True and natural balsamic vinegar offers rewarding health benefits. Balsamic vinegar is a rich source of several minerals such as calcium, zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and sodium. Scientific studies have found evidence that support the following health benefits (just to list a few):
Improved Immune System: It is proved that balsamic vinegar enhances resistance to diseases caused by cell damage due to free radical reactions. This benefit is a result of the antioxidant properties of a bioflavonoid called quercetin and antioxidants called pyenogenols. Through antioxidant action, the body achieves a greater resistance against diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular complications.
Research findings show that the bioflavonoids present in grape juice have a role to play in preventing coronary artery thickening. This reduces the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Some studies have also found that using an oil and vinegar dressing on salads affords protection against heart disease because such dressings contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Animal studies have shown that balsamic vinegar can reduce blood pressure in rats although this is yet to be investigated in humans. Balsamic vinegar is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce cholesterol. Moreover, since it is low in sodium, it enhances heart health and reduces high blood pressure.
Weight Loss Benefits:
Balsamic vinegar is less fattening than other marinades and dressings making it a useful component for weight loss. It is also an appetite suppressant, which lowers chances of overeating, and also contributes to weight loss. Consuming balsamic vinegar keeps you full by increasing how long it takes for your stomach to empty. The weight loss abilities of your body are also improved because of the potassium, iron and calcium found in balsamic vinegar.
Anti-Diabetic Benefits: Balsamic vinegar can also improve insulin sensitivity for diabetics, allowing for an easier regulation of blood sugar and reducing unpleasant side effects from diabetes.
Balsamic vinegar's cancer fighting properties are being intensively researched. Acetic acid has shown an ability to inhibit growth of tumors in laboratory studies. Some studies have found that a compound called resveratrol found in grapes has the ability to inhibit growth of tumors of the liver and breast and this may be one of the factors that contribute to the anticancerous effects of balsamic vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar is rich in polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that helps boost pepsin activity. Pepsin is an enzyme that is secreted in the stomach to aid in the digestion process. This enzyme works to break down proteins that are consumed and turn them into amino acids that can be more easily absorbed by the body. Pepsin also helps to speed up your metabolism. Drinking about one to two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar may relieve acid reflux, heartburn and acid indigestion. Adding it to your water daily helps control acid reflux throughout the day.
Other uses for balsamic vinegar include relief from chest congestion via a hot water and vinegar vapor and sore throat by gargling with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, hot water and honey. Balsamic vinegar has a number of antiviral and antibacterial properties, allowing it to help heal wounds and infections. Balsamic vinegar can also help prevent fatigue and anemia, energize the body, strengthen bones (calcium absorption) and slow the signs of aging.