What Is Black Vinegar? Why Its Health Benefits May Rival Apple Cider Vinegar

If you are constantly trying to spice up your dishes and recipes at home with semi-minimal effort, I got you. I am definitely the type who counts condiments as a food group, so I am always on the hunt for things I can sprinkle on my food or add to a beverage, especially if there are superfood health benefits. Which is why I've become particularly interested in learning about black vinegar. What is black vinegar, you ask? Well, get ready, friends, because it might be the next big health and foodie craze!

OK, so, just for the basics, according to Bon Appetit, black vinegar is a Chinese vinegar made from fermented rice. The taste is less tart than some other vinegars like white wine vinegar, and a little less sweet than our beloved salad perfecter, balsamic. They describe the flavor, in fact, as "sweet and smoky," but add to that a delish "touch of umami richness." As taste goes, the longer black vinegar is aged and left to sit, the better, since aging makes the vinegar flavor more complex and multi-layered.

And no shocker here, but black vinegar gets its name from being such a rich, dark, beautiful shade of black. Interested yet? Well, here's where it gets even more exciting, my food and nutrition loving pals!

The health benefits of black vinegar just might affect your body both inside and out. According to research published in the Journal of Healthy Aging that studied the effect of drinking black vinegar on 10 women over a period of 30 days, black vinegar is so high in antioxidants, it can reduce oxidative stress on cells and improve antioxidant activity in the blood.

That's sort of reason enough right there, no?

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On a more anecdotal level, according to Livestrong.com, it's a great overall health tonic because it's chock full of amino acids that help to balance pH levels and improve digestion. On top of that, proponents of black vinegar say it can even help with bug bites and skin sores.

But as for black vinegar gaining in popularity as the newest health and food thang?

Well, it's happening, friends, just you wait! Kardashian buddy, modern day food celebrity, and all around foodgod Jonathan Cheban made an appearance on Dr. Oz as the question, "Is Black Vinegar The New Apple Cider Vinegar?" loomed on the screen.

We all know how much Dr. Oz loves ACV, amirite? Well, he wanted to know if Cheban thought it could be the next food trend. Nutritionist Keri Glassman explained on the show that there is a real connection between the acetic acid in BV and the way it positively impacts blood sugar after eating, giving you more sustained energy.

After this, Cheban and Dr. Oz even took a straight up shot of black vinegar, as if they are taking a tequila shooter, and yell out, "it's a food!" as they do it, calling black vinegar "a game changer." Looks like Cheban is definitely on board with this being the new food trend.

Now, as someone who is a huge proponent of a daily ACV drink, I'd say black vinegar has some big shoes to fill. But since it's all in the name of health and tastiness, I will probably (read: definitely) be putting some in my shopping basket next time I'm at the grocery store. Can't hurt, you know?