I am sure you don’t really need another reason to enjoy wine… but we thought we’d take a look at why red wine is considered healthy. Health care professionals world-wide have been baffled by the so-called French paradox for years. The typical French diet consists of a lot of saturated fats and protein, but nevertheless the French as a group don’t have a high incidence of heart disease. One of the explanations lie in their high consumption of red wine.
The answer lies in its antioxidants, food compounds that fight the free radicals that cause cell destruction in our body’s cells. Most of these antioxidants, including polyphenols, are found in grape skins, and are extracted during the period of skin contact in the wine making process.
Here’s a rule of thumb – the darker the red wine, the higher the concentration of antioxidants. But remember to enjoy in moderation, no more than one glass daily for a woman, or two for a man.
Moderate use of red wine also has a powerful effect on increasing the “good” high density lipoprotein (HDL), and lowering the “bad” low density lipoprotein (LDL) in healthy people and, if paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet, it can increase HDL by as much as 20%. According to WebMD the research evidence points to ethanol, or the alcohol component, as the substrate that lowers bad cholesterol and increases the good.
And lastly, WebMD points to a study that proved that moderate drinkers scored better than teetotallers on tests of mental function. Moderate drinkers had a 23% reduced risk of mental decline, compared with non-drinkers.