Wine, is it Good for your Health?
It’s no secret that many studies have shown that drinking a glass (for women) or two (for men) of red wine per day when coupled with positive changes in our diet and lifestyle aid in the slowing of the aging process, support a healthy immune system, significantly decrease chronic inflammation, as well as aid in the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
According to the American Heart Association, there may be a link between the consumption of red wine and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, if you don’t currently drink alcohol, the American Heart Association does not recommend that you start. Consumption of alcohol has been linked with conditions that can harm the heart, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and increased blood levels of triglycerides; so talk to your doctor if you have concerns with adding a glass or two of wine to your diet.
Red wine is a great source of antioxidant polyphenols and contains an intricate mixture of bioactive compounds, including flavonols, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and resveratrol. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in more than seventy plants, most notably grapes and berries, that protect our bodies against harmful oxidation caused by external stresses. It so happens that resveratrol is found in high concentrations in red wine, although the levels may vary for each different wine. Scientists have confirmed that resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant, more potent than vitamin E. Some researchers believe that resveratrol may turn out to be an improvement over aspirin in treating pain oriented diseases associated with COX-2, such as osteoarthritis.
Scientists have also found that resveratrol blocks the activation of the COX-2 enzyme, a major culprit in chronic inflammatory flare ups and pains in the body.
Red wine had a more prominent effect when compared to white wine due to its increased concentration of antioxidant polyphenols like resveratrol. Choose organic red wines when possible as this will limit exposure to pesticide residues.
While wine may aid somewhat in reducing inflammation, there are many other foods and beverages that can also help. Reduce inflammation further by using red wine, a variety of spices and herbs like fresh ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, red pepper, raw onions, and garlic when you cook.