Is vinegar paleo friendly?

Is vinegar paleo friendly?

Vinegar has been filling bottles since the Babylonians crafted it from fermenting fruits in 5,000 B.C. Vinegar is created by using a bacterial “starter” that converts ethanol into acetic acid (the primary ingredient). It is the acetic acid, which gives its unique characteristics.

Vinegar can be made from any product containing ethanol. This includes wine, champagne, cider, or even beer. In addition to its characteristic acetic acid; Other components in vinegar include vitamins and minerals and a variety of distinct flavor compounds.

Health Benefits of Vinegar

In addition to making our food tasty, however, vinegar also offers a few health benefits.

There are two types, in particular, apple cider and balsamic may offer some notable health benefits. Apple cider can enhance digestion and support immunity. This is because of its antibacterial and antiseptic characteristics. ACV also has demonstrated an ability to lower blood glucose and insulin levels after a carb-laden meal. Raw ACV is recommended to be the best choice because it contains the “mother culture”. The bacterial culture used to ferment the ethanol and thought to offer the greatest concentrations of immune-boosting compounds.

The ethanol found in grapes is used to make balsamic vinegar, which is a good source of minerals: containing moderate amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. Studies show it may inhibit atherosclerosis. Vinegar also contains polyphenols, which are compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

There are two main types of balsamic vinegar. The first type is made adhering to traditional practices and standards. It involves reducing grape juice (from grapes produced in particular regions in Italy) to 30% of volume to form what is known as a must. Then fermented over a period of 12 years in wooden barrels. While in the barrels, the vinegar develops its distinct flavor and produces a variety of bioactive compounds. While this is “the good stuff” and sells for upwards of a few hundred dollars a bottle, it’s known as traditional balsamic or Aceto Balsamico Tradiziona

Apple Cider Vinegar Health Hype – Is it a Superfood?

Recently, Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV has been in the media ,especially naturally media as a cure from everything from removing moles to weight loss to just about every malady. The real question is: does apple cider vinegar hold up the hype of a a superfood?

What the experts state about vinegar

“There are a lot of health benefits associated with vinegar but some of them – such as the weight-loss benefits – have been hyped up,” says Mary Ellen Camire, a professor of human nutrition at the University of Maine. However, there are positive benefits, she states, “the acetic acid can interact with starch-digesting enzymes, which will help keep blood sugar down [after a meal] in the short term.” [1]

“It is an ingredient – it’s not a superfood,” says Carol T. Culhane, food scientist and president of International Food Focus Ltd. “It has its place in a healthy diet and people are generally going to be consuming it with healthier foods like salads, fermented vegetables or vinegar reduction sauces on seafood – they’re not putting it on ice cream.” [1]

 “I recommend sticking with apple cider vinegar or products containing apple cider vinegar that are unpasteurized and still contain the ‘mother’ [beneficial compounds including probiotics] – the cloudy particles that tend to gather at the bottom of the bottle,” says Josh Axe, a doctor of natural medicine. [1]

When not to use vinegar

Vinegar is very acidic and should be avoided drinking straight – this can actually burn the esophagus and reduce tooth enamel. Using vinegar as a side dish rather than a cure for ailments. 

Is Vinegar Paleo?

Yes, vinegar is considered paleo and primal in moderation for salads and marinades or other recipes. If using raw vinegar, try to buy an apple cider vinegar with the “mother”. 

Vinegars made with fruit such as berries may have additional antioxidant compounds as well, and help to spice up dressings and meals. 


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