Below I have tried to tackle some of the questions that have popped up around using either apple cider vinegar (ACV) or ginger for overall health (including weight loss), by taking a closer look at the actual research that has been published in scientific journals.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
With respect to taking apple cider vinegar for improving gut flora, consistent results have mostly been found in people who suffer from digestive disorders, such as those with anemia, hypochlorhydria, autoimmune diseases or even the elderly.
Of course, filtered ACV won’t have the same enzymes and probiotics as ‘raw’ or ‘unfiltered’ ACV, so try to find ACV with ‘mother’ in it if you are aiming to improve your gut flora.
AVC also has amino acids and antioxidants which have numerous overall health benefits.
Your body creates 25 oz (700 ml) of gastric juices after each meal, of which hydrochloric acid is the dominant acid. Hydrochloric acid is a much stronger acid than the acetic acid found in ACV (which is usually between 2 – 5%). Therefore, taking a tablespoon or two of ACV before a meal won’t significantly influence the pH in your gut. However, adding vinegar directly to starchy food can actually neutralize the enzymes in your saliva which consequently reduces your blood glucose and insulin levels, but is unlikely to have an impact on the pH of your actual gut.
Blood Glucose Levels
This study has been referenced by many websites, however, there were only 12 people tested. These 12 people were subsequently divided into 4 groups, leaving 3 test subjects per group. A little sketchy, however the results still showed that even a small serve of vinegar was able to prevent a sharp spike in insulin and blood glucose levels up to 30 minutes after eating, but only after eating a high-glycemic meal with complex starches, and only when added to the meal itself.
Other studies show that acidic foods inhibit the proteins in your saliva which interrupts the glycemic process at the early stages in your mouth, but when acetic acid is added to simple sugars, it does NOT maintain blood glucose or insulin levels.
This is true for obese mice who were given a high dose of vinegar, and when I say a high dose, it would be the equivalent of us drinking over half a cup of vinegar every day. Low doses of vinegar (the equivalent of 1 – 2 teaspoons per day) also showed a reduction in fat, triglycerides and body mass in obese humans, but the studies are limited and very small.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger also helps with digestive problems including ulcers and nausea.
A systematic review based on 14 studies with a total of 473 people revealed that ginger can help with weight loss in a number of ways, but it depended on what was being measured.
On the positive side of things, the following parameters were found to significantly decrease in people who took ginger:
- Body weight
- Hip ratio
- Fasting glucose
- Insulin resistance
But on the other hand, ginger did NOT decrease triglyceride levels, body mass index, or “Bad” cholesterol levels.
Quite a few compounds can assist in weight loss, but the main one seems to be 6-shogaol. Shogaol is a created during the degradation of gingerol but it’s a relatively unstable chemical reaction which is dependent on temperature and pH. Luckily for this remedy, shogaol dominates the reaction in acidic solutions, so soaking ginger in ACV would definitely help to stabilize the reaction, but only as long as it is warmed above 99 °F (37 °C) since both gingerol and shogaol are only weakly soluble in cold water (and vinegar is on average around 95% water).
Ginger & ACV Recipe
- Fresh ginger root (organic if possible): 1 cup, sliced or grated
- Apple cider vinegar (preferably unfiltered): 2 cups
- Glass jar
- Wash and scrub the ginger root thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. If the ginger is organic, you can leave the skin on; otherwise, you may peel it. Slice or grate the fresh ginger.
- Place it in a jar and cover the ginger with ACV (preferably unfiltered ACV, but today I am making-do with filtered ACV).
- Maintain the temperature of the jar anywhere between 99 – 122 °F (37 – 50 °C) for 2 hours. Today, I placed it on our wood stove.
- Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer.
- You can store it in the fridge for up to a year. Enjoy!
How to Use
This Ginger elixir can be used in small amounts to add flavor and health benefits to various dishes, such as salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.
It can also be taken as a dietary supplement. For this purpose, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons with a glass of water or your favorite beverage.
Some people find relief from digestive issues or nausea by taking a small amount directly (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) when needed.
The Bottom Line
From aiding digestion and alleviating nausea to easing pain and addressing various conditions, the potent ginger concentrate offers a powerful way to incorporate ginger’s advantages into your daily routine effectively. Embrace this natural elixir as a valuable addition to your holistic journey and enjoy the many perks it brings.