Apple cider vinegar and honey have been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. Proponents have combined both as a health tonic (1).
A mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey, which is usually diluted with water, is believed to have many health benefits, including reduced blood sugar levels and weight loss. This article highlights the basics of mixing apple cider vinegar and honey, including its health benefits and demerits.
What are the reasons for mixing apple cider vinegar and honey?
Vinegar is produced from fermentable carbs. The journey to producing apple cider vinegar begins with apple juice as a base. The apple juice is fermented with yeast – twice. Its primary ingredient is acetic acid, which is responsible for its unique sour flavor (1).
Honey, on the other hand is sweet and thick. It is produced by bees and stored in a honeycomb, a cluster of hexagonal, waxy cells (2).
Apple cider vinegar and honey is a very tasty combination to many. Yes! The sweet taste of honey mellows the pucker taste of vinegar.
The apple cider vinegar and honey combination has many health benefits. However, no research has been done on the mixture as a whole. Both ingredients have been studied separately.
Potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey
Many people enjoy the apple cider and honey combination for its purported health benefits. Here they are…
Acetic acid enhances weight loss
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid is believed to promote weight loss.
A 12-week study involving 144 obese adults found that those who took 2 tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar experienced weight loss. Their body fat reduced by 0.9%, compared with the control groups (6).
Studies have also shown that apple cider vinegar keeps you feeling full for a longer time. It increases the time that it takes for foods to be absorbed from your digestive system into your bloodstream – this also contributes to weight loss (7, 8).
But that notwithstanding, a vinegar and honey combination has high calorie content and should be consumed moderately (9).
It alleviates cold symptoms and seasonal allergies
Honey and apple cider vinegar are antimicrobials.
It is important to note that the mixture relieves some cold symptoms, like coughing for instance (11).
Also, apple cider vinegar contains probiotics. This is due to the fermentation process that it undergoes. The bacteria boosts immunity and enhances digestion (12).
It may improve cardiovascular health
Vinegar contains chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid reduces the level of low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol), potentially minimizing your risk of heart disease (1).
Honey is rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Polyphenol antioxidants reduces the risk of heart disease by enhancing the flow of blood, preventing the formation of blood clots, and oxidation of low density lipoprotein. However, there is still need for further research in this area (14).
Also, apple cider vinegar may act as an anti-inflammatory substance, reducing your risk of atherosclerosis. This claim still needs to be verified by human studies (15).
What are the downsides of combining apple cider vinegar and honey?
Not much is known about combining apple cider vinegar and honey as mixture.
It affects cholesterol and blood sugar levels
A study that examined a mixture of honey and grape vinegar discovered some negative health effects (3).
In the one-month study, participants who drank 8.5 ounces of water with 22ml of honey and grape vinegar mix experienced a slight resistance to insulin (3).
High resistance to insulin is linked to type 2 diabetes (16).
Its effects on your teeth & stomach may be harsh
Apple cider vinegar is very acidic. In fact, its acidity may aggravate gastric reflux, though some users have testified that it improved their symptoms.
However, considering the fact there’s no scientific evidence to back this up, you’ll have to pay close attention to your body’s cues.
Also, because of its high acidity, apple cider vinegar erodes the enamel of the tooth, thus increasing the risk of tooth decay.
Because of these demerits, apple cider vinegar should be diluted in filtered water before drinking (18).
There is need for further research to determine its effects when combined with honey.
It may increase blood sugar level
Depending on the amount of honey that you add, this combination may have a very high sugar content.
Intake of excess sugar is not good for the body. If there’s any consolation, it is that excessive consumption of sugar can affects your overall health.
Honey is an important component of a healthy diet, but it must be enjoyed moderately.
The effects of apple cider vinegar and honey on body alkalinity
The pH scale has a range of 0-14. 0-6 is acidic while 8-14 is alkaline.
There are claims from some quarters that consuming certain foods or supplements, such as honey or apple cider vinegar increases your alkalinity, and drives off osteoporosis and cancer (18).
The good news is that the human body has mechanisms that allows your body pH to stay between 7.35 and 7.45. Your body pH must remain at this level in order for the body to function properly. If pH falls outside this range, very unpleasant consequences may arise (18, 19).
Best ways to use acv and honey mixture
A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of honey may be diluted in 240ml (8 ounces) of hot water and enjoyed before bedtime or when you wake.
You can drink this as it is, or you may add some fresh mint, ground cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, or lemon. If you have heartburn or gastric acid reflux, then you’ll have to drink it at least one hour before you go to bed to decreases the symptoms.
Honey and apple cider vinegar are two good friends in a culinary context. When combined, you’ll have a very good base for marinades, brines, or salad dressings.
However, no studies have been done on the safety of honey and apple cider vinegar combo for young children. Consult your pediatrician before giving this to your child.
Honey should not be given to children younger than one year of age due to the risk of botulism (23)