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Your Health and Balsamic Vinegar - October 2017

You’ve probably seen multiple articles on the heath benefits of extra virgin olive oil, but did you know that balsamic vinegar is healthy as well? It’s important that you use a balsamic without added sugar, fillers, or artificial coloring. Unfortunately, many balsamic brands add sugar, fructose, and other fillers to thicken and sweeten their products in place of the aging process. The balsamic vinegars in our store have been aged a minimum of 12 years and many closer to 18 years. This aging process naturally causes the vinegar to sweeten and thicken. However, commercially produced balsamic can be made in a matter of hours.

True balsamic comes from the nutrient-rich Trebbiano grape and is abundant in potassium and contains smaller amounts of vitamin A and C, niacin and iron. The Trebbiano grapes also contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, known for its antioxidant properties. This antioxidant is known to strengthen the immune system against cancer and other infectious diseases.

One of the most beneficial aspects of balsamic vinegar is its acetic acid. Acetic acid slows the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, helps break down proteins, and increases the amount of time it takes for the stomach to empty. These actions can help balance blood sugar levels and reduce hunger. Studies show two tablespoons of vinegar prior to a meal suppresses appetite. Another recent study showed that 5 tablespoons a day of balsamic increased insulin sensitivity, making it easier for diabetics to control their blood sugar.

Another somewhat counter-intuitive benefit of balsamic vinegar is its ability to relieve occasional heartburn and indigestion. Although vinegar is acidic, it has an alkalizing effect in the body, helping it to maintain good gut pH.

Besides salad dressings, there are several other ways to get in those multiple tablespoons a day, including adding a couple spoon fills to sparkling water, yogurt, or over fruit. Although balsamic is relatively sweet, our balsamic vinegars are only 3 grams of sugar and 10 calories per tablespoon, giving it a very low glycemic index of 1. Balsamic is approved on most of the popular diets including the relatively low carb diets like Paleo and Whole 30.

 

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