Balsamic Vinegar and Healthy Digestion

Posted at 12:39pm on January 10, 2018

Balsamic vinegar is truly an amazing condiment. It offers tremendous flavor with little calories. Added bonus it is amazing for the digestive system, cardiovascular system, metabolism, and blood sugar stabilization. It is easy to find loads of studies of the effects of balsamic vinegar throughout the centuries. It really isn't new news. The ancient Greeks even studied the healing abilities of this "nectar of the gods".

How does vinegar pack such a healthy punch? First, balsamic vinegar in particular comes from aged grape must. Grapes are naturally high in polyphenol content. The antioxidants in balsamic vinegar act to boost the activity of pepsin enzymes. Pepsin is an enzyme that is secreted in the stomach to aid in the breakdown of large protein molecules into smaller peptides or amino acids. These travel to the intestine where they are absorbed into the bloodstream. Proteins and fats are considered “slow burning fuel". They help our blood sugar remain steady, reducing the frequency of hunger. In other words, the polyphenols in balsamic vinegar help our bodies to more efficiently utilize the protein in our food. This process helps regulate our metabolism and keep our blood sugar steady.

Balsamic vinegar also aids digestion beyond the stomach as well. Beneficial bacteria located in the intestine help break down carbohydrates and fibers that would otherwise be indigestible. The beneficial bacteria used to ferment balsamic vinegar work similarly in the digestive system to further aid in quantity of nutrients absorbed from our food. Balsamic works two-fold to help break down proteins in the stomach and carbohydrates in the intestine, this means our bodies to truly get the most out of what we eat. Boosting the beneficial bacteria colonies in out gut have been shown also to greatly influence our immune system. Approximately 80% of the immune systems function comes from the digestive system. In particular studies have shown healthy individuals with strong immune responses have excellent digestive balance and plenty of beneficial intestinal bacteria. This is why it is important to ingest fermented products like balsamic which are full of these excellent digestive microbes.

Eating balsamic vinegar in combination with olive oil is truly a winner. This is why medical science has deemed the Mediterranean Diet so healthy. The antioxidants and beneficial bacteria in balsamic vinegar are great boosters to our digestive system. Our whole health starts in our stomach. It is the key to our energy, mood, and immune system. Feeding our gut what it needs to effectively breakdown nutrients, replenish healthy microorganisms, and regulate our blood sugar will only lead to an overall healthier person.

Written for The Green Thumbers by Elaine Hutchinson