Wine and Your Health
Photo: © ANNA OM - DREAMSTIME.COM
RAISE A GLASS OF RED WINE. Down it and know that beverage is as satisfying for your heart as it is for your taste buds. So say scientists who conducted innumerable studies on the subject.
As the Mayo Clinic recently summed up, study after study shows wine, particularly red wine, taken in moderation, is simply good for our hearts. It could be the antioxidants in red wine (called polyphenols) that protect the blood vessel linings of the heart. It could be the polyphenol called resveratrol which has garnered much attention. A recent study in China, for example, shows resveratrol reduces the formation of plaques in arteries.
Why red wine particularly? Its color. All the color of a wine comes from the skin of the grape, not the juice. To make white wine, vintners press the grapes, light or dark ones, then separate the juice from the skins and ferment only the juice. The result: white wine. To make red wine, dark-skinned grapes are pressed, and the juice and skins are fermented together.
A study conducted over the course of eight years at Columbia University followed 3,176 people with blood clot risks. Those who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol during that period lowered their risk by 50 percent. Another study, in Finland, reported in the Journal of Gerontology, followed 2,468 men over a span of 29 years and found those who consumed moderate alcoholic drinks lowered their mortality rate by 34 percent.
And wine seemingly offers other health benefits as well. Some studies link drinking two or fewer glasses of wine a day with lowering bad cholesterol. Others claim red wine may decrease inflammation. It may help clear toxins from the brain. Or it might remove free radicals that play a major role in age-related diseases. And still other studies show red wine’s antioxidants can possibly slow the growth of cancer cells. These newer studies need still more studies to prove them right or not. For now, though, we can take both pleasure and comfort knowing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and other red wines offer both pleasure and purpose.
So raise that glass. To your health!