Health Benefits


Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

The balsamics at Panheads Olive Oil Co. are made in Modena, Italy, from the white trebianno grape (and not from a wine vinegar base). The only sugar that occurs is from the grapes, or from the natural sugar from those that have been flavored with fruit after their aging.

In one (1) tablespoon of balsamic vinegar there are:

20 calories
4 grams carbs
3 grams sugar

Vinters in Modena, Italy have been making balsamic vinegar for nearly 1,000 years and the process is similar to that of making wine. Sweet, white Trebbiano grape pressings (called "must") are simmered for hours until they have become thick and caramelized. The resulting syrup is then aged in a succession of barrels made from different kinds of wood that give the vinegar character. Authentic balsamic vinegar is aged no less than 12 years.

Balsamic vinegar retains most of the nutrients present in the parent grapes and comprises nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium in adequate amounts. Thus, incorporating balsamic oil in the daily diet will benefit one immensely. Let us look at the different balsamic vinegar health benefits.

Antioxidant Properties

Oxidation reactions taking place in the human body to produce energy, conduce to formation of cell damaging free radicals as natural by-products. Free radicals damage cell membranes and manifest themselves in terms of premature aging, hardening of arterial walls and cancer. Antioxidants from balsamic vinegar destroy these free radicals and prevent cells from being destroyed.

Fights Cancer

The grapes from which balsamic vinegar is formed is known to contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties. Along with vitamin C, this antioxidant strengthens the immune system to fight cancer and other infectious diseases and inflammations. Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols which are anticancer agents.

Reduces Risks of Heart Attacks

Balsamic vinegar is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce cholesterol. Moreover, since it is low in sodium, it enhances heart health and reduces high blood pressure.

Controls Diabetes

Research reveals that consumption of at least 5 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar a day enhances insulin sensitivity. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the better the diabetes control.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

In one (1) tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil there are:

120 calories
2 grams saturated fat
12 grams mono-unsaturated fat
0 grams trans fat

Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats; which is liquid at room temperature and which fats are found in foods of plant origin, such as olives, avocados and walnuts. These fats help to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, and are known to increase levels of HDL, the good cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins). Omega 3 and Vitamin E also play a strong part in olive oil. Studies have shown that people who consumed 2 T of virgin olive oil daily for 1 week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood. EXTRA virgin olive oil contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.  Olive oil is also a diuretic ... and an interesting side note: the hardened sap of the tree can be chewed to relieve toothache.

In contrast, popular saturated fats in the United States such as butter and lard, are solid at room temperature and are mainly of animal origin. They are known to raise levels of LDL, which stores up in the arteries and causes cardiovascular disease.  Substitute your butter for Butter-Fused Olive Oil!

Advocates recommend two tablespoons of olive oil per day to:

  • Reduce gastric acidity, which will help protect against ulcers because it activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones naturally.
  • Help prevent constipation, reducing the rick of colon cancer.
  • Stimulate bile secretion and lower or reduce the risk of gallstones.
  • Reduce blood pressure because of the high incidents of antioxidants found in olive oil.
  • Allow beneficial development of a baby's bones, brain and nervous sytem in the womb because of the effect of oleic acid and Vitamin E in the oil when used by the pregnant mother.
  • Relieve wear and tear on the brain and other organs, reducing the effects of aging.
  • Speed the healing of wounds.
  • Lessen the severity of asthma and arthritis.
  • Benefit people with diabetes.
  • Help your body maintain a lower weight.

Heal tired muscles, rough skin, and soothe abrasions

Olive oil has also been used for centuries to ease tired muscles, soften rough skin and soothe abrasions. 

The highest quality of olive oil is EXTRA VIRGIN, but FRESH oil is what really counts and beats all. Olives should be pressed within 12 hours to save from unnecessary oxidation and damage to the fruit (the olives used in our olive oils are pressed within 4 hours of picking). It is best that olives be pressed without the use of chemicals, and in the mechanical processing of the olives without heat above 72 degrees F.

Did you know that the oil is separated from the olive paste during crushing, and to produce 1 quart of olive oil, you need about 10 pounds of olives? 

Major olive oil producers are found in Spain, Italy, Greece, France, America (California), Australia. Other countries includes Tunisia, Chile, Turkey, Israel, Argentina, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Japan and China.