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9 Surprising Health Benefits of Red Wine Vinegar

It's not just for salad dressing! See how red wine vinegar can help you lose weight, stabilize blood sugar, and even slow the signs of aging.

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Red wine vinegar may reduce body fat

If you have weight-loss goals, you don’t have to completely focus on all the foods you shouldn’t eat. Instead, turn your attention to fat-burning foods you should be eating more of, like red wine vinegar. In a study published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, researchers found that red wine vinegar actually helps reduce overall body fat content. After determining that acetic acid (a main component of vinegar) suppressed body fat accumulation in animals, researchers set out to uncover whether the same holds true for humans. They worked with obese individuals during a 12-week period to see how vinegar intake affected metabolism. In the end, every participant who consumed red wine vinegar showed a significant drop in BMI, body weight, waist circumference, and visceral fat area. The overall conclusion was that red wine vinegar can indeed reduce general body fat.

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It can slow the signs of aging

A 2010 study published in the Food Research International Journal explored the composition of red wine vinegars, and found that they are high in anthocyanins. As natural antioxidants, anthocyanins help slow down the aging process. Note: Although all red wine vinegar contains beneficial anthocyanins, the quantity present in red wine vinegar varies depending on the type and quality of vinegar used. For best results, stick to a vinegar made with Cabernet sauvignon. Check out these other anti-aging foods that could add years to your life.

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It can suppress your appetite

It may seem too good to be true that eating more of something can make you want to eat less, but in red wine vinegar’s case, it’s totally true. Acetic acid is an active ingredient in red wine vinegar that keeps food in the stomach for a longer period of time. This causes a delay in the release of the hormone ghrelin, which then triggers the sensation of hunger. If you’re looking to suppress your appetite (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), nutritionist Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN of the New York Nutrition Group says, “the easiest way to incorporate red wine vinegar is by using it as a salad dressing or marinade to enhance flavors of meat and vegetables.”

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It’s rich in powerful nutrients

Red wine vinegar is loaded with healthy nutrients, including several key vitamins, minerals, and some iron and potassium. In terms of antioxidants, red wine vinegar also contains polyphenols, which are essentially plant compounds acting as antioxidants that help reduce cell damage resulting from environmental factors. Talk about a superfood!

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It can regulate your blood sugar

Vinegar has been found to help slow the absorption of sugar from a meal into the bloodstream, which suggests that it has real potential to help people with diabetes. In a study published in Medscape General Medicine, vinegar was found to have blood sugar control benefits for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. So if you’re looking for a way to regulate your blood sugar, red wine vinegar is an ideal food to start incorporating into your diet. “Unlike many other condiments and dressing, red wine vinegar is virtually calorie, fat, and sugar-free. A whole ounce of vinegar is only 5 calories, compared to oil, which is over 240 calories for the same amount,” explains Moskovitz. Here are 9 myths about vinegar you need to stop believing.

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It boosts calcium absorption

In one scientific study, researchers speculated that the acetic acid in vinegar enhances calcium absorption and retention. In the human trials (which followed animal trials), vinegar was found to promote calcium absorption in the distal colon. If you’ve noticed signs that you’re not getting enough calcium, consider adding red wine vinegar to tonight’s marinade.

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It helps with digestion

In many Asian countries, vinegar is commonly drunk during or between meals to aid digestion. It’s believed to flush toxins from the body, eliminate yeast in the digestive tract, and cleanse the urinary tract. All of these properties directly impact and improve some of the organs involved in digestion. Find out what happens when you drink one glass of wine every day.

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Red wine vinegar can improve your skin and hair

Believe it or not, red wine vinegar isn’t only good for your internal health—it can also work wonders for you cosmetically. If you have skin irritations, red wine vinegar can be used topically to restore your skin’s acid level and cool it. It can also be used as a natural hair wash for lackluster, dull hair. And don’t worry about the smell—that potent vinegar stench disappears once your hair is dry!

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It may have cancer-fighting abilities

One of the most important components of red wine vinegar is an antioxidant called resveratrol, which has been shown to neutralize free radicals by oxidizing molecules that can cause cell damage and cancerous mutations. While it’s not fully proven to reverse any signs of cancer, it doesn’t hurt to regularly consume red wine vinegar in an effort to prevent it. Next, check out these 15 ways apple cider vinegar benefits your health.