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10 Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar That You Never Knew!

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

Balsamic vinegar has been around for centuries. It’s a staple in Italian cuisine, but it’s being used all over the world. The sweet yet sour flavor makes it perfect for salad dressings, sauces, and marinades.

Balsamic vinegar is made from white grape juice that has been reduced to a syrup and aged in wooden barrels. The longer it ages, the darker and more intense it becomes. The best balsamic vinegar is aged for 12 years or more.

In this article, we will look at some of the potential health benefits of balsamic vinegar so that you get a better idea if you should start ditching your other salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your healthcare professional before using balsamic vinegar in your nutrition plan.

10 Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a very popular product among consumers. It is produced in Italy and has been around for a very long time. This vinegar has been used as a condiment, but it also has several other uses. You may be wondering what makes balsamic vinegar so special.

Here are some of the potential health benefits associated with balsamic vinegar:

1.      Helps with Digestion

Balsamic vinegar contains pectin, which helps with proper digestion. It also contains acetic acid, which stimulates digestion by increasing the production of digestive enzymes. This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from indigestion or ulcers.

2.      Slows the Aging Process

Balsamic vinegar contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals and can protect against signs of aging. These antioxidants also help to encourage collagen production, which helps with preventing acne and wrinkles. Balsamic vinegar also has antibacterial properties that help fight off infections like acne, eczema, and dandruff.

3.      Reduces Blood Sugar

Balsamic vinegar is anti-glycemic. Balsamic vinegar contains components that help to reduce blood sugar thanks to its ability to slow down the digestion of food and the release of glucose into the bloodstream. A 2016 study showed that after consuming balsamic vinegar, people with insulin resistance experienced a blood sugar plateau for around five hours.

4.      Lowers Cholesterol

Balsamic vinegar may help reduce cholesterol levels. The antioxidants present in balsamic vinegar help block toxic cells in our body that can increase cholesterol levels.

One study involving rabbits with high cholesterol found that balsamic vinegar can help lower or maintain already low cholesterol levels.

5.      Helps Improve Skin Health

Balsamic vinegar contains antioxidants that can help protect your skin against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage skin cells and cause wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging. Balsamic vinegar may also help reduce acne because it contains malic acid, which helps prevent dead skin buildup on the face.

6.      Reduces Hypertension

Balsamic vinegar contains acetic acid, which is an active ingredient in lowering high blood pressure. The acetic acid reduces the sodium content in the body and regulates water balance, which helps to lower hypertension.

A study with rats revealed that rats with hypertension had better blood pressure after having balsamic vinegar over a long period. By consuming 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar as a dressing or marinade, you are not only making your food tastier, but you are also taking a step towards a healthy heart.

7.      Helps in Treating Wounds

Balsamic vinegar can be used to treat minor cuts and burns. It works by killing the bacteria that cause infections, reducing inflammation, and promoting the healing process of wounds. It is suggested that balsamic vinegar contains antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Although, these claims have not been well-researched at the time of writing this article.

8.      Improves Blood Circulation

Balsamic vinegar contains polyphenols, which improve circulation and help prevent blood clots. These polyphenols also contain antioxidants that fight free radicals, protecting your body from disease.

It is important to note that balsamic vinegar is a fruit product as it is made from grapes. Grapes have been found to keep your blood platelets from increasing, which may help prevent heart disease. This might be a part of the reason why Mediterranean cultures have been consuming balsamic vinegar for centuries as an “anti-aging” and “healing” ingredient.

9.      Reduces Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter muscle fails to close properly after food passes through it into your stomach. This allows stomach acids to back up into your esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation of the lining of this tube.

The acidity of balsamic vinegar helps reduce this acidity in your digestive system, which can help prevent acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion.

10.  Relieves Congestion

Balsamic vinegar is great for relieving congestion. Take a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and add honey to it. This can be used as a mouthwash or gargle to relieve congestion and a sore throat.

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