Wine drinking goes back a long way in time, from biblical times, where Timothy advises that it settles the belly, to monks who took it in moderate quantities and attributed their longer life span to this habit.
What are wines? Wines are fermented grape juice, a process which turns the natural sugars in the grapes to alcohol. Various literature over centuries have further suggested contrary to what people believe, white wine too existed as early as the mid-second millennium BCE. The first wine review, in fact, is believed to date back to the second century CE, where Athenaeus describes a white wine as “Excellent, white, fragrant, pleasant, easily assimilated, thin, not likely to go to the head, and diuretic.” With expressions such as the ‘French Paradox’, trying to justify why wines might be healthy, there is need to know precisely what research and science have found out for sure about wines and their importance to health.
- A January 2000 edition of the European Heart Journal reports that European Heart Journal, this most ancient of beverages appears to dilate arteries and increase blood flow, thus lowering the risk of the kind of clots that cut off blood supply and damage heart muscles.
- Studies suggest moderate drinkers may cut their risk of osteoporosis — age-related bone thinning related to calcium loss
- Grapes boost levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and helps prevent LDL, or bad cholesterol, from causing damage to the lining of arteries.
Red wines have been linked to a 30% lower risk of dying from heart disease
Generally, red wines are healthier than white wines because they contain more heart healthy and cancer preventing antioxidants than whites. Red wine is rich in plant compounds that are present in skins such as tannins and resveratrol. Even among the reds, some red wines are healthier than others. Here are the healthy red wines to drink, and that in moderation too. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no more than two standard drinks a day, five days a week.
- DRY REDS: Generally, drier red wines are better because they have higher levels of flavonoids—an antioxidant that’s been shown to promote healthy cholesterol levels which prevent coronary heart disease.
- PINOT NOIR: Pinot noir is said to contain the highest quantity of reservatrol.
- CARBERNETS: These are made from tannat grapes too. They too contain high levels of reservatrol.
- MERLOT: These are made from blue grapes and have high levels of reservatrol too. Reservatrol is also said to help diabetes and reduce brain decline.
- SHIRAZ: Also called syrah, this wine is made from blue coloured grapes and flavoured with black currants. They contain high levels of
As with most foods with health benefits, always remember, moderation is key.