Made from the brine used to make ume plums, which are pickled Japanese plums, organic plum vinegar adds flavor to food without any calories. It's also rich in phenols, a type of plant chemical that promotes health, and is free of synthetic pesticides. But, unlike other vinegars, it's also high in sodium.
Flavor Without Calories
Based on a 1-teaspoon serving size, organic plum vinegar flavors food without any calories. When you're trying to lose weight, or even maintain your weight, finding ways to save calories here and there can help. You can use the plum vinegar in place of your usual salad dressing on mixed greens. Or, use it to make your own low-calorie dressing. It also makes a good replacement for oil or butter on steamed vegetables.
Rich in Phenols
Compared to other types of vinegar, such as apple cider and balsamic, organic plum vinegar is a better source of phenols. Although the science is new and still under study, it's believed that phenolic compounds in food may provide some protection against a variety of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. More specifically, the phenols in vinegar have antioxidant activity and protect cells from damage by free radicals.
Reduced Exposure to Chemical Pesticides
Using the organic vinegar instead of a conventional plum vinegar may reduce your exposure to synthetic pesticides, genetically-modified organisms and sewage-sludge fertilizers. Additionally, as an organic food, it may be a richer source of nutrients, according to Helpguide.org, and may be better tolerated if you have a food allergy. It's also better for the environment.
Watch the Sodium
The organic plum vinegar is also a source of sodium. A 1-teaspoon serving of the sour condiment has 420 milligrams of sodium. A diet high in sodium is associated with high blood pressure, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Some sodium in the diet is OK. The guidelines suggest to limit your intake to 2,300 milligrams a day or 1,400 milligrams if you already have high blood pressure, are over the age of 50 or are of African American descent. If you're using organic plum vinegar, track your sodium intake to help you stay within the recommended limits.
- Eden Foods: Ume Plum Wine
- The Kitchn: In Season Right Now: Japanese Ume Plums
- Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Phytochemicals of Foods, Beverages and Fruit Vinegars: Chemistry and Health Effects
- Antioxidant and Redox Signaling: Dietary (Poly)phenolics in Human Health: Structures, Bioavailability, and Evidence of Protective Effects Against Chronic Diseases
- Helpguide.org: Are Organic Foods Right for You?
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010