Whether you want to lose a few pounds, prevent or reverse diabetes, protect your bones, reduce blood pressure and heart disease risk, or boost your immunity and fight cancer, balsamic vinegar can help.
Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Regulation
Japanese researchers found that giving 1 or 2 tablespoons of vinegar to obese subjects for 12 weeks significantly reduced body weight, visceral fat, BMI, waist circumference and triglyceride levels. Researchers at Arizona State University found that people who took a tablespoon of vinegar with lunch and dinner lost an average of two pounds over 4 weeks. Vinegar helps with weight loss by keeping blood sugar levels from spiking and improving insulin resistance, which also helps prevent, reverse or manage diabetes. In fact, the Arizona researchers noted that vinegar may be as effective as the medications acarbose and metformin (glucophage) in controlling blood sugar.
Mineral Absorption and Bone Health
Vinegar helps absorb minerals. This is especially helpful in getting maximum benefit from the calcium in greens, which often contain oxalic and other compounds that interfere with absorption. A 1999 study on rats showed that vinegar not only improved absorption of calcium, but after 32 days calcium in the bones had improved.
Acetic acid (which is found in all types of vinegar and is responsible for most of vinegar's health benefits) has been shown to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive rats. Cholesterol has also been brought down in rats, but not yet in human studies. However, balsamic vinegar in particular has been shown to dramatically inhibit oxidation of cholesterol and to prevent atherosclerosis in humans.
Immunity, Cancer and Aging
The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar improve immunity, fight cancer and can keep us staying young and energetic. Acetic acid inhibits tumor growth.