Ever since the apple cider vinegar cleanse burst onto the scene a couple years ago, dieters have been stocking up on the sour kitchen staple. Research has linked vinegar consumption to everything from less body fat to less severe blood sugar spikes. So it’s becoming more and more tempting to follow suit.
“Vinegar comes from Latin meaning ‘sour wine.’ For thousands of years, it has been used for its health and cleansing properties. Hippocrates found a variety of medicinal uses for it back in 400 B.C. And more recently, we have some scientific studies pointing to apple cider vinegar improving insulin resistance,” says Adrienne Raimo, RD, a holistic health and wellness coach at One Bite Wellness in Columbus, OH.
Apple cider vinegar contains B vitamins and vitamin C, plus acetic acid, a compound that’s known for boosting the absorption of minerals from the foods in our diet. It’s also been tied to clearer skin, lower blood pressure and better cholesterol levels. At just three calories per tablespoon, it’s not going to make a big dent in your daily calorie budget.
While this nutrition superstar is light in calories and heavy on health benefits, step (or run far, far) away from any diet that suggests shooting it straight. “Even though apple cider vinegar can provide several health benefits, dilution and dosage are important in safely consuming it. Taking straight shots of it will damage your tooth enamel,” Raimo says. “More isn’t always better.”
Instead, give these apple cider vinegar recipes to get your daily dose.
8 Deliciously Healthy Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes
This apple cider vinaigrette could top any vegetable salad. But it’s a match made in produce heaven with crunchy kale and roasted butternut squash. The tangy mustard and sweet honey in the dressing tames the bitterness in the leafy greens. Photo and recipe: Lori Lange / Recipe Girl
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Tailgaters take note: Wings aren’t the only things that can be buffaloed. You can get the same spicy flavor in this grilled chicken salad. The dressing has a splash of apple cider vinegar to add tang to the creamy dressing. Plain Greek yogurt and crumbled blue cheese round out the vinegar’s sharp flavors, while honey sweetens things up. Photo and recipe: Cassie Johnston / Wholefully
Store-bought ketchup is often loaded with high fructose corn syrup, but this all-natural tomato topping is made with health-boosting ingredients. Don’t worry it’s not complicated to make! In a bowl, combine tomato paste with apple cider vinegar, onion powder, oregano and sea salt. That’s probably faster than you could race to the grocery parking! Photo and recipe: Alberto and Iosune Aragon / Simple Vegan Blog
For maximum satisfaction, food scientists recommend blending the five fundamental tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami in one dish. This simple chicken dinner hits all those notes thanks to tamari, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and black pepper. Photo and recipe: Sarah Huggins / (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean
Who needs pasta sauce when you’ve got a delicious dressing? Apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil help soften up the bitterness of Rainbow chard. But they also enhance the sweet flavor of the roasted butternut squash and the saltiness of the pancetta. Picky eaters will be fighting over the last piece of these naan-based pies. Photo and recipe: Jenny Melrose / The Melrose Family
Craving salt and vinegar chips? These roasted potatoes are a healthier alternative. They help you score more heart-healthy monounsaturated fats from olive oil instead of artery-clogging trans fats. Jazz things up by tossing in fresh herbs for more color, flavor and nutrition. Photo and recipe: Amanda Finks / The Wholesome Dish
The aforementioned skinny superpowers of apple cider vinegar join forces with hunger-squashing fiber from the sprouts and healthy fats from the pecans. A quick stovetop sear brings out the natural sweetness of the greens. Photo and recipe: Monica Bravo / Bravo for Paleo
The “apple” part of the name acts as inspiration for the flavors in this no-sugar-added mocktail. Combine apple cider vinegar with a splash of apple juice and a hint of stevia to tame the potential pungency of the vinegar. Photo and recipe: Brittany Mullins / Eating Bird Food