There’s always talk about whether there are real health benefits to drinking wine, especially red wine. Now, there are some benefits to white wine as well but when it comes to health benefits, compared to red wine, white wine is a little behind. Wine can deliver flavor, fun, and health benefits all wrapped up in the deliciousness of a glass.
Polyphenols- What are they and what makes them good?
Is it really possible for red wine to have any health benefits? Well, there are antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols that may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart.
And what are polyphenols? Polyphenols are micronutrients that are found in certain plant-based foods. It is thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestive issues, diabetes, help with weight management issues, and cardiovascular disease- all great health benefits.
Polyphenols are found in foods such as cloves and seasonings; berries such as blackberries, strawberries, and red raspberries; non-berry fruits such as plum, sweet cherries, apples, and black currants; cocoa and dark chocolate; beans, nuts, and red wine to name a few. Polyphenols are typically measured in milligrams (mg) per 100 (g) of food.
Jumping straight to red wine, red wine has roughly 101mg of polyphenols per 100 mL. Unfortunately, rosé and white wine may not have as high of a count as red wine coming in at around 10 mg per 100 mL, but you can still enjoy that delicious Chardonnay or Riesling while getting in some antioxidants.
Resveratrol- a specific helper
When it comes to the benefits of drinking red wine, a specific polyphenol called resveratrol is what all the talk about. Resveratrol may help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol) and prevent blood clots. Please note that studies are mixed, and this article is not a medical or scientific finding. This is just food for thought for your enjoyment.
Resveratrol comes from the skin of grapes used to make the wine. Red wine is fermented with the skins on, therefore the resveratrol is higher in red wine versus white wine.
However, we also must warn against overindulging thinking you’re getting in “extra” resveratrol; you’re NOT! Drinking too much wine, like any alcohol, can also be detrimental to your health, alleviating the healthy benefits. Drinking too can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, heart failure, stroke, liver and pancreas disease, and a host of other problems.
If you already drink red wine or thinking of adding it to your nightly routine for added health benefits, please do so in moderation. For healthy adults, it’s suggested:
- Up to one drink a day for women of all ages.
- For men older than age 65- up to one drink a day.
- Up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. The limit for men is higher because men generally weigh more than women and have more of an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol.
A drink is defined as:
- 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine
- 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer
- 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits
We can stress enough the importance of consuming wine responsibly and not overindulging. However, there are certainly enough health benefits to include a glass of red wine in your nightly routine.