Amazing Benefits of Date Vinegar
Despite being the oldest recorded vinegar, not many people have heard of date vinegar or its health benefits. What's the fuss, you ask?
If date vinegar can ease labor pain, help people with menstrual problems, and increase cardiac health, surely it must be something to shout about. Before we go into more detail, let's first recap the uses of vinegar in general.
Uses of Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most versatile items that any household must have. You can use it in your food, use it as a medicine, as a preserving agent, and as a cleaning agent. Despite its many uses, using it in food is the most common. Examples of the most common and popular kinds of vinegar are balsamic, apple, malt, white distilled rice, rice wine vinegar, and specialty vinegar.
Specialty vinegar may be new to certain markets but has been in use for years in its home market. Examples of specialty vinegar are pomegranate, persimmon, and date vinegar, which are very popular in the Middle East. Other examples are the coconut vinegar and cane vinegar, which are common in Indonesia, the Philippines, and India.
Unlike pomegranate vinegar, date vinegar is not so popular outside its home market. For that reason, if you search for it online, your search will not return any results. I originally wrote this article in December 2011, and as of 2018, there are now a few listings on Amazon and eBay.
It is made from the syrup of pressed and processed dates. They often use the sap of the palms, but this produces a lower level of ethanol making it less effective for medicinal use.
Benefits of Dates
Unlike the fruit where there are several articles written on its many health benefits, there are not many articles on the vinegar.
So read on to know the amazing benefits of dates vinegar.
Health Benefits of Date Vinegar
Dates vinegar is not new and has been in use since Babylonia (5,000 years ago) as food and medicine. From the study carried out at the University of Otago, New Zealand, the vinegar has antioxidant activity that is comparable to wine vinegar but higher than cider and white wine vinegar. Hence, the reasons why it has medicinal value. Some of the health benefits of date vinegar are:
- Weight loss: Drinking it will help suppress your appetite and reduce hunger. If taken before a meal, it reduces blood sugar spikes that usually occur after eating your meal. This happens because the vinegar's acetic acid will block the enzyme responsible for breaking down starches for digestion from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Cancer prevention: Just like the healing powers of apricot seeds, regular intake of the vinegar with its many antioxidant properties will help prevent abdominal cancer.
- Heart strength: The vinegar drink is an excellent remedy for a weak heart. The antioxidant chlorogenic acid helps prevent the oxidization of the LDL cholesterol particles, hence protecting your weak heart.
- Eases childbirth: If you drink the vinegar on a regular basis, it can ease the pain of childbirth. It is known to contain hormones which strengthen the uterus, help produce milk for nursing mothers and also prevent blood loss after childbirth. It also helps built strength during convalescing. While there are no scientific studies to prove these claims, traditional medicine and its regular use since ancient times must give enough credibility for its popularity in treating these ailments.
- Menstrual disorders: The vinegar helps regulate clotting and reduces the menstrual period and the amount of blood loss. Its high levels of potassium and calcium reduce cramps by easing the muscles in the uterus. Hence, helps with menstrual disorders.
- Strengthens the immune system: The regular cleansing of the system will remove toxins from the body. This will help strengthen the immunity system. It will also help in the gastric inflammation and relieve constipation.
- High in iron & potassium, it is good for anemia.
- Fatigue: The vinegar burns and consumes the pyroracemic and lactic acids that are responsible for fatigue. Hence, consuming date vinegar can eliminate fatigue.
- Relieves coughs: Helps to relieve a sore throat, persistent cough and remove phlegm.
- Relieves headaches: The high level of potassium in the vinegar helps relieve headaches.
- Heals burns & skin inflammation: Used in traditional medicine by the Middle Eastern people, date vinegar was applied to burns and skin inflammation. Scientific studies show that date vinegar contains acetic acid that helps relieve inflammation on a burn. Acetic acid also has antiseptic and astringent properties, hence keeping the burns from becoming infected.
Where to Buy Date Vinegar
Since it is not so popular outside the Middle Eastern countries, your best bet is to find it at your nearest Middle Eastern grocery store.
Lately, I saw one or two listings for date vinegar on Amazon.com. I have not tried this "Made in America" brand but from its product description, it has won the silver medal in 2017 at the Vinavin International Vinegar Competition in Spain so I recommend it. I suppose it must be good.
The brand that I used is shown in the above photograph and bought at the local Arab sundry shop. It is made from processed natural date syrup and has 4% acidity, the minimum legal acidity level for vinegar. This brand retails for only US $3.50 and unfortunately, not available online.
How to Use Date Vinegar
Date vinegar has a rich, fruity flavor and is dark brown in color. It is not as sweet as a good balsamic and tastes more like a mix of malt vinegar and balsamic. To enjoy the many health benefits of date vinegar, you can use it as:
- A drink: Take 1-2 tablespoon of dates vinegar, preferably mixed with a glass of water, first thing in the morning and/or last thing at night. You may add honey to sweeten the taste.
- As salad dressing: Use it as you would with balsamic vinegar.
- In your cooking: Replace other vinegar that you would normally use in your cooking with date vinegar.
- For pickling: Likewise, replace your normal vinegar for your pickled items with date vinegar.
- As a dip: Mix the vinegar with olive oil and use it as a dip.
Recipe for Date Vinegar Salad Dressing With Blue Cheese
Yogurt (plain, low fat)
Garlic clove, minced
Creamy Blue Cheese
Ground Black Pepper
Mix sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, date vinegar and garlic, and whisk until smooth. Then add the crumbled blue cheese. Season it with the ground black pepper.
Recipe for Date Vinegar Salad Dressing With Poppy Seed
Whisk together all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Give Date Vinegar a Try
The health benefit of date vinegar and its rich fruity flavor are good reasons why you must give it a try. You can use it as a drink or as you would a balsamic vinegar. Give it a try and let us know in the comment section below.
The health benefits of date vinegar may not be fully documented and the information provided should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any history of medical problem or before taking any alternative remedy.
References and Further Reading
© 2011 Mazlan