Learn About The Health Uses Of Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar is a wine vinegar created from grapes that have been crushed, fermented and aged. It is known to be sweet, with a pungent taste and mellow acidity which makes it an exceptional condiment for salad dressings and marinating.

Additionally, Balsamic Vinegar is quite nutritious, offering a mere 14 calories, no fat and trace amounts of a variety of essential minerals per 1 tbsp. serving. Moreover, Balsamic Vinegar provides other healthful substances, including antioxidants, which protect cells in the body from oxidative damage associated with specific diseases.

Health Uses Of Balsamic Vinegar

"Balsamico," the Italian name for Balsamic Vinegar, is thought to be related to the word "balm,"indicating a healing potion, according to a "New York Times" article from 1999.

Balsamic Vinegar is still used as a folk remedy for distinct ailments; according to The Vinegar Institute, 1 tbsp. of Balsamic Vinegar has been said to aid in relieving heartburn and indigestion.

Polyphenol Health Benefits Of Balsamic Vinegar

Over the years, researchers have been able to classify specific compounds in Balsamic Vinegar that may, actually possess curative properties.

Balsamic Vinegar has been known to have a high amount of polyphenols -- plant compounds with antioxidant properties -- according to research published in "Asian Journal of Food and Agro-Industry" in 2010.

This recent study determined that of nine wine vinegars evaluated for polyphenolic content, Balsamic Vinegar had the highest count. In another study, published in "Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology" in 2010,  researchers discovered that Balsamic Vinegar is rich in polyphenols and, moreover, concluded that Balsamic Vinegar ingested by human subjects implied that it helped mitigate atherosclerosis-associated oxidative damage to the subjects' blood lipids.

Health Effects of Melanoidins In Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar also contains substances which are called melanoidins that are formed during the Maillard reaction, a process comparable to caramelization which takes place during the production of Balsamic Vinegar and a variety of other foods such as coffee, dark beer and sweet wine.

Besides lending Balsamic Vinegar its brown color and high viscosity, melanoidins may also provide antioxidant benefits, according to a study published in "Food and Chemical Toxicology" in 2010.

Acetic Acid and Health

Acetic acid is a ample component of Balsamic Vinegar, representing 6 percent of balsamic vinegar by volume. Clinical research illustrates that the acetic acid in Balsamic Vinegar and other vinegars for that matter, may offer an assortment of potential health benefits.

In 2004, "Diabetes Care" published a study concluding that administration of acetic acid via vinegar ingestion improved insulin sensitivity in diabetics. Furthermore, a 2009 study published in "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" concluded that acetic acid suppressed body fat accumulation in mice, recommending acetic acid may help promote weight control.