The popular uses range from teeth whitening to acne prevention, but here are some health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar you probably didn't know about.

Packaged bottles of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) are quickly disappearing off supermarket shelves due to its recent surge in popularity. Despite this, the list of benefits has been known for a long time - as far back as 5000 B.C. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates prescribed it mixed with honey as a cure for coughs and common cold.

ACV is made from fermented apple cider to produce raw enzymes and probiotics. This natural helper has been said to keep blood sugar in check, amp up weight loss and even improve the appearance of acne and scarring.

Prescribed dosage: One or two tablespoons of ACV in a cup of water for ingestion. For skin care, mix equal parts of water and ACV i.e. the same amount of ACV and water.

Below are eight benefits of taking ACV that are supported by scientific research.

1. Helps cure cold symptoms

A spoon of apple cider vinegar is rich enough in high acetic acid to prevent germ growth that cause nasal congestion. It also contains potassium which thins mucus, thereby, giving your immune system a quick boost when you’re feeling under the weather.

ALSO READ: See the Health benefits of Tumeric

2. High in acetic acid, ACV can kill many types of harmful bacteria

ACV can act as a disinfectant and natural preservative as it can help kill pathogens, including bacteria. Traditionally, it has been used for cleaning and disinfecting wounds, treating nail fungus, lice, warts, ear infections, etc.

Vinegar can also be used as a natural way to preserve food because it inhibits bacteria from growing in food and spoiling it.

3. Aids weight loss

Each tablespoon contains just 3–5 calories and very minimal sugar.

The acetic acid increases satiety and suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism, and reduces water retention. If paired with a high-carb meal, you get increased feelings of fullness and can take in substantially less calories over the course of the day. Although the amount of weight loss from ACV is minimal, it is still encouraged to go along with healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

4. Lowers cholesterol levels

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2006 found that rats who had acetic acid, the main component of ACV, in their diets lowered their bad cholesterol (LDL) and raised their good cholesterol (HDL). Another research, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2011, also discovered that ACV can help control triglycerides.

ALSO READ: Why you should add Dates to your diet

5. Improves skin health

ACV also acts as a natural toner. Mix equal parts of the vinegar and water, and apply by dabbing with a cotton ball. Leave for a while and then rinse. The malic acid in ACV contains antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that keep the skin clean, balanced and free of acne while encouraging it to heal itself. The mixture helps to even out skin tone, balance skin pH and even battle breakouts.

6. Maintains pH balance

Acid-alkaline balance is essential and the body is constantly striving to achieve that equilibrium state. So many bodily functions occur at a particular pH level so a simple small change in pH can have a profound effect on body functioning. As most people are acidic in nature, consuming ACV with meals has an alkalizing effect on the body, thereby keeping the balance needed for healthy living.

Also, ACV is rich in probiotics which ward off vaginal yeast infections, urogenital infections, and bacterial vaginosis by keeping the vaginal microbiome and pH in balance.

7. Prevents Indigestions and boosts gut health

Beneficial bacteria contained in apple cider vinegar can enhance the health of your digestive system and improved ability to digest and absorb nutrients. A glass of properly diluted ACV can also aid relieve upset stomachs, diarrhoea, intestinal spasms thanks to its antibiotic properties.

8. Relieves heartburn

Heartburns are a result of low levels of stomach acids. Taking a diluted shot of ACV right before meals can increase levels of stomach acid to prevent backflow into the esophagus and reduce symptoms of heartburn.