As detailed on our "balsamic vinegar" description page, true balsamic vinegars are aged using the Traditional Solera Aging Method in Modena, Italy. The word balsamic denotes "balm" which translates from Italian as "healing" and "soothing" medicine.
Italians have been relishing balsamic vinegar for centuries. Americans however, have only become acquainted with them over the last two decades, and are now beginning to understand their multi-dimensionality. In addition to the rich, sweet, delicious flavor, balsamic vinegar has been shown to provide many different health properties. Derived from cooked Trebbiano grapes, balsamic vinegar retains most of the nutrients present in the parent grapes, abundant in both potassium and calcium, and containing moderate amounts of Vitamins A and C, niacin, iron, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Additionally, our flavor infused balsamics benefit from the inherent nutritional profile of the fruit or spice additive (for example the antioxidant properties of blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates or strawberries, the vitamin C of tangerines or lemons, or the digestive assistance of ginger, just to name a few). Here are some of the wonderful health properties that can be attributed to balsamic vinegar:
NORMALIZES BLOOD PRESSURE: According to a study published in "Medscape General Medicine" in 2006, researchers found that balsamic vinegar reduced the hardening of arteries, also known as artherosclerosis. Because of this, balsamic vinegar also lowers and stabilizes blood pressure levels. Researchers in the study found that those who regularly consumed vinegar exhibited lower systolic blood pressure levels.
STABILIZES CHOLESTEROL LEVELS: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol causes hardened, clogged and blocked arteries. In a 2010 study published in the "Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology" researchers found that the polyphenols in balsamic vinegar limited the ability of LDL cholesterol to oxidize. This reduces the amount of damage done by LDL cholesterol on your body's cells.
WEIGHT LOSS: A June 2009 study published in the "Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry", and the book "The Healing Powers of Vinegar" both discuss the effects of acetic acid, a key compound found in vinegar. Acetic acid helps to slow the absorption of carbohydrate foods as they are broken down in the body, helping to balance your blood sugar levels and reduce hunger. It also improves fat break-down for more energy.
DIABETES : A study conducted at Arizona State University found that balsamic and other types of vinegar may help reduce the risk of developing adult-onset diabetes. According to the study, vinegar helps to balance blood sugar levels. This improves the ability of the hormone insulin to transport into the cells where it can be burned away for energy. Individulas with diabetes may find that drinking balsamic vinegar as a tonic, in addition to their prescribed treatment, helps to better control blood sugar levels.
In a related ASU study by Dr. Carol Johnston, (published Jan 2010 in online issue of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, titled "Examinatin of the Antiglycemic Properties of Vinegar in Healthy Adults") the researchers concluded that "the anitglycmic properties of vinegar are evident when small amounts of vinegar are ingested with meals composed of complex carbohydrates. In these situations, vinegar attenuated PPG (postprandial glycemia) by ~20% compared to placebo. In short, vinegar reduces PPG in healthy adults. Of note, the researchers state that taking steps to reduce PPG is recommended by the American Diabetes Association to limit complications of diabetes.
Also from ASU, research was published in the November 2007 issue of "Diabetes Care" that demonstrated that vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations.
ASSISTS DIGESTION: The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of pepsin enzyme in the body. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme, which helps break proteins into smaller units (amino acids). Moreover, these polyphenols also assist the intestine in absorbing amino acids expeditiously. Efficient amino acid absorption enables the body to utilize it for cell building, repair and other body maintenance work. Thus, balsamic vinegar aids the digestion process.
NATURAL PAIN RELIEVER: In ancient times, folk healers used this vinegar to relieve people of their body pain. Moreover, they also used balsamic vinegar to treat wounds and infections. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties in the vinegar healed the wounds.
MINOR REMEDIES: Some additional uses for balsamic vinegar include easing chest congestion with a hot water and vinegar steam inhalation, and relieving a minor sore throat by gargling with hot water, vinegar and honey. Some find drinking two tablespoons a day may help relieve occasional heartburn or acid indigestion. Others find it reduces the frequency of headache inceptions, strengthens bones (calcium absorption), energizes the body, slows down the aging process (antioxidant properties) and prevents anemia (iron content) It also helps in weight loss by suppressing one's appetite, and/or adding sweetness without a lot of caloric and sugar content (generally about 10 calories and 3g of sugar per tbs)
* Low in sugar and calories
* No fat
* Reduces Risk of Heart Attacks.
* Controls Diabetes
* Reduces Inflammation
* Aids Digestion
* Low Glycemic Index, keeping blood glucose levels steady
* Natural Pain Reliever
* Fights cancer
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