Sweet and acidic, rice vinegar has a mild flavor and is most commonly used in Asian-style dishes such as sushi rice or sweet and sour dishes. Given its health benefits, which include weight control, helping you limit your sodium intake and upping your intake of antioxidants, you may not want to limit your use of this vinegar to only Asian-inspired meals.
Flavor Without Calories
More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are living with obesity or overweight, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, because they eat more calories than they need.
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As a zero-calorie condiment, rice vinegar can help you save calories while adding flavor to the food you eat. Use it in place of your usual salad dressing, which may have 45 calories or more per tablespoon, to help you decrease your overall caloric intake to help you lose or maintain your weight.
Better for Your Blood Pressure
Not only is rice vinegar calorie-free, but it's also sodium-free. Many Americans also consume an excessive amount of sodium, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Too much sodium in the diet may increase the risk of high blood pressure, but reducing your sodium intake by using foods such as rice vinegar may help reduce blood pressure.
Rich in Antioxidants
Although the antioxidant content in rice vinegar may vary depending on the source, some are high in phenolic compounds, according to a 2014 article published in Journal of Food Science. Phenolic compounds in plants like rice protect the plant against ultraviolet light and aggressive pathogens. Increasing your intake of foods rich in phenolic compounds may help reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Tips for Using Rice Vinegar
In addition to serving as a replacement for your salad dressing, you can add rice vinegar to your diet in a number of ways to get the health benefits. You can use the mild-flavored vinegar to pickle fruits and vegetables. It's also a good choice in any marinade recipe that calls for an acidic component. Try brushing vegetables with a bit of vinegar before cooking to enhance their flavor.
- Food Network: Food Encyclopedia: Rice Vinegar
- Journal of Food Science: Functional Properties of Vinegar
- Mizkan: Natural Rice Vinegar
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Overweight and Obesity
- University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: The Exchange List System for Diabetic Meal Planning
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity: Plant Polyphenols as Dietary Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease