Apple cider vinegar health benefits + healthy home mayo recipes

My grandmother was a big apple cider vinegar fan, for wellness…

6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science

 Healthline Mar. 05, 2020 HEALTH + WELLNESS By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy. People have used it for centuries in cooking and medicine.

Many people claim it can relieve a wide range of health complaints, but you may wonder what the research says.

Apple cider vinegar has various healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. What’s more, evidence suggests it may offer health benefits, such as aiding weight loss, reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels, and improving the symptoms of diabetes.

However, little research exists, and further studies are needed before it can be recommended as an alternative therapy.

This article looks at the evidence behind 6 possible health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

1. High in Healthful Substances

Apple cider vinegar is made via a two-step process.

First, the manufacturer exposes crushed apples to yeast, which ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol. Next, they add bacteria to further ferment the alcohol, turning it into acetic acid — the main active compound in vinegar.

Acetic acid gives vinegar its strong sour smell and flavor. Researchers believe this acid is responsible for apple cider vinegar’s health benefits. Cider vinegars are 5–6% acetic acid.

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains a substance called “mother,” which consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance.

Some people believe that the “mother” is responsible for most of its health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this.

While apple cider vinegar does not contain many vitamins or minerals, it offers a small amount of potassium. Good quality brands also contain some amino acids and antioxidants.


Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugar from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, which is a main active ingredient in vinegar and may be responsible for its health benefits.

2. Can Help Kill Harmful Bacteria

Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria.

People have traditionally used vinegar for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts, and ear infections.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds more than 2,000 years ago.

Vinegar is also a food preservative, and studies show that it inhibits bacteria like E. coli from growing in and spoiling food.

If you’re looking for a natural way to preserve your food, apple cider vinegar could help.

Anecdotal reports also suggest that diluted apple cider vinegar could help with acne when applied to the skin, but there doesn’t seem to be any strong research to confirm this.


The main substance in vinegar — acetic acid — can kill harmful bacteria or prevent them from multiplying. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative.

3. May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Manage Diabetes

To date, one of the most convincing applications of vinegar is helping treat type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or the inability to produce insulin.

However, people without diabetes can also benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels in the normal range, as some researchers believe that high blood sugar levels are a major cause of aging and various chronic diseases.

The most effective and healthiest way to regulate blood sugar levels is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a beneficial effect.

Research suggests that vinegar offers the following benefits for blood sugar and insulin levels:

  • A small study suggests vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity by 19–34% during a high carb meal and significantly lower blood sugar and insulin response.
  • In a small study in 5 healthy people, vinegar reduced blood sugar by 31.4% after eating 50 grams of white bread.
  • A small study in people with diabetes reported that consuming 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime reduced fasting blood sugar by 4% the following morning.
  • Numerous other studies in humans show that vinegar can improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels after meals.

The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says it’s very important that people do not replace medical treatment with unproven health products.

If you’re currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medications, check with your healthcare provider before increasing your intake of any type of vinegar.


Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping lower blood sugar responses after meals.

4. May Aid Weight Loss

Perhaps surprisingly, studies show that vinegar could help people lose weight.

Several human studies show that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness. This can lead you to eat fewer calories and lose weight.

For example, according to one study, taking vinegar along with a high carb meal led to increased feelings of fullness, causing participants to eat 200–275 fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.

Furthermore, a study in 175 people with obesity showed that daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat and weight loss:

  • taking 1 tablespoon (12 mL) led to a loss of 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg)
  • taking 2 tablespoons (30 mL) led to a loss of 3.7 pounds (1.7 kg)

However, keep in mind that this study went on for 3 months, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest.

That said, simply adding or subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight. It’s your entire diet or lifestyle that creates long-term weight loss.

Overall, apple cider vinegar may contribute to weight loss by promoting satiety, lowering blood sugar, and reducing insulin levels.

Apple cider vinegar only contains about three calories per tablespoon, which is very low.


Studies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help you eat fewer calories, which may lead to weight loss.

5. Improves Heart Health in Animals

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death.

Several biological factors are linked to your risk of heart disease.

Research suggests that vinegar could improve several of these risk factors. However, many of the studies were conducted in animals.

These animal studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as several other heart disease risk factors.

Some studies in rats have also shown that vinegar reduces blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and kidney problems.

However, there is no good evidence that vinegar benefits heart health in humans. Researchers need to do more studies before reaching any strong conclusions.


Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure. However, there is no strong evidence that it leads to a reduced risk of heart disease in humans.

6. May Boost Skin Health

Apple cider vinegar is a common remedy for skin conditions like dry skin and eczema.

The skin is naturally slightly acidic. Using topical apple cider vinegar could help rebalance the natural pH of the skin, improving the protective skin barrier.

On the other hand, alkaline soaps and cleansers could irritate eczema, making symptoms worse.

Given its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar could, in theory, help prevent skin infections linked to eczema and other skin conditions.

Some people use diluted apple cider vinegar in a face wash or toner. The idea is that it can kill bacteria and prevent spots.

However, one study in 22 people with eczema reported that apple cider vinegar soaks did not improve the skin barrier and caused skin irritation.

Talk to your healthcare provider before trying new remedies, especially on damaged skin. Avoid applying undiluted vinegar to the skin, as it can cause burns.


Apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic and has antimicrobial properties. This means it could help improve the skin barrier and prevent infections. However, more studies are needed to know how safe and effective this remedy is.

Dosage and How to Use It

The best way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is to use it in cooking. It’s a simple addition to foods like salad dressings and homemade mayonnaise.

Some people also like to dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage. Common dosages range from 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 mL) to 1–2 tablespoon (15–30 mL) per day mixed in a large glass of water.

It’s best to start with small doses and avoid taking large amounts. Too much vinegar can cause harmful side effects, including tooth enamel erosion and potential drug interactions.

Some dieticians recommend using organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegars that contain “mother.”

Bragg’s seems to be the most popular option, which is available online along with reviews and ratings. However, several other varieties are also available.

Read more about the right dosage of apple cider vinegar here.


A common dosage for apple cider vinegar ranges from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons (10–30 mL) per day, either used in cooking or mixed in a glass of water.

The Bottom Line

Many websites and natural healthcare proponents claim that apple cider vinegar has exceptional health benefits, including boosting energy and treating disease.

Unfortunately, there’s little research to support most claims about its health benefits.

That said, some studies suggest it may offer some benefits, including killing bacteria, lowering blood sugar levels, and promoting weight loss.

Apple cider vinegar appears to be safe, as long as you don’t take excessive amounts of it.

It also has various other non-health-related uses, including as a natural hair conditioner, skin care product, and cleaning agent.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

10 Healthy Homemade Mayonnaise Recipes

Making homemade mayonnaise is easy, and it tastes better than most store-bought versions.

In addition, you can choose to include only healthy ingredients in your mayo.

This way, you can avoid the refined vegetable oils that most commercial brands use.

You can also experiment with your mayo, adding many different ingredients and flavors.

Here is a very basic recipe to make your own homemade mayonnaise:


  1. Before you start, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
  2. Put the egg yolks in a food processor or blender. Sprinkle with salt and add water.
  3. Start blending while slowly pouring the oil into the feed tube.
  4. After the mayo has gotten thick, add lemon juice and gently mix with a spoon.

However, note that the egg yolks in mayo aren’t cooked. If salmonella is a problem where you live, then this may be a concern (1Trusted Source).

And, while the basic recipe above is great to start with, there is more to mayonnaise than just oil and eggs. It can be prepared using many different ingredients.

Here are 10 homemade mayonnaise recipes that are actually pretty healthy.

1. Basic Homemade Mayo


  • Eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Powdered mustard
  • Sea salt

View recipe

2. Healthy Homemade Mayonnaise


  • Egg yolks
  • Mustard
  • Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil

View recipe

3. Paleo Miracle Mayo


  • Eggs
  • Lime juice
  • Honey
  • Dry mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Smoked paprika (optional)
  • Avocado oil or olive oil

View recipe

4. Truffle Mayonnaise


  • Egg yolk
  • Dijon mustard
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Walnut oil
  • Truffle oil

View recipe

5. Homemade Paleo Baconnaise


  • Olive oil
  • Bacon fat
  • Egg yolks
  • Lemon juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Salt

View recipe

6. Duck Egg Mayonnaise


  • Duck egg yolk
  • Macadamia or avocado oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt

View recipe

7. Roast Garlic Mayo


  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Egg yolks
  • White wine vinegar
  • Water
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

View recipe

8. Basil and Parmesan Mayonnaise


  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Anchovy fillets
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

View recipe

9. Egg-Free Avocado Mayo


  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Dijon mustard
  • Black pepper

View recipe

10. Spicy Cashew Mayo


  • Raw cashews
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Dates
  • Sriracha sauce

View recipe

More Ideas for Adding Flavor

Mayonnaise can be prepared in a variety of ways, using different oils, condiments or herbs and spices.

Above are just a few recipes for you to try. However, there are so many more ingredients you can use to add flavor, including:

  • Fresh herbs like rosemary, tarragon, thyme, dill or cilantro.
  • Curry powder.
  • Chili powder.
  • Chopped nuts.
  • Minced ginger.
  • Prepared horseradish.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Sliced scallions.
  • Jalapeños.
  • Miso paste.
  • Capers.

Anything Else?

You can store the mayo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

There are many ways you can enjoy your homemade mayo. You can spread it on a sandwich, include it in a chicken salad or use it as a base for dressings and dips.

However, keep in mind that homemade mayonnaise is still very high in calories, so be mindful of your portion sizes.

At the end of the day, a bit of homemade mayonnaise with high-quality ingredients is a delicious way to add healthy fats to your diet.

Probiotics and Mental Health

A number of diseases, including mental health conditions, are linked to having more disease-causing bacteria in the intestines. Some probiotics may help restore healthy bacteria and reduce symptoms.

Probiotics May Improve Mental Health

Stress and anxiety are increasingly common, and depression is one of the main mental health problems worldwide.

A number of these disorders, especially stress and anxiety, are associated with high blood levels of cortisol, the human stress hormone.

Several studies have looked into how probiotics affect people with clinically diagnosed depression.

One study showed that taking a mixture of three Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains for 8 weeks significantly reduced symptoms of depression. They also had reduced levels of inflammation.

A handful of other studies have examined how probiotics affect depressive symptoms in people without clinically diagnosed depression, including:

  • symptoms of anxiety
  • depressive symptoms
  • psychological distress
  • academic stress


Certain probiotics may reduce anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms in the general population. Yet, more studies are needed to understand their potential benefits for those with clinically diagnosed mental health conditions.

Probiotics May Relieve IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is directly related to the function of the colon, but some researchers believe it’s a psychological disorder.

Anxiety and depression are common in people with IBS. Interestingly, people who have IBS also tend to have an altered microbiota.

Many studies have shown that certain probiotics can reduce symptoms of IBS, including pain and bloating.

In general, research suggests that probiotics are linked with digestive health.


Many people with IBS experience anxiety and depression. Probiotics appear to help reduce IBS symptoms.

Probiotics May Enhance Mood

In people with or without mental health conditions, some probiotics may help improve mood.

One study gave people a probiotic mix containing eight different Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains every day for 4 weeks.

The researchers found that taking the supplements reduced participants’ negative thoughts associated with a sad mood.

Another study reported that consuming a milk drink containing a probiotic called Lactobacillus casei for 3 weeks improved mood in people who had the lowest mood before the treatment.

Interestingly, this study also found that people scored slightly lower on a memory test after taking the probiotic. More studies are needed to validate these results.


A few studies have shown that taking certain probiotics for a few weeks may slightly improve mood.

Probiotics May Help After Traumatic Brain Injury

When someone has a traumatic brain injury, they may need to stay in an intensive care unit. Here, doctors may help them feed and breathe through tubes.

This can increase the risk of infection, and infections in people with traumatic brain injuries can lead to further complications.

A few studies have found that adding certain probiotics into the food delivered through the tube can reduce the number of infections and length of time the person spends in the intensive care unit.

Probiotics may have these effects due to their benefits for the immune system.


Giving probiotics after traumatic brain injury may reduce the rate of infections and length of time the person needs to stay in intensive care.

Other Benefits of Probiotics for the Brain

A handful of studies have shown that probiotics may have other interesting benefits for the brain.

One intriguing study found that taking a mix of BifidobacteriaStreptococcusLactobacillus, and Lactococcus affected the brain regions that control emotion and sensation. In this study, healthy females took the mix twice daily for 4 weeks.

Other studies have shown that specific probiotics may reduce some symptoms of multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia, but much more research is needed.


Some probiotics may influence brain function and symptoms of multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. However, this research is still very new, so the results aren’t clear.

Should You Be Taking a Probiotic for Your Brain?

At the moment, there is not enough evidence to show that probiotics definitely benefit the brain. This means that doctors aren’t able to consider probiotics a treatment for any brain-related disorders.

If you’re looking to treat such disorders, talk to a doctor.

That said, there is good evidence that probiotics have health benefits in other areas, including heart health, digestive disorders, eczema, and dermatitis.

Scientific evidence has shown a clear connection between the gut and the brain. This is an exciting area of research that’s growing rapidly.

People can usually get a healthy gut microbiota by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. A number of foods can contain beneficial bacteria, including:

  • probiotic yogurt
  • unpasteurized sauerkraut
  • kefir
  • kimchi

If necessary, taking probiotic supplements can help you increase the beneficial bacterial species in your intestines. In general, taking probiotics is safe and causes few side effects.

If you’re buying a probiotic, choose one that’s supported by scientific evidence. Lactobacillus GG (LGG) and VSL#3 have both been widely studied and shown to offer a number of health benefits.


Probiotics have been shown to benefit other aspects of health, but not enough research has been done to definitively demonstrate whether probiotics have positive effects on the brain.

The Bottom Line

Although the research is promising, it’s too soon to recommend any probiotic specifically to boost brain health.

Still, current evidence gives some food for thought about how probiotics may be used to improve brain health in the future.

If you want to try using probiotics, you can find them in drug stores and online.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.