Last year the apple cider vinegar (ACV) weight-loss diet was one of the most searched-for health-related topics on Google – and with good reason.

Containing just three calories per tablespoon, ACV is every weight-watcher’s dream, as it’s highly effective at keeping your weight under control. Research has shown how drinking ACV with high-carb meals helps fill you up more quickly and in this way, ensures that you don’t overeat as many people do regularly.

Other studies have shown how ACV helps to speed up your metabolism, with one finding that two tablespoons of ACV per day over three months could make you lose 2kg over this period with no other adjustments to your diet or lifestyle.

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Here are five other health and beauty benefits that ACV offers:

1. Lowers blood sugar levels

ACV is a great solution for people suffering with Type 2 diabetes (caused by high blood sugar levels as a result of being insulin-resistant or an inability to produce insulin) because it improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19%-34%, studies have shown. ACV also reduces your blood sugar levels by 34% after eating 50g of white bread. Taken after a meal, ACV can improve your insulin function and lower your blood sugar levels.

2. Fights acne breakouts

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology concluded that people who treated acne scars with lactic acid over a three-month period experienced a reduction in scarring and pigmentation. ACV contains a number of acid components, including acetic, lactic, succinct and citric acid, which work to stop the growth of bacteria that leads to acne.

ACV is also effective at killing bacteria and removing oil and dirt.

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To safely apply to your skin, mix equal parts of water and unfiltered ACV and use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the affected areas. Leave it on your skin for 10 minutes and wash off.

3. Attacks belly Fat

If you’re struggling with some excess weight around your mid-section, you’ll want to dash out to the shops right now to get ACV if you don’t already have some in your kitchen cupboards.

A study of obese people showed that consuming ACV on a daily basis led to reduced tummy fat, with one tablespoon taken daily over 12 weeks amounting to a 1,2kg loss in weight, and almost 2kg when two tablespoons were taken. The researchers, however, do note that for optimal results, ACV should be taken in conjunction with exercise and a balanced diet.

4. Fights fungal infections

ACV is an age-old remedy for treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot, yeast infections, oral thrush and toenail fungus.

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The acetic acid in ACV and probiotics work to kill fungal infections like Candida due to its anti-microbial properties.

5. Helps absorb moisture in your hair and remedy hair loss

ACV has multiple benefits for your hair, starting with its ability to help your cuticles absorb and retain moisture. It also works as a natural detangler and it even contains properties that stimulate hair growth, so it’s an appropriate remedy for dealing with hair loss.