utilized as makeup remover. We don’t recommend throwing out your entire skincare collection for the stuff, but don’t undermine its uncanny abilities to remove nuisances like acne and acne scars. Even famous stars like Miranda Kerr, Megan Fox, and Katy Perry swear by it. (Here are all the beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar).
It can ward off cancer.
fototip/ShutterstockAlthough there are various studies that have tested apple cider vinegar for potentially cancer-fighting traits, all results (including its ability to slow the growth of cancer cells) have cropped up as inconclusive. Moreover, they yield rather conflicting results, according to Health and Fitness Cheat Sheet. Some studies have indicated that consuming apple cider vinegar could lead to a reduced risk of developing esophageal cancer, but others have shown that it could lead to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Ultimately, it’s safe to say that although apple cider vinegar is great at clearing out your digestive tract, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immune from colon cancer. (Don't miss these six silent signs of colon cancer.)
It has the same effects as eating an apple.
Posinote/ShutterstockAlthough it does have the word "apple" in its name, ACV does not have all the nutrients as eating an apple. Sure, it may come from fermented apples, but the distilling and liquidating process means that nutrients such as fiber and Vitamin C—which are very prevalent in apples—don’t show up in ACV. These are the health benefits—and risks—of eating apples.
The only thing you can do with it is eat it.
Vladimir Miloserdov/ShutterstockContrary to common belief, you can use the versatile substance for things other than food. As previously mentioned, it has a plethora of beauty benefits, but there’s more. Vinegar is actually one of the best natural cleaning agents in existence, largely due to its antimicrobial properties. It's surprisingly effective as an all-purpose cleaner, to neutralize odors, or to kill weeds. If you really love the stuff, you can even take a bath in it.