The Top 7 Health Benefits Of Vinegar (& Which Vinegars To Choose…)

There are actually several types of vinegar around, with different colors and different benefits. They all have that sharp vinegar taste, but that sharpness varies in strength and the taste of whatever the vinegar is made from comes through as well. For example, red wine vinegar has a subtle red wine taste and apple cider vinegar has an apple taste. The nutritional value of different types of vinegar varies, meaning some types have stronger health benefits than others, while some health benefits are across the board…

Find out how vinegar can help with your health, and which ones to choose...



 

A Brief History Of Vinegar

This powerful liquid has been produced and used for thousands of years, dating back to before the 6th century. Vinegar had different uses across a number of ancient civilizations. For example, the Babylonians are said to have flavored vinegar with fruit, honey and malt as a food ingredient and beverage, and Hippocrates is believed to have used vinegar to disinfect and manage wounds. The Chinese used vinegar to clean their hands and prevent infections around the 10th century, and in the US 200 years ago, it was used to treat a number of infections and ailments, including fever and poison ivy.

Today, there are many health benefits of vinegar touted, especially apple cider vinegar – some proven, and others unproven. For example, it is rich in bioactive components, including acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin and caffeic acid, and has powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. However, claims like its magic ability to trim centimeters from your waistline are a bit less accurate. Vinegar remains a popular kitchen staple for dressing salads and pickling fruits and vegetables.

vinegars

Nutritional Information

So, when we talk about the health benefits of vinegar, does that mean you can choose any old vinegar you like? There’s white vinegar, brown malt vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, to name just a few. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of a few different types of vinegars to see which ones offer the most nutrients…

Apple Cider Vinegar (1 Ounce/28 grams)

Calories – 6
Total Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 1mg
Total Carbohydrates – 0g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Sugars – 0g
Protein – 0g
Manganese – 3% of RDI
Potassium – 1% of RDI
Vitamin A – 0% of RDI
Calcium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin C – 0% of RDI
Iron – 0% of RDI

Apple cider vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar (1 Ounce/28 grams)

Calories – 25
Total Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 6mg
Total Carbohydrates – 5g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Sugars – 4g
Protein – 0g
Manganese – 2% of RDI
Potassium – 1% of RDI
Vitamin A – 0% of RDI
Calcium – 1% of RDI
Vitamin C – 0% of RDI
Iron – 1% of RDI

balsamic vinegar

White Vinegar (1 Ounce/28 grams)

Calories – 6
Total Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 0mg
Total Carbohydrates – 0g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Sugars – 0g
Protein – 0g
Manganese – 0% of RDI
Potassium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin A – 0% of RDI
Calcium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin C – 0% of RDI
Iron – 0% of RDI

white vinegar

Brown Malt Vinegar (1 Ounce/28 grams)

Calories – 11
Total Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 0mg
Total Carbohydrates – 4g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Sugars – 4g
Protein – 0g
Manganese – 0% of RDI
Potassium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin A – 0% of RDI
Calcium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin C – 0% of RDI
Iron – 0% of RDI

malt vinegar

Red Wine Vinegar (1 Ounce/28 grams)

Calories – 5
Total Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 2mg
Total Carbohydrates – 0g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Sugars – 0g
Protein – 0g
Manganese – 1% of RDI
Potassium – 1% of RDI
Vitamin A – 0% of RDI
Calcium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin C – 0% of RDI
Iron – 1% of RDI

Red wine vinegar

Rice Vinegar (1 Ounce/28 grams)

Calories – 0
Total Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 0mg
Total Carbohydrates – 0g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Sugars – 0g
Protein – 0g
Manganese – 0% of RDI
Potassium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin A – 0% of RDI
Calcium – 0% of RDI
Vitamin C – 0% of RDI
Iron – 0% of RDI

rice vinegar

It doesn’t really give much away, does it? The reality is, while the vitamins and minerals in most types of vinegar look quite scarce, there are important amino acids and enzymes that have some incredible healing powers…

Health Benefits Of Vinegar

Vinegar has been proven to have some very impressive functional therapeutic properties, and can be used as an antibacterial, antioxidant, and to reduce blood pressure, to name just a few. Here are 7 health benefits of vinegar…

vinegar

1. Vinegar Has Antimicrobial Properties

You probably know vinegar as a great natural cleaning agent, and that is because of its antimicrobial properties, and therefore, ability to kill bacteria. The organic acids in vinegar, especially acetic acid, work in the same way when added to food, passing into the cell membranes and killing bacteria. That’s why foods fermented in vinegar have natural beneficial acids, including acetic, lactic, citric, ascorbic, propionic, malic and tartaric. One study looked at the antimicrobial effect of rice vinegar on E. coli in lettuce and found that vinegar with a minimum of 5% acetic acid reduced the population significantly.

2. Vinegar Has Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants are extremely important molecules that can inhibit the oxidation of other molecules, and help fight harmful free radicals. Certain types of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, have polyphenols and vitamins, which have potent antioxidant products, and they can help ward off oxidative stress. One study that looked at the antioxidant properties of grape juices and wine vinegars found that they were all good dietary sources of beneficial antioxidants.

vinegar varieties

3. Vinegar May Supports A Heart Health And Lower Cholesterol

Several animal studies have found that heart disease and stroke ‘risk factors’ could be improved by consuming vinegar. One study found that dietary acetic acid in apple cider vinegar reduced serum total cholesterol and triacylglycerol in rats, while another study found it could potentially improve obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, may also contain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that can protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, which is a crucial step towards heart disease. The only human research so far, however, was an observational study from Harvard that concluded women eating vinegar-based salad dressings reduced their risk of heart disease.

P.S. Take a look at the 5 veggies that boost female metabolism and burn off lower belly fat.

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3 Comments

  1. Kim says:

    Hi Carly!
    Thank you for that wonderful article! I just love, love the pictures; some of them could be artwork!
    I was just wondering, what is your take on coconut vinegar?

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Kim : )

    • Carly Dolan says:

      Hi Kim, I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

      Coconut vinegar is another great option that is low GI, rich in powerful amino acids and full of minerals, and you can use it the same way you would apple cider vinegar – in salad dressings, or simply drizzled over salad with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

      Keep your eyes on the website because I will probably be doing an article completely dedicated to the nutritional value and health benefits of coconut vinegar in the coming weeks 🙂

  2. Janet Tornabene says:

    Very informative and helpful info.

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