WATCH: Experts Are Urging People Not to Drink Straight Apple Cider Vinegar
Beneficial or not, apple cider vinegar is an acid, and you should handle it with care.
When it comes to home remedies, few products are as revered or as misunderstood as apple cider vinegar. It's been hailed as a "cure" for everything from hiccups to acne, and is believed by many to hold the ultimate key to weight loss.
Nobody can deny the power of this famously tart fermented liquid. It's packed with enzymes, probiotics, and has even been shown to help regulate blood sugar. Heck, we've even used it in our hair! But as ACV's popularity grows, more and more experts are warning overzealous consumers of the harmful side effects associated with drinking it straight.
As registered dietitian and Food Network personality Ellie Krieger advised in The Washington Post, beneficial or not, apple cider vinegar is still an acid, and you should handle it with care. "It is a potent acid that can be dangerous if aspirated, may cause burns to the tender tissue of the mouth and esophagus, and can lead to tooth erosion," Krieger advised.
ACV can also cause nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms in already sensitive stomachs, so use common sense. If you're experiencing discomfort, it might be time to cut back.
Luckily, it's possible to avoid unpleasant side effects while still getting the most out of your apple cider vinegar by diluting 1 to 2 tablespoons of it in 8 ounces of water. Better yet, use it in your salad dressing!
"I say incorporate vinegars, like apple cider and red wine vinegar, into your diet by tossing them with veggies," Keri Glassman, MS, RD, founder of Nutritious Life, told Woman's Day. "The fiber and water volume of the veggies will help keep you full and hydrated, which naturally aids in digestion and weight maintenance. Plus, vinegar contains close to zero calories—as opposed to creamy bottled salad dressings.