Health Benefits of Vinegar
Kimberley vinegar promotes health in many significant ways:
- Provides lots of flavor with no calories
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Aids in the absorption of minerals like calcium from green leafy vegetables
The word “vinegar” comes from the French vin aigre, or “sour wine.”
Vinegar has been valued for its culinary and medicinal uses since ancient times, especially in regions with mild climates where it occurred naturally. Used to season food, preserve meat, vegetables and fruit, vinegar was also a popular age-old drink (diluted with water) for quenching thirst. In ages past, vinegar was prized for its healing properties and served as an antibiotic, disinfectant, and tonic to restore health and promote strength and vitality.
Although vinegar doesn’t contain appreciable amounts of essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), it may help promote health in other significant ways. Because of its high acetic acid content, vinegar can increase the body’s absorption of minerals, like calcium, from the food we eat. For example, dark leafy greens are good sources of calcium, but many greens contain compounds that inhibit calcium absorption. A sprinkle of vinegar or splash of vinaigrette on greens makes the calcium in food more available to our bodies.
In addition, a recent study reviewed by the American Diabetes Association suggests that vinegar may play a role in slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream (carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, or glucose, in the body). Slowing sugar absorption prevents sudden jumps in blood sugar levels and conserves insulin. Our scientific understanding of vinegar’s potential health benefits – in type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases – is just beginning to be understood.
Vinegar quality depends on the quality of the raw ingredients (the finer the wine used, the more flavorful the vinegar), as well as the processing methods. Old-fashioned wood barrels used for traditional slow aging contain natural oxidants that improve the bouquet and flavor of wine vinegars.
The Orleans process, named for the French port city on the Loire River where it originated, is an authentic, time-honored method that produces complex flavorful vinegar. Kimberley makes wine vinegars using the Orleans method; California wine is slowly and naturally aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months until all the alcohol has been converted to acetic acid. In contrast, commercially processed vinegar is made in large-capacity stainless-steel tanks in which a giant spindle agitates the liquid, aerating it for a speedy fermentation period of around twenty-four hours. In addition, Kimberley does not add preservatives to the vinegar, nor are they pasteurized; a common practice that increases shelf life, but degrades subtle taste characteristics.
Kimberley has been making artisanal barrel-aged vinegars in California for over 35 years and is the only producer of organic Orleans-process vinegar in the United States. Kimberley sets the standard for vinegar quality – and when it comes to health, quality counts. Open a bottle and experience the vibrant aroma and remarkable robust fruit taste of our authentic handcrafted vinegars.
Written by: Allison Boomer, M.P.H., R.D.