Balsamic vinegar and olive oil, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, may protect against fatal heart attacks.
“Higher consumption of foods such as oil-based salad dressings that provide polyunsaturated fats, including alpha linolenic acid, may reduce the risk of fatal IHD (ischemic heart disease),” the researchers wrote in a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The primary fatty acids in olive oil are oleic, linoleic and linolenic acid. Oleic acid is monosaturated and makes up 55-85% of olive oil. Linoleic is polyunsaturated and makes up about 9%. Linolenic, which is polyunsaturated, makes up 0-1.5%.
A higher intake of an important source of alpha linolenic acid, was associated with a 50% reduced risk of fatal heart disease when women who consumed this food more than five to six times a week were compared with those who rarely consumed this food, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Frank B. Hu, a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health.
BALSAMIC VINEGAR from Ancient Folk Medicine to Modern Day Health Benefits
Vinegar has been used since ancient times as a zesty seasoning and a healthy tonic to relieve fatigue, help digestion and aid in weight loss.
For Balsamic, the process begins with gently crushing the wine grapes and concentrating their juice over an open flame. Then the sweet thick grape “must” is fermented once by yeast to make alcohol. Then fermented again by the “madre” culture to make the smooth and subtle sourness for which Balsamics are known.
The process of becoming vinegar occurs in wooden barrels. As the volume decreases through evaporation over the years the maturing liquor is transferred to smaller and smaller casks, each with its special blend of aromatic flavoring woods. The filled barrels are placed in the attic for ideal temperatures, hot in Summer, cold in Winter. Over years of aging, the fruit and spice and mood of the finest Balsamic emerges.
Grapes like those used in making balsamic vinegar, contain a bioflavonoid known as quercetin. This works as an antioxidant and operates with Vitamin C to stimulate the immune system to fight infection, cancer, and inflammation. The seeds in grapes contain a substance called pyenogenols. This substance has a high degree of antioxidant and fights arthritis, cardiovascular problems, stress, and allergies. The resveratrol in grapes has been the aim of recent research.
Studies show it inhibits tumor growth at the initiation, promotion, and progression stages. France’s Liver Research Study Group says resveratrol helps prevent liver cancer by blocking the invasion of tumor cells.
Science laboratories report findings that it stops the development of an enzyme linked to breast cancer.
The University of Wisconsin‘s research shows that flavonoids in purple grape juice prevent the thickening of the arteries that hinder the flow of blood to the heart.
Research continues to study the properties of grapes in the nation’s fight against cancer and heart disease.
Here are just a few more potential benefits
- · High in antioxidants
- · A natural appetite suppressant
- · Reduces cholesterol to help prevent heart disease
- · Helps slow osteoporosis
- · Amino acids to help slow the effects of aging
- · Helps to reduce the severity and frequency of headaches
- · Contains enzymes for digestive disorders and poor metabolism
- · Contains minerals to prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis, prevent strokes, treat anemia and fatigue, as well as lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol
In conclusion, ditch your store-bought dressings and make your own olive oil and Balsamic vinegar mix at home (and at restaurants, always be sure to ask your server to hold the dressing and bring some olive oil and Balsamic vinegar on the side!).