Red wine vinegar... paired with a splash of olive oil, it makes a delicious dressing for salads, but science is confirming that this condiment is more than tasty... it's healthy too! In fact, red wine vinegar has been used for thousands of years as a folk remedy for many ailments. Like red wine, it is free of cholesterol, fat and sodium and chock full of anti-aging antioxidants. Unlike wine however, it doesn't contain alcohol, so feel free to toast your health daily!
Two important ingredients in red wine vinegar that are currently being studied are acetic acid and resveratrol.
When the stomach is empty, the body produces a hormone called ghrelin which signals hunger. Acetic acid - an active ingredient in red wine vinegar - can reduce ghrelin levels, help to control cravings and reduce the buildup of fat within the body.
According to results of a Japanese study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, mice that were fed a high-fat diet supplemented with acetic acid developed approximately 10 percent less body fat than mice that were not supplemented.
All mice in the study were fed a daily diet with half of daily energy coming from fats. There were three groups: one was supplemented with 1.5 percent vinegar, another received 0.3 percent vinegar and the control group received water. Results showed no dose dependency when it came to vinegar supplementation. Both vinegar groups showed reductions in fat of approximately 10 percent as compared to the control group.
Another Swedish study from Lund University published in 2005, found that vinegar supplementation could help individuals eat less and reduce cravings after meals. Because acetic acid helps to slow the absorption of sugar, it prevents blood sugar levels from spiking following a meal. Acetic acid also enables the body to more efficiently absorb essential vitamins and minerals which boosts the digestive process.
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant found in red wine which has been shown to counter harmful effects of a high-calorie diet in mice and extend their lifespan. This has led many to speculate on whether these effects can extend to humans.
Cal Orey, author of "The Healing Powers of Vinegar: A Complete Guide to Nature's Most Remarkable Remedy," believes that vinegars rich in resveratrol may be a key to good health in humans. Her book shows that red wine and balsamic vinegars from Mediterranean regions may help combat obesity - often linked to heart disease and many other health issues.
As previously mentioned, red wine vinegar has been a cure-all for centuries. According to Latin history, combined with water, red wine vinegar helped soldiers survive the effects of weather and boosted endurance on the battlefield. In modern times, this condiment might be a valuable commodity for your kitchen pantry... in more ways than one!