Balsamic Vinegar Health Benefits That Will Surprise You

Balsamic vinegar is a popular condiment used originally in the Mediterranean region. Italian farmers harvest and cultivate white grapes that are then pressed to form a juice that retains skin, seeds and stems of the grapes. The grape must is cooked and converted into a syrup and left to ferment for three weeks, though it takes about 12 years to fully mature. 

It is common to find 25 to 50 years old balsamic vinegar bottles since the taste and health quotient is related to a long-drawn-out fermentation process, though the research on this assumption is lacking. 

Twelve-year-old authentic balsamic vinegar is rare to find because it is diluted with cheaper wine that takes a short while to ferment. The diluted balsamic vinegar does not contain the same probiotic health content and enzymes as authentic balsamic content. 

Some manufacturers and brands adulterate balsamic vinegars with additives such as brown sugar, caramel and emulsifiers.  These balsamic vinegar varieties are falsely sold as authentic and original balsamic vinegar. Even the quantity needed to enrich the food is much less in an unadulterated balsamic vinegar. 

Deciphering between real and fake brands is up to the consumer. Here are some of the health benefits when authentic bottles are identified.  

Aids Digestion

Fermented drinks such as real balsamic vinegar contain enzymes and probiotics that better gut health by feeding the good bacteria. People who add fermented condiments to their cooked meals are at lower risk of bloating and helps the faster absorption of nutrients. It supports intestinal health. 

Dietary Melanoidins

During the fermentation, the compounds called melanoidins are formed by reaction of amino acids to each other. This chemical process is called the Maillard reaction. Melanoidins prevent oxidative stress in the gastric environment of the stomach. Dietary melanoidins reduce risk of diabetes and Alzheimer's disease too by decreasing phase I liver enzyme activity.  

Filled With Polyphenols

Polyphenols are commonly found in Mediterranean food and authentic unadulterated balsamic vinegar since they have proven to reduce triglycerides that contribute to cholesterol. Polyphenols also reduce heart disease and plaque build-up in the arteries. 

Sulfite Sensitivity Does Not Apply to Balsamic Vinegar

For people who are sensitive to sulfite are not affected by it when it occurs naturally and not added as a preservative. For example, cheese, organic wine and authentically-made balsamic vinegar have them in the natural form that come from the fermentation process. 

Balsamic Strawberry Brushetta Image Roxanna Salceda