I fell in love with red wine very soon after I became old enough to drink. I experimented a bit with chardonnays and Scotch whisky, but, red wine became my drink of choice. I was first introduced to dark reds from France. Then California Cabernet Sauvignons. And now I almost exclusively drink California – Napa Valley or Amador County – zinfandels. My wine tastes are pretty boring.
Except for my twice yearly wine fasts just to cleanse the insides so to speak – I actually don’t drink any wine for a full two months out of the year – I have a glass of wine every night. I drink my zin; my husband has his chard. So I’m very glad to know that my red wine is actually good for me.
I recently came across a blog called Wine Folly where the blogger – also named Madeline – says everything I wanted to hear about the benefits of red wine:
Red wine drinkers live longer than those who drink other liquors or beers
What's good about red wine?
The polyphenols – powerful antioxidants – in red wine help us stay young. Red wine is more powerful than grape juice, blueberries (which I eat every single morning of my life), and the Acai berry. And the darker the red wine, the higher the amount of antioxidants.
The probiotics in the fermentation of red wine gives us more energy. But, wine drinkers beware. As much as I love red wine I drink in moderation. The limit guidelines are one glass for women and two glasses for men*. (That’s where my wine fasts come in. If I find myself inching up to two glasses a day, I know its time to stop drinking altogether and take a break.)
“Prevention” online also published 8 Reasons to Love Red Wine, again validating that drinking wine is definitely good for my body. Here’s the list:
1. Lowers cholesterol – the high-fiber Tempranillograpes seems to help lower cholesterol
2. Protects your heart – “…the antioxidants in red wine-can help keep blood vessels flexible and reduce the risk of unwanted clotting,” says John Folts, PhD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
3. Controls blood sugar – red grape skins have a compound called resveratrol that may help diabetics regulate blood sugar. Resveratrol may also decrease cholesterol and blood pressure
4. Boosts your brain – another plus for resveratrol is that it helps keep our brains working properly
5. Fights off a cold – This must mean the antioxidants in red wine have helped me stay healthy. I hardly ever get a cold.
6. Stops cancer – scientists have found that resveratrol helps starve cancer-feeding cells
7. Helps you get slim – Piceatannol, the chemical compound our bodies convert from resveratrol, has been shown in lab tests to prevent the growth of fat cells
8. Jazzes up dinner – We don’t even need to drink a glass of red wine to reap its benefits. Use it in sauces or other complimentary ingredients – imagine roasting a leg of lamb with herbs and red wine.
The Mayo Clinic also chimes in about the heart healthy components of resveratrol in red wine – just so long as we drink it in moderation. It says:
“Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart…” and “Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol and prevents blood clots.”
The clinic also says that redwine's potential heart-healthy benefits look promising for those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, because of a lower risk of heart disease. However, it emphasizes that more research is needed to determine whether red wine is better for our hearts than other forms of alcohol, such as beer or spirits.
Another article, “Solid Proof That Red Wine Is Good for You,” which appeared in the Business Insider, also discusses the good properties of red wine. It especially likes how resveratrol – now looking like a miracle ingredient – can help fight diseases associated with aging such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. This news should be especially reassuring to all the boomers out there.
I also relate to the healthy aspects of red wine. Besides I really love a glass of wine in the evening. It’s relaxing, it goes well with dinner, and it provides a nice moment for my husband and I to share.
*A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
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Photo Credit: dinstereo