Between the balsamic, sherry and red wine vinegars on our salads and the alcohol vinegars in our cleaning products, the applications for the acidic liquid are virtually endless. But can vinegar be considered a health food?
A report published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in the Journal of Food Science shows that certain types of vinegar could actually offer significant health benefits.
According to the studies cited in the article, vinegar is rich in antioxidants, which could reduce accelerated aging and even slow the development of certain cancers or degenerative brain disorders. The authors of the report also point to vinegar's antibacterial properties, its ability to reduce the effects of diabetes, and its contribution to improved cardiovascular health and blood pressure. Vinegar is also said to help athletes recuperate after intense physical effort.
Finally, the report notes that individuals who consume certain types of vinegar on a daily basis have been shown to have lower appetites: a finding that could be applied when developing weight loss plans for obese patients.
The authors at the IFT nonetheless indicated that further research will be necessary to validate any claims regarding vinegar's health benefits.
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