& 5 Health Benefits of Wine
The act of drinking good wine is an ancient tradition. In fact, wine was intimately associated with philosophy, and additionally, was institutionalized by Plato and Socrates in ancient Greece (Peters, 2011). A symposium for the Greeks—not to be confused with a conference—was a momentous occasion where they drank wine, ate, and discussed deep philosophical ideas and unconventional concepts. For these vibrant male youths, this symposion (to drink together) was deeply rooted in nutrition, religion, and cultural rules—it reinforced their community values and brought them together. It was satisfactory, and in a sense, poetic. The old adage of In Vino Veritas—attributed to the Greek poet Alcaeus—has lived on to this day for good reason; translated, it means “In Wine The Truth.”
First Health Benefit of Wine – Heart Health
However, there is more to wine than truth and philosophy. Moderate wine consumption can yield good health. Wine, particularly red wine, is high in polyphenols (micronutrients teeming with antioxidants). Resveratrol is a miraculous polyphenol and chemical found in red wine, and when consumed, a healthy heart is the result. Research on this polyphenol began due to the French Paradox. Despite having a diet high in saturated fats, the French do not suffer from coronary heart disease in high numbers compared to other countries with similar diets (Catalgol et al. 2012). Red wine, in moderation, can protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases and even regenerate certain heart tissues for improved cardiac function (Gurusamy et al. 2010). Additionally, lignin-derived phenolic compounds found in oak barrels, where red wine is aged, also contributes to red wine’s cardioprotective effects (Setzer, 2011). Furthermore, the best red wine for heart health are good quality red wines, but the darker and redder, the better. If you can find a teinturier grape wine, even better because the flesh and juice is also red. Isn’t red wine fantastic? So…santé!
Second Health Benefit of Wine – Bone Health
Wine consumption can also provide surprising benefits to the human skeletal system which include a reduced risk of bone mass loss and fractures (Kutlesa, 2016). That benefit and protection is attributed to the phenolic compounds, phytoestrogens and natural antioxidants found in wine, particularly red wine which has higher quantities than white wine. If you want stronger bones, drink more wine. Sorry milk, but you’ve got competition.
Third Health Benefit of Wine – Gut Health
Red wine is good for the gut. In human trials, the study showed that red wine, thanks to its polyphenol quantity, inhibited the growth of non-beneficial bacteria in the gut, and notably, significantly increased the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as bifidobacteria, which could, in itself, reduce CRP and cholesterol (Queipo-Ortunoz, 2012). Taking oral probiotics helps your gut, but maybe a glass of red wine can too.
Fourth Health Benefit of Wine – Cholesterol Health
Would you like a thinner waist? Perhaps red wine can help. In this particular study, multiple participants with MetS (Metabolic Syndrome) were selected and the results were surprising. With moderate red wine consumption, a noticeable reduction of MetS was observed, including other benefits such as a decreased waist circumference and low HDL-cholesterol concentrations (Tresserra-Rimbau et al. 2015). However, the study observed that females benefited more from red wine consumption than did males. Note: This study was conducted on elderly Mediterranean population.
Fifth Health Benefit of Wine – Enjoyment
Red wine has another sometimes overlooked benefit: It has the power to unite people and create long-term bonds and unforgettable memories. Is that not a benefit within itself? Like the ancient Greeks who indulged in the pleasures of epicureanism, including hedonic and eudaimonic consumption of wine, you too can achieve a higher and virtuous level of happiness and authentic friendships. So “wine” not open a bottle of wine and say “cheers” to another—or first—distinguished and indelible memory.
Catalgol, B., Batirel, S., Taga, Y., & Ozer, N. K. (2012). Resveratrol: French Paradox Revisited. Frontiers in pharmacology, 3, 141. doi:10.3389/fphar.2012.00141
Gurusamy, N., Ray, D., Lekli, I., & Das, D. K. (2010). Red wine antioxidant resveratrol-modified cardiac stem cells regenerate infarcted myocardium. Journal of cellular and molecular medicine, 14(9), 2235-2239.doi:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01140.x
Queipo-Ortuño, M. I., Boto-Ordóñez, M., Murri, M., Gomez-Zumaquero, J. M., Clemente-Postigo, M., Estruch, R., . . . Tinahones, F. J. (2012). Influence of red wine polyphenols and ethanol on the gut microbiota ecology and biochemical biomarkers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(6), 1323-1334. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.027847
Kutleša, Z., & Budimir Mršić, D. (2016). Wine and bone health: A review. Journal of bone and mineral metabolism, 34(1), 11-22. doi:10.1007/s00774-015-0660-8
Peters, M. (2011). In Vino Veritas: In Wine the Truth. The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 45(3), 114-117. doi:10.5406/jaesteduc.45.3.0114
Setzer, W. N. (2011). Lignin-derived oak phenolics: A theoretical examination of additional potential health benefits of red wine. Journal of molecular modeling, 17(8), 1841-1845. doi:10.1007/s00894-010-0893-3
Tresserra-Rimbau, A., Medina-Remón, A., Lamuela-Raventós, R. M., Bulló, M., Salas-Salvadó, J., Corella, D., . . . Estruch, R. (2015). Moderate red wine consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the PREDIMED population. British journal of nutrition, 113(S2), S121-S130. doi:10.1017/S0007114514003262
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