Alcohol Can Be Good For You

5 10 2011

The holidays come with indulgences of many kinds; from turkey and fish to cookies and candies and the not to be forgotten–alcoholic drinks. The holidays seem to be the time for a lot of everything. But if you’re concerned at all about your health and how these plethora of indulgences may impact it, you’ll want to learn a bit more about the alcoholic drinks you choose to drink.

In fact, some of these drinks may actually benefit you and your body – in moderation of course.

Wines are traditionally associated with holiday meals which are steeped in rich traditions. Wine is a natural accompaniment to any traditional meal. There are many types of wines to choose from today. The most common red wines include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah.

Then there are the whites; Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and the New Year’s Eve favorite, Champagne.

If you’re not partial to either red or white wine (or if you’re looking to consume the healthiest wines) opt for the red wine and you may just be giving your health a needed boost.

Red Wine’s Impact on Health

Wines have been around for centuries dating as far back as the time of Jesus. But recently the health benefits of certain wines–red wines–have come into light through modern research.

When it comes to red wine there are several naturally found components that make it good for you. Loaded with antioxidants one glass is made up of an average of seventy-five grapes. The antioxidants found in red wines boost many of the body’s processes but are particularly revered for improving heart health.

One of the main focuses today with red wine is on how it improves heart health. Although researchers have yet to pinpoint exactly how this benefit occurs they have a theory.

The belief is that the antioxidants found in red wine, particularly flavonoids and resveratrol, are the key ingredients in boosting heart health.

Red Wine and Resveratrol: A Magic Heart Helper?

There are many recent studies on resveratrol and the heart. One of the most interesting was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This report studied and summarized thirteen different animal studies on resveratrol and heart health. What was found is that resveratrol has a positive impact on the heart in more than just one way.

3 Ways Resveratrol in Red Wine Boosts Heart Health

According to this report, resveratrol from red wine helps the heart stay healthy in these ways:

  1. Fighting dangerous inflammation in the body
  2. Lowering bad cholesterol levels
  3. Fighting free radical damage with high levels of antioxidants

While no one is encouraging non-drinkers to become drinkers or current drinkers to become heavy drinkers, the mounting evidence suggests that if you do drink in moderation, choosing red wine could help your heart health in these important ways.

So what is resveratrol, this powerful component found in red wines?

Resveratrol 101

Resveratrol is a chemical component found in red wines and the skin of grapes used to make red wines. Resveratrol is a polyphenol which, simply put, is a chemical compound that is found in plants, in particular a flavonoid. Flavonoids are the pigment producing polyphenols found in plants.

Resveratrol is found in more than red wine, however, red wine is one of the richest sources of this powerful polyphenol.

Resveratrol is Found in:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Mulberries
  • Grape skins

If you don’t drink or dislike red wine, then adding any one (or more) of these foods to your daily diet is a great way to boost your resveratrol intake. And if you do drink, remember the benefit only comes with drinking in moderation. If you step over this line of moderation (considered to be one to two glasses a day) then you’re actually going to be increasing your risk for certain health problems. Moderation is key!




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