Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Top: Black Vinegar & Palm Sugar. Bottom:Ginger
My mother used to make delicious pig trotter stew in black vinegar, palm sugar (gula melaka) with lots of ginger....and not any old ginger.  It has to be Bentong ginger.  Bentong is located in Bukit Tinggi which is also a popular hill resort.

Every time she serves this dish, she will not fail to mention that taking black vinegar cleanses the stomach and intestines.  Black vinegar by itself is acidic.  However, like  lemons, once consumed, it is metabolized in our bodies and becomes  alkaline.  So what exactly is black vinegar made of?

Photo credit: Black Glutinous Rice
Well, black vinegar is made by fermenting either black glutinous rice, unpolished rice, millet or sorghum. Reputed to possess many health benefits,  it is found to be a popular health tonic in China and Japan.  Not only that, it is also used for braising meat dishes or as a dip. 

Lets find out what are the health benefits. 

Cholesterol Reduction
Black vinegars have long been used in China and Japan as a natural treatment for cardiovascular conditions.  It is said to contain acetic acid, an organic acid that may help reduce glucose levels in our body.  Consuming black vinegar can prevent cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and stroke from developing.  

Energy Production 
Black rice vinegar has been credited in boosting a body's energy production that will benefit a number of body systems. 

According to the late Dr. James Heffley who acquired a doctorate in biochemistry from UT's Clayton Foundation Biomedical Institute, explains that black vinegar contains high levels of citric acid, which serves as one of your body's key organic acids.  Citric acid assists, with the metabolic processes in which your body converts food into energy.  Citric acid, in fact, helps to boost your body's energy production over and above normal levels.  Many body systems benefit from the increased energy, including your digestion, immune system and cognitive functions.

An antioxidant 
Black rice vinegar contains high levels of antioxidants, which may help in the prevention of cancer.  It may  combat free radicals from causing damage or mutation of our healthy cells which results in formation of cancers and tumors.

Promoting Health 
As black rice vinegar contains many essential amino acids, which our internal body needs in order to function well, from repairing muscle tissue to growing our nails. The amino acids may help to balance our body's pH by neutralizing lactic acid and alkalizing the blood, as well as to heal ailments such as congestion and constipation.

Coincidentally, my hubby had cooked stewed pig trotter yesterday. The strong aroma of vinegar, ginger and sweetness of the palm sugar filled the air. I enjoyed it with a bowl of steaming rice and stir fried vegetables. 

After the sumptuous meal, my stomach felt warm and not bloated like it normally does. The vinegar does help in neutralizing the acid and aid in digestion.  It also relieves constipation and the ginger made me break out in sweat.

So why not give black vinegar a try and see if it works for you or if it has already worked for you, please share your experience.

My next topic for discussion is, "Constipation Causes and Remedies".

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Thanks for looking and taking the time to read my blog.  I welcome feedback and please feel free to share your experiences in relation to today's topic.

Until my next post, "Here's to your health!"

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