Balsamic vinegar is a deep brown vinegar that’s
made from unfermented grape juice. It’s known for having distinctive, bold,
complex flavors and a tart aftertaste. Real balsamic vinegar is aged in barrels for
months or even years, and it can be quite expensive. Balsamic vinegar has become a popular ingredient
in food preparations, especially salad dressings and marinades. People use it as a low-fat additive and part
of a heart-healthy diet. Some people believe that balsamic vinegar
is good for you all by itself. It’s been suggested that balsamic vinegar
can contribute to weight loss, low cholesterol, and even a glowing complexion. It helps lower cholesterol! Of all of the benefits of balsamic vinegar,
this one is perhaps the most well-documented. Balsamic vinegar is an excellent choice for
those looking to maintain or lower their cholesterol levels. The antioxidants found in balsamic vinegar
target the “scavenger cells” that are toxic to your body and inflate your LDL (unhealthy
cholesterol) levels. By consuming balsamic vinegar as a dressing
or glaze, you can consume enough to help your body protect itself against clogged arteries. It aids in healthy digestion! The main active compound in balsamic vinegar
is acetic acidTrusted Source, which contains strains of probiotic bacteria.
These probiotics don’t just preserve food,
they can also enable healthy digestion and improve gut health. There’s also positive immune system benefits
to having these healthy bacteria called gut biome. The probiotic compounds in acetic acid could
be part of the reason some people swear balsamic vinegar makes them feel full. It supports weight loss! The vinegar family is known for its anti-obesity
characteristics, and balsamic vinegar is no exception. As mentioned before, balsamic vinegar contains
probiotic compounds that help you feel fuller, longer.
Unlike other flavoring agents like butter
and mayonnaise, balsamic vinegar is fat-free. Though it isn’t a magic weight loss potion,
there’s reason to believe that incorporating balsamic vinegar into your diet will help
you reach your weight loss goals. It’s diabetes-friendly! Balsamic vinegar is an anti-glycemic. In a 2006 review, studies even indicated that
after consuming vinegar, people with insulin resistance experience a blood sugar plateau
for up to five hours.
Using balsamic vinegar as a condiment can
make your meals more diabetes-friendly, and help you avoid blood sugar spikes that happen
after eating. It improves blood circulation! Balsamic vinegar contains polyphenols, which
are under investigation for how they help your cardiovascular system. You might not think about it often, but balsamic
vinegar is a fruit product because it’s made from grapes. Grapes have been found to keep your blood
platelets from aggregating, which may prevent cardiac diseases.
This might be part of the reason why Mediterranean
cultures have been using balsamic vinegar for centuries as a “healing” and “anti-aging”
ingredient. It may help with hypertension! Balsamic vinegar’s benefits for your cardiovascular
system extend to your blood pressure, too. A laboratory study from 2001 revealed that
rats with hypertension had better blood pressure after consuming vinegar over a long period
of time. By consuming 1 to 2 teaspoons of balsamic
vinegar as a dressing or marinade, you’re not only making your food more delicious,
you’re helping your heart health, too. It can improve your skin! Other types of vinegar, like apple cider vinegar,
might appeal more as topical acne remedies because the smell of balsamic vinegar is quite
pungent. The dark, stain-prone color of balsamic vinegar
might also put you off from applying it directly to your face. But balsamic vinegar contains both acetic
acid and antimicrobial compounds, as well as antioxidants.
Consuming balsamic vinegar as part of your
regular diet might make your skin look clearer and your complexion brighter. Risks and side effects! The risks of balsamic vinegar are low compared
to the potential health benefits, according to one review of the literature. If you drink raw balsamic vinegar, your throat
may become inflamed and your esophagus could be damaged. There are instances where drinking vinegar
can cause stomach pain or hurt the lining of your stomach. Be careful to monitor how much vinegar you’re
consuming. Stop using balsamic vinegar right away if
you feel it’s contributing to heartburn or gastric issues. Recipes! Balsamic glaze! A balsamic glaze is an easy way to start including
balsamic vinegar in your diet.
All you need is sugar, salt, and a high-quality
bottle of balsamic vinegar. Mix 16 ounces of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan
with a 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground sea salt. Turn the saucepan on medium heat and let it
boil. The mixture should cook down to about 8 oz.
as you stir it occasionally. The resulting glaze will be thick and syrupy. Let it cool and store in an airtight container. Caprese salad! For a dose of antioxidants, vitamin C, and
vitamin K, try this classic antipasto recipe. You’ll need: 2 – 3 beefsteak heirloom tomatoes,
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, 2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar,
2-3 tbsp. olive oil, fresh basil leaves,
sea salt. Slice the beefsteak tomatoes length-wise. In between the tomato slices, add thinly sliced
fresh mozzarella cheese. Layer basil over the tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and balsamic
vinegar to taste.