Friday, April 18, 2014

The Health and Aging Benefits of Red Wine

Artwork: Dr. Murad Abel

Red red wine you make me feel so grand I feel a million dollars when your just in my hand”. The song Red Red Wine by Neil Diamond may just have some healthy truth in it. As it turns out red wine is healthy for the heart and can encourage a youthful look. If you are going to drink something you might want to pick the option with the most benefits. Instead of reaching for red bull and vodka try something like a classic red wine.

According to the Mayo Clinic red wine has antioxidants that increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol that protects the arteries of the heart (1). The antioxidants are called polyphenols and they protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart to ensure that they do not get clogged. 

 According to a study at the University of Leicester two glasses of wine can lower the chances of developing cancerous tumors by 50% (2). Most physicians will recommend a single glass of wine a day. This is great for everyday usage. However, most people who dine out are likely to have more than one and choosing red wine is a better option.

Red wine also has the amazing ability to reduce aging and make you look younger.  Your skin will be more elastic, spots will be less likely, and small wrinkles may not form as easily. The advantage of wine rests in the polyphenols ability to mop up the damaging free radicals that create aging and age-related diseases (3).

The magic is in the fermentation process and uses grape skins and seeds that are eventually removed but still leave the beneficial results (4). Not all wines are the same.  Smaller wineries with more organic products are better than larger wineries that use lots of chemicals. The type of wine will also make a difference.  According to the website Prevention (5) the top three types of wine are:

Pinot noirs: Contain grapes with the highest concentration of resveratrol from cold and rainy environments. 

Madirans and Cabernets: Made from tannat grapes with high levels of procyanidins. 

Syrahs and Merlots: Often made with blue color grapes with high concentrations of procyanidins.

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