The month of February is best known for being a time to celebrate love and romance. While everyone is out picking up boxes of chocolate, it is a good time to remember that this month is also American Heart Month. Every year, more than 650,000 people’s lives are claimed by heart disease, and it is critical to take the message put out by healthcare professionals seriously.
Today, we know more than we ever have before about what lifestyle changes work best for lowering your risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking, exercising more and eating right are all effective ways to bolster heart health, yet people often struggle with figuring out ways to make healthy changes in their diet.
A heart healthy diet includes eating low-fat foods and cutting out too much salt. You’ll also want to add more leafy greens and other sources of fiber to your diet to help your body flush out fat. As you start to make changes in how you eat, you’ll quickly discover that using balsamic vinegar and olive oil is a simple way to infuse your food with flavor without piling on the salt and animal fats.
So, if you’re wondering does balsamic vinegar help your heart, you can look forward to loving the answer. Because—not only is balsamic vinegar amazingly delicious, but it also provides these benefits for improving your overall heart health.
3 Ways Balsamic Vinegar Can Help Your Heart
Decrease Your Cholesterol Levels
A healthy adult should get their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. When you get your results back, you’ll see two main numbers that your doctor can use to assess your overall heart health. Ideally, you’ll see that the LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels are low. You should also have HDL, or good cholesterol, levels that are above or equal to 60 mg/DL.
If you have high LDL levels, then you’ll likely be encouraged to make a few dietary changes to help reduce how much cholesterol is flowing through your veins. Choosing healthier ingredients as you prepare your meals can also help you to boost your HDL levels. For instance, using balsamic vinegar to flavor your meats can help you cut out butter. Since butter has around 31 mg of cholesterol and balsamic vinegar has zero, you can see how quickly making the switch can help you lower your intake.
Balsamic vinegar is also loaded with antioxidants that come from the grapes we process to fill our bottles. In one study, it was found that balsamic vinegar could help to lower LDL levels and reduce the risk of having a stroke or cardiac event. To get the most from your balsamic vinegar, consider using it in place of fatty salad dressings as you try to eat more fresh vegetables.
Boost Blood Circulation
Although many people don’t realize it, balsamic vinegar has similar effects on heart health as you'd get from drinking grape juice or wine. While the aging process for making balsamic vinegar adds richness to their flavor and deepens the color, it doesn’t destroy the polyphenols in the grapes that are known to be beneficial for heart health. Like having a glass of red wine, using balsamic vinegar helps you to fill your bloodstream with compounds that are believed to help purify the blood and stimulate better circulation.
Balsamic vinegar has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean diet, and it is thought that our early ancestors might have realized early on that the grapes had an impact on their overall vitality. Today, more research is being done to identify exactly how and why grapes are so good for heart health. Considering that pouring some vinegar on your food is easy and tastes good, this is one change that you can make to improve blood flow throughout your body.
With better blood circulation, you’ll notice that it is easier to make other heart healthy changes. Suddenly, you’ll have more energy to go out and take that walk after dinner. You’ll also feel more inspired to try out new healthy recipes that are better for your heart than choosing to eat out.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
Your heart is a powerful muscle that is constantly working to send blood flowing throughout your body. Once your arteries get constricted by plaques and fatty deposits, your heart must work harder to do its job. You’ll know that this is happening in your body if you ever get a high blood pressure reading.
One of the biggest goals of eating healthier is to lower your blood pressure. People who use balsamic vinegar regularly can maintain or even lower their blood pressure by helping to reduce their cholesterol intake. The compounds in grapes are also known for helping to relieve inflammation in the body. With less inflammation in your veins and arteries, each beat of your heart is more efficient, so it doesn’t have to work as hard.
Reducing your blood pressure helps to lower your risk of having a stroke since your vessels aren’t subjected to as much stress. Keep in mind that this does take time, but it doesn’t take a lot of effort. Simply adding one to two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to your meals throughout the week can enhance your other efforts at lowering your blood pressure.
Now, in answer to the question, is balsamic vinegar heart healthy? Yes, it is! although it may take time to see the results. As you’re waiting for this to happen, though, you’ll quickly discover just how delicious this strategy for improving your heart health is, along with how simple it is to add to your meals.
This month, you can use all those hearts that you see everywhere as a reminder to swap out fatty ingredients for ones that help to lower your cholesterol levels and improve your blood pressure. By combining healthy meals with regular exercise, you can help to improve your heart’s ability to pump blood through your body and fill you with energy.
Romance is in the air this month, and this is also the perfect time to show yourself a little love. When you’re shopping for the perfect present to give to your valentine, consider picking up a gift set for yourself. Drizzling one of our flavored balsamic vinegars on your salad or berries gives you a delicious way to take care of your heart while indulging your taste for fine food.