Elevated blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Research has shown that about half of all American Adults suffer hypertension or high blood pressure. In fact, in 2019 alone, high blood pressure was implicated in more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S.
However, recent studies have found several benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for different health conditions, including elevated blood pressure.
Many people have been wondering and asking, “Does apple cider vinegar help with elevated blood pressure? Well, this article will tell you the truth about the effect of this natural ingredient in lowering blood pressure.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a product derived from fermented apple juice or apples. The yeast and bacteria in apple cider ferments the sugar to produce acetic acid, which gives the vinegar its characteristic sour taste and strong odor. It is widely acknowledged that acetic acid offers most of the health benefits associated with Apple cider Vinegar.
Interestingly, there are several benefits of apple cider vinegar. Even the Greek doctor Hippocrates used it for treating wounds. Little wonder, apple cider vinegar is popularly described today as a “cure all” for many illnesses and health conditions, including high cholesterol, stomach upset, sore throats and more.
Several studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of apple cider vinegar may play a role in lowering blood pressure. However, it should be combined with other treatments and lifestyle changes, such as diet, weight loss, and exercises.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Elevated Blood Pressure?
While many studies on the benefits of apple cider vinegar for elevated blood pressure have used animal samples, some studies have revealed a number of mechanisms in which apple cider may be useful for blood pressure.
Lowering blood sugar
Some studies have shown that vinegar helps in lowering blood sugar levels. However, there are limited studies done on humans. Researchers suggest that vinegar blocks the activity of enzymes that convert starchy foods into glucose. This way, the amount of blood sugar in the bloodstream is reduced.
And researchers believe reducing your blood sugar level might indirectly help lower blood pressure. However, more research is still done to understand this mechanism.
Some studies found that consuming apple cider vinegar helped lower cholesterol levels. Normally, high cholesterol often goes hand-in-hand with elevated blood pressure to accelerate heart disease.
And high cholesterol levels may cause damage to your blood vessels, and even your heart. Taking apple cider vinegar may help lower both cholesterol and this might work to lower blood pressure.
Obesity or excess weight often results in high blood pressure. And apple cider vinegar has been proven to offer weight loss benefits.
When you lower your salt intake and use apple cider vinegar in place of high-salt and high-fat dressings, it may help you trim your waistline and manage your blood pressure at the same time. This is often helpful when you combine with an overall healthy diet.
Lowering renin activity
Studies found that feeding rats with vinegar for a long period caused a decrease in blood pressure and the amount of an enzyme called renin. The scientists suggested that the lowered renin levels impacted the blood pressure.
How Do You Use Acetic Acid Vinegar?
You should aim for about 3 tsp. per day and the concentration should be between 3-9 percent. Too much of ACV can cause damage to your tooth enamel as it is highly acidic. Also, it may cause throat burn and delayed digestion.
It might be a bit hard to handle vinegar all by itself, so you may consider adding flavors to make it go easy.
Some good ways to add acetic acid vinegar to your diet include:
- Add it to a smoothie
- Add it to cooked popcorn
- Mix it with water and a little bit of honey
- Mix it with olive oil and use for salad dressing
- Drizzle it over vegetables or meat
- Drink a shot of apple cider vinegar instead of coffee
Should You Take Apple Cider Vinegar for High Blood Pressure?
Well, the jury is still out, but there is no harm in adding some apple cider vinegar to your diet if you suffer elevated blood pressure. But ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle to see results. Try to exercise regularly and eat heart-healthy diets.
However, apple cider vinegar is never a substitute for blood pressure medications or drugs used to control glucose and cholesterol levels. You should always speak with your doctor and follow the treatment plan recommended. If your doctor approves apple cider vinegar as a natural way to reduce your elevated blood pressure and support your cardiovascular health, why not? Go ahead and give it a try!