Balsamic vinegar is simply an amazing addition to many dishes. Our last article about this yummy liquid went over what balsamic vinegar is, how it is made, what it is typically used for, and what to look for when you buy a bottle. However, one thing we didn’t touch on is whether or not balsamic vinegar is good for you. Is it?
Let’s start with some basic nutrition information. What is in it? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of balsamic contains:
- 25g of protein
- 4g carbs
- 2g sugar
- 193g glucose
- 8g fructose
- 8mg calcium
- 84mg iron
- 6mg magnesium
- 4mg phosphorus
- 286mg potassium
- 6mg sodium
The product, which they classify as a spice or herb, also contains a few other trace vitamins and minerals along with quite a bit of water (about 200g per cup) and calories (about 224 per cup). It also contains absolutely zero fat.
Balsamic vinegar has gained popularity over the last few years due to the fact that is has no fat yet still adds vibrant flavor. Many people use it as an additive, or food enhancer, as part of a heart-healthy diet. Studies suggest that balsamic can contribute to both lower cholesterol and overall weight loss. Why?
- Balsamic vinegar is full of antioxidants that can target toxins in your body that inflate your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol levels.
- It is full of acetic acid which contains strands of probiotic bacteria that can help promote better digestion and improve your gut health. Having a healthier gut biome also helps boost your overall immune system.
- Vinegars in general have been long promoted as helping with weight loss and balsamic, like other vinegars, is totally fat-free and when consumed can help you feel fuller longer.
- Balsamic can also be diabetic-friendly since it does not spike blood sugar levels after eating.
- Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols which can help improve your blood circulation, lower blood pressure, help control blood glucose levels, and improve your overall cardiovascular health.
A word of caution
As you can see, consuming balsamic vinegar can be a tasty way to flavor your meals and to help your body feel and look great. However, it is still vinegar and should be consumed in moderation. Vinegar can cause irritation of the esophagus and stomach lining. If you have any questions about vinegar consumption please consult a medical professional.
Overall, balsamic vinegar is a pretty safe and decently healthy way to enhance a variety of foods. Its distinctive, bold, and complex flavors add so much to a wide variety of dishes – from savory meats to sweet desserts… and it can even help you feel and look better. Win-win!
What is your favorite balsamic vinegar?
What are your favorite ways to use balsamic vinegar?
Let us know in the comments below!