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The Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

Edited By: Krista Mc'Farlene
 Balsamic vinegar is a popular condiment that is often used in salad dressings, marinades and many other foods. Its flavor is distinct and is often described as tart and complex. Some studies suggest that balsamic vinegar has several health benefits that range from improving a person's complexion to lowering cholesterol and aiding weight loss. Let's take a look at the potential health benefits of balsamic vinegar: 
 
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1. Improves skin health

Balsamic vinegar contains antimicrobial compounds, acetic acids and antioxidants - components that may help improve a person's complexion over time. If using this method opt for clear vinegar to help clear up acne as balsamic can cause stains and should not be applied directly to the skin. 

2. Reduces blood sugar

Studies suggest that this popular salad dressing ingredient offers a number of health benefits, including in helping to regulate blood sugar. In one review which examined the scientific effects of vinegar found that balsamic vinegar has an anti-glycemic impact when consumed. This means that a person's blood sugar will spike less drastically after a meal. According to the paper, it indicated that vinegar could help create a blood sugar plateau for a period of up to 5 hours following a meal. 

3. Promoting healthy digestion

One of the active compounds found in balsamic vinegar is acetic acid. This acid contains strains of probiotics that aid digestion. The probiotics found in acetic acid help promote good gut health and digestion while supporting overall immune function.

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4. It lowers cholesterol

It has been found that balsamic vinegar may help lower cholesterol. The antioxidants in balsamic vinegar help block toxic cells in the body that raise cholesterol levels. In one study which involved rabbits with high cholesterol, it is possible that consuming balsamic vinegar can help lower or maintain already low cholesterol levels. 

5. It helps you lose weight

The probiotics contained in balsamic vinegar can help you feel full for longer. Studies show that people may consume fewer calories throughout the day when they add vinegar to their morning meal. 

6. It treats wounds

For many years, balsamic vinegar has been used to treat wounds. It has been suggested that balsamic vinegar has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. However, it is important to note that these claims have not been well studied. 

7. It reduces hypertension

In one study which involved rats, it was determined that balsamic vinegar may help lower blood pressure. This research suggested that regularly adding balsamic vinegar to foods may help reduce high blood pressure over time. It may be true if a person replaces fatty foods, such as butter and oil, with vinegar, which lowers the total amount of fats they consume. 

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8. It relieves congestion

While this is not popularly known, some people use balsamic vinegar to help treat congestion. To do this, add a few drops of vinegar to steaming water and breathe in the vapor. 

9. It reduces acid reflux

Balsamic vinegar can be used to help reduce acid reflux or heartburn. While this remedy may not work for everyone, you may want to give it a try. Do so in small amounts and wait several hours to see whether it improves your symptoms, or worsens them. 

10. It promotes blood circulation

Balsamic vinegar is derived from grapes. Studies have shown that grapes help prevent cardiac disease by preventing platelets from building up in blood vessels. It also contains polyphenols which aid in blood circulation. However, the evidence is inconclusive so far. 

But what are the risks of taking balsamic vinegar?

While the risks are few, it has been discovered that taking too much balsamic vinegar may cause an upset stomach. Generally speaking, however, it is safe for people to consume unless you suffer from an allergy. Other possible risks include:

1. Inflammation of the throat
2. Damage to the food pipe from drinking too much.

Limit your intake to about two tablespoons or less, as drinking too much can cause an upset stomach and other issues. Furthermore, be careful of what brands you buy. Genuine balsamic may be expensive but it does not contain added sugars. 

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