Though originating from Italy, balsamic vinegar is popular throughout the world and is regularly used in salad dressings. Here are some of its health benefits.
Health Benefits of Balsamic
Vinegars have been used for thousands of years for their astringent and disinfectant properties as well as being used as a preservative and flavoring in prepared food. Balsamic vinegar, however, has a wealth of benefits beyond those early uses of vinegar.
In historical texts balsamic vinegar was said to be a miracle cure. It is believed that the word originated from the Italian word for balm, meaning an aromatic resin as well as a soothing and healing agent. Balsamic vinegar was used to treat everything from a mild headache to labor pains. It’s antibacterial and antiviral properties make it ideal for disinfecting wounds and infections. A tonic mixture of balsamic can be used on nail infections and even acne!
Antioxidants – Improves Immunity System – Helps Blood Circulation
Polyphenol is an antioxidant found in grapes and is therefore present in balsamic vinegar. Antioxidants improve the immune system and they guard against harmful free radicals which can damage cells in the body. Balsamic vinegar can also help protect against heart disease and cancer thanks to these antioxidants. Another element found in balsamic vinegar is a bioflovanoid, called quercetin, which also has antioxidant properties and helps fight immunity deficiencies.
Digestion and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Balsamic vinegar can suppress appetite and also increases the amount of time it takes for the stomach to empty. This helps prevent overeating and ensures the body will digest food properly. Balsamic vinegar is a rich source of potassium, manganese, calcium and iron. These minerals are vital for the body’s functioning and contribute to the maintaining of a healthy body weight. The acetic acid present in balsamic vinegar helps to absorb these and other minerals into the body and can improve calcium intake to help strengthen bone. Balsamic vinegar is low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium making it a healthy alternative for dressings and marinades. Compared to a mayonnaise based dressing balsamic vinegar can have a fifth of the calories for the same size serving. Some studies have shown that balsamic vinegar can reduce appetite and prevent frequent hunger pangs.
Diabetes & Helps Digestion
Balsamic vinegar improves insulin sensitivity which promotes blood sugar regulation. This can often reduce unpleasant side effects associated with diabetes. The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar also boost the effect of pepsin which is an enzyme that breaks protein into smaller amino acids. This means that the amino acids are more easily absorbed into the body improving metabolism.
Pepsin and acetic acid both help improve absorption of crucial minerals into the body such as calcium and magnesium. Both of this minerals are abundant in balsamic vinegar and are vital for healthy and strong bones.