Could the myth be True that Red Wine is Good for you?!!

So, I’ve heard through the grapevine… (I had to do it) that beloved red wine drinkers are in luck because they may have discovered the fountain of youth right in their dinner time wine glass. Studies have been published stating that some properties in Red wine can decrease risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer and preserve youthfulness.

crazy-woman-drinking-wine-5854118
Sign me up for a guilt-free glass!

 
Well… let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
First thing is first resveratrol is a natural polyphenol substance that is produced in plants, acts as an antioxidant and is found in cocoa powder, dark chocolate, berries, and some nuts as well as the skin of grapes, thus the connection to red wine. These plant foods produce resveratrol to fight fungal infections, stress, injury and UV radiation. Antioxidants are substances found in foods that help fight free radicals which are formed during metabolism in our body and cause detrimental cell oxidation. So, we want lots of these!

Food Sources of Resveratrol

When consumed in moderation it has been thought that the polyphenol resveratrol found in red wine can decrease cancer and coronary artery disease risk as well as keep you youthful with its anti-aging properties. However, there is no clear difference from red wine and other alcoholic beverages like white wine, spirits or beer when concerning heart health benefits. There was a recent study done by John Hopkins University that has debunked this theory. The study was performed on a group of 783 Italian individuals that consumed a higher amount of resveratrol and the conclusion was that there was no definitive decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer compared to individuals who consumed fewer antioxidants. There was also no link to increased longevity.
So… it is unfortunate to say that although Red Wine is tasty, this myth is too good to be true. The amount of resveratrol in red wine is not sufficient to pack these protection and longevity benefits as popular opinion has concluded. In another medical article, it is stated that there is no way to get a beneficial amount of resveratrol into a person’s diet. We would need to drink hundreds of glasses of wine to match the positive resveratrol studies that have been conducted on mice. I’m not so sure I can keep up with that party.
Now there are certainly times when we deserve a glass of wine. Drink it!! For the love of mental health, drink it!! According to the American Heart Association drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, which is no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women puts us at less risk than if we down a bottle of red to keep the wrinkles away. On the flip side, it is important to stay away from a higher intake of alcohol because this increases the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and obesity.
If antioxidants are what you’re after there are many foods that provide these little oxidation ninjas. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods has been shown to increase eye, skin and immune health, decrease cancer and stroke risk while keeping you feeling youthful both inside and out. Below is a short list of some of the top anti-oxidant foods to pick up on your next trip to the grocery store.

antioxidant-for-recovery
Dark chocolate
Pecans
Artichokes
Elderberries
Kidney beans
Cranberries
Blackberries
Cilantro
The main take away is that you can have your wine and drink it too!! However, the best practice to promote heart health and steer clear of disease while staying young is to incorporate balance in the diet, consistently taking in more fruits and vegetables and decreasing saturated fat intake. Pair these healthy eating patterns with regular physical activity and moderate drinking and you are on a healthy path to wellness.
Cheers!!
References
Axe, D. (2017). Food is Medicine. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/top-10-high-antioxidant-foods/
Phend, C. (2014, May 13th). Hype Watch: Resveratrol Study not a Shocker. Retrieved from Med Page Today: https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/hypewatch/45762
Staff, M. C. (2016, November 12th). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281
University, J. H. (2014, May 12th). Retrieved from John Hopkins Medicine: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/diets_rich_in_antioxidant_resveratrol_fail_to_reduce_deaths_heart_disease_or_cancer

 

Author: Xylina Ulloa

 

 

 

 

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