12 January, 2012
Balsamic Vinegar & Kidney Disease
Coping with kidney disease generally includes making changes to your lifestyle and diet. Alternative medicines, home remedies and folklore can confuse the issue if you are not well-versed in the effects of diet on your particular condition. Balsamic vinegar is often touted as a health remedy, but it has no positive effects on kidney disease. Taken in small amounts, it has no negative effects, either.
Your kidneys control the balance of water and sodium in your body, regulate your blood pressure and manufacture vitamins to control growth. Your kidneys’ main job is to produce urine, which is passed into your bladder. Roughly 200 quarts of blood pass through your kidneys every day, and out of that your kidneys produce around two quarts of urine.
Kidney disease is caused by many different things, including high blood pressure. Taking in too much sodium forces your kidneys to work harder, which can not only damage your kidneys, but can damage your blood vessels as well. Some early warning signs of kidney disease are needing to urinate more often and experiencing difficulty or pain when doing so, blood in your urine, pain below your ribs in back or on the side, swollen feet and hands, and high blood pressure.
True balsamic vinegar – called “traditional” – comes from Italy, specifically the Modena and Reggio regions. It is very expensive and is aged for anywhere from 12 to 50 years. Less expensive, mass-produced balsamic vinegar also comes from Modena. Balsamic vinegar from the United States and Canada is generally wine vinegar with a bit of balsamic vinegar added for flavor and honey or syrup added to make it thick and dark. Balsamic vinegar is suggested by the American Association of Kidney Patients as a flavoring to replace salt.
Benefits and Warning
One way to support your kidneys is to lower your salt intake. Balsamic vinegar has a strong flavor that can substitute for salt in most recipes, except where salt is needed for its chemical reaction with another ingredient. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar make a tangy and healthy salad dressing, dipping sauce or marinade. Do not take raw balsamic vinegar as any sort of health tonic because the acetic acid can burn your mouth and throat.
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