Did you know that rice vinegar has benefits for your health? Mainly used as a condiment, vinegar is an ancient food. Approximately 5,000 years ago, Egyptians, Babylonians, Indians, Persians and Greeks already knew the art of manufacturing and the versatility of vinegar.
According to ANAV, the National Association of Vinegar Industries, it can be made from any fruit or cereal that contains sugar. They undergo a fermentation process by yeasts and bacteria, where natural sugars are transformed into alcohol, which is then converted into acetic acid.
There are several types of vinegar, some already well known and used in cooking; and more exotic ones like rice vinegar. Widely used in Asia, especially in Japan, it is produced from the fermentation of rice, with a manufacture very similar to sake.
It is widely used by Eastern people as a spice in food and as a natural medicine, especially to prevent diseases. It has a milder taste, is slightly sweet, and is one of the healthier and more beneficial versions of this product.
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Benefits of Rice Vinegar
Generally speaking, all types of vinegar are low in calories and can offer benefits such as helping to stabilize blood sugar and reduce appetite. But rice vinegar specifically can bring even more benefits to our health.
According to nutritionist, master in food science and technology, Fabíola Marques, the original Japanese rice vinegar is called Kurosu and is the result of the fermentation of unpolished rice, that is, brown rice.
“It is traditionally produced in Japan and is characterized by a higher content of amino acids and organic acids than other vinegars. Currently, this type of vinegar has been associated with an improvement in blood fluidity , with the consequent prevention of arterial hypertension ”, she says.
Fabíola also says that a study carried out by a Japanese researcher, in 2000, compared the oxidizing activity of rice vinegar with other types of the product, such as apple cider vinegar and wine vinegar, through their extracts. It was observed that Kurosu had greater antioxidant activity, greater inhibitory effect on oxidative stress and also antitumor action.
“In that same study, it was observed that rice vinegar extract acted as a potent inhibitor of an enzyme present in the skin, which stimulates the formation of hypochlorous acid, which is highly toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic. Thus, Kurosu extract also acted as a mediator of free radicals, helping to prevent skin cancer”, adds Fabíola.
According to ANAV, the amino acids and organic acids present in rice vinegar burn substances that are harmful to the body, such as carbon dioxide. They break down lactic acid and, as a result, activate metabolism, aid digestion and delay aging. They also help control cholesterol levels, improving the heart system and naturally strengthening the immune system.
Types of rice
As explained by Fabíola, the original Japanese rice vinegar is made with brown rice, an ingredient that makes this type of vinegar even healthier. Vinegar made directly from brown rice has up to five times the amount of amino acids than conventional vinegars.
However, this type of vinegar can also be made with other types of rice. It can be made with common white rice which, like wholegrain rice, produces a colorless or slightly yellowish vinegar. It is also possible to make it with rice wine, but this method greatly reduces its properties. The professional even recommends: “most commercial Japanese vinegar is made from leftover rice wine. Give preference to brands that produce vinegar directly from brown rice or that are handcrafted”.
In addition to these, it can be made with more exotic types of rice, such as black rice and red rice, both of Chinese origin. Black has a natural black color and is very nutritious, surpassing even brown rice in some properties. Black rice has about 30% more fiber than brown rice and also about 20% more protein. In addition to being very rich in magnesium, essential mineral for the fixation of calcium in bones.
The main benefit of red rice is to help reduce cholesterol. The reddish color is due to its high content of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also present in red or purple fruits and vegetables. In addition, it is also a whole grain with high nutritional value, rich in nutrients such as iron and fiber.
How to consume rice vinegar?
Rice vinegar is widely used in Japanese cuisine, mainly in the preparation of shari, sushi rice. In Brazil, it is commonly used to season salads and vegetables, in addition to being used in sweet and sour dishes. Its acidity is lighter than other types of vinegar.
“The use of rice vinegar in food can occur in the form of condiment, in addition to being quite useful as a softener for seasoned meats and canned vegetables”, says Fabíola.
Rice vinegar can also be used as a home remedy to treat skin problems, making compresses on the area to be treated, with some of this vinegar boiled along with water. Anyway, it is always good to consult a doctor before performing this procedure.
Other types of vinegar
In addition to rice vinegar, learn a little more about other types of this condiment:
- Alcohol vinegar: it is obtained by the acetic fermentation of a hydroalcoholic mixture, originating from drinkable ethyl alcohol, being the strongest of all. It has few nutrients and is mostly used in canning. It is also a strong ally for house cleaning.
- Balsamic vinegar : it is the noblest of all types and, therefore, it is widely used in sophisticated cuisine. It is vinegar made from red wine, composed of wood extracts, tannins, natural grape acids, and may also have the addition of fruit or honey aromas. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes, as it has a slightly bittersweet flavor.
- Wine vinegar : made from the acetic fermentation of red or white wine. They are purer vinegars, as they are made 100% with wine, having in their composition the nutrients of the grape. It is used to season salads and meats. Red wine, especially, is rich in flavonoids, reduces cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Fruit vinegar : vinegar is obtained from the fermentation of fruit juice, and the apple the most common. Like wine vinegars, these are also pure and carry in their composition the nutritional values of the fruits from which they originated. Used in seasonings and, in some cases, as an aid in nutritional diets and disease prevention.
- Honey vinegar : obtained by the fermentation of pure bee honey. Used for the preparation of sweets and syrups and as an aid in nutritional diets, as it contains the nutrients of honey itself.
- Flavored or spiced vinegar : they are added with vegetables, aromatic extracts, juices and spices. They are more elaborated vinegars and with a stronger flavor, ideal for the preparation of stronger spices.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.