Balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar with a dark and flavorful taste. It is made from unfermented grape juice and has become a popular ingredient in food preparations due to its slightly sweet and astringent taste.
Balsamic vinegar is very low in calories and fats. It has high levels of phytonutrients, which have antioxidant properties, and a rich source of electrolytes such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Health Benefits Of Balsamic Vinegar
When consumed in a small serving, balsamic vinegar can provide the body with numerous health benefits.
Lowers Risk Of Heart Attacks
Balsamic vinegar does not cause harm to our heart because it has low levels of saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. These all contribute to a lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart attacks. Simply use this in salad dressings to make our heart healthy.
Helps Fight Cancer
Grapes, which are used in making balsamic vinegar, contain quercetin and vitamin C. These two has antioxidant properties that help strengthen the immune system so that it can fight inflammation, infection and life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Keeps Blood Glucose Levels Steady
Because balsamic vinegar is low on glycemic index, consumption of it will not cause spikes in our blood glucose levels. Due to this, we’ll be able to limit experiencing an energy rush and crash. But still, we need to limit consumption of it since 1 tablespoon serving of this vinegar contains 2.4 grams of sugars.
Improves Blood Circulation
Grapes, the fruit which balsamic vinegar is made from, can help keep our blood platelets from aggregating, thereby preventing cardiac diseases. Mediterranean cultures have been using this vinegar as a healing and anti-aging ingredient.
Boosts Bone Health
Due to its acetic acid and pepsin content, balsamic vinegar can help improve our body’s overall absorption of important minerals – like magnesium and calcium, which play a huge role in the development of healthy and strong bones. Balsamic vinegar was also found to be rich in these minerals.
Aids In Healthy Digestion
Acetic acid, the main active compound in balsamic vinegar, contains strains of probiotic bacteria which promote healthy digestion, improve gut health, and have positive effects in the immune system. Consumption of it can help eliminate symptoms of constipation and stomach upset.
Destroys Free Radicals
The high antioxidant properties of balsamic vinegar destroy free radicals and protect the cells in our body. Free radicals destroy our cell membrane, harden the arterial walls, and cause premature aging. With the help of balsamic vinegar, we’ll be able to slow down our body’s aging process.
Can Improve Skin Health
Because balsamic vinegar contains antimicrobial compounds, antioxidants, and acetic acids, adding it in our diet can make our skin look clearer and our complexion brighter.
Since ancient times, balsamic vinegar has been used as a remedy for headaches and migraines. Aside from this, it also has antiviral and antibacterial properties that help treat infections and wounds.
Uses of Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is commonly used in:
- Salad dressings
- Certain cocktails
- Marinating meat
- Soups as an added flavor
- Sweet dessert syrup
How to Make a Homemade Balsamic Vinegar
Only patience and time is needed in making balsamic vinegar at home. Here are the steps we need to follow:
First, we need to acquire a proper variety of grapes – Trebbiano, Ancellotta or Lambrusco. Crush the grapes so that the juice is extracted. Separate the fruit from the liquid, using a sieve. Pour the juice into a large kettle and simmer for 1-2 days until it is reduced by half its volume. Allow the mixture to cool and then place it in a barrel for at least 1 year – which will give us a vinegar product. We need to store the vinegar in increasingly smaller barrels for the next 10 years. The vinegar will evaporate slowly and reduce in volume, but will also soak up the flavors of the barrels.