Balsamic vinegar is a condiment, typical of Italy, produced from the fermentation of grape must. It is a product that can be found in every supermarket, however, it is also little known, especially its healthful properties are not known. Yes, because the balsamic vinegar, added to salads or to flavor vegetables or even fruit, is not just a note of flavor in our recipes but can also help to preserve good health, so much that in the Middle Ages this type of vinegar was considered a medicine to treat the most various illnesses. Today we know that balsamic vinegar is rich in mineral salts, such as zinc, iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, calcium and magnesium. But one of the most interesting features is that balsamic vinegar is a precious source of antioxidants, which are the grape polyphenols, able to fight free radicals, aging processes, support the immune system and protect the cardiovascular system by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and reducing total cholesterol and triglycerides (Iizuka et al, J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, 2010). Moreover, balsamic vinegar has been demonstrated to have also an antidiabetic action by increasing glucose tolerance and protecting the pancreatic beta cells, those used to regulate the presence of glucose in the blood (Seok et al, Diabetes Metab, 2012). Finally, balsamic vinegar has antibacterial and antiviral properties and increases the sense of satiety. As always, to get the maximum of the benefits of balsamic vinegar the important thing is not to exceed with the quantity, just a few drops added to the preparations are enough. All the listed properties refer to balsamic vinegar produced with grape must, but avoid balsamic vinegar obtained with the addition of caramel, sugars, thickeners and flavorings.
Mineral salts, antioxidant action able to support the immune system and, based on scientific studies, useful also to protect the health of the heart, antidiabetic effect, increases the sense of satiety, antibacterial and antiviral properties.