Health Benefits of
Like extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants. It is credited with reducing cholesterol and regulating insulin levels.
The Romans used vinegar as an antiseptic, using it to heal the wounds of soldiers. It has also been recognized as a natural digestive aid, which many of us address through expensive probiotic dietary supplements for optimal gut-health.
Destroy Free Radicals and Fight Cancer
Antioxidants from balsamic vinegar destroy free radicals and protect healthy cells, limiting exposure to cancer, premature aging and hardening of arterial walls. This provides a natural deterrent to infectious diseases and inflammations (yes, it’s also a pain reliever). Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols, which act as anticancer agents.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack
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.
The American Diabetes Association has reported how vinegar improves insulin sensitivity carbohydrate-heavy meals in subjects with insulin resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Research also has revealed how five teaspoons of balsamic vinegar a day enhances insulin sensitivity.
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) through more efficient absorption.
The Meaning Behind The Name
The very name balsamic means “balsam-like” in the sense of being “restorative” or “curative.” While wine is made from fermented grapes, balsamic is created from the careful fermentation of the “must” – whole pressed grapes complete with juice, skin, seeds and stems. Truly “traditional” balsamic is crafted from Trebbiano grapes fermented as they have for generations, over time in wood barrels in Reggio Emilia and Modena, Italy.