While your health-freak friends spend hundreds of dollars on weird miracle fruit juices, you can sit back and relax. As it happens, your red wine habit might just be the key to staying young longer.
The health benefits of red wine are greater than you might think. Besides having antioxidants, fermented foods are good for digestion and alcohol itself has also shown some surprising traits over long-term moderate use. Discover the health benefits of red wine and how much you should consume to live well.
The Health Benefits of Red Wine
Red Wine Has More Antioxidants Than Açaí Juice
Red wine is full of polyphenols including proanthocyanidin; a powerful antioxidant. In fact, some red wines have more antioxidants than commercial grape juice, raw blueberries and even miracle fruits like Açaí. In the fruit juice category, a full-bodied red wine will even beat pomegranate juice.
How are antioxidants measured? Antioxidant rich foods have traditionally been measured using the ORAC method which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity(1). Every food has a varying ability to absorb free radicals in a controlled environment. ORAC scores range from 50 for a carrot to 5,200 for a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Red Wine vs. Antioxidant Rich Foods
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – 9,000 (1/4 cup)
- Full-Bodied Red Wine 7,700 (6 oz glass)
- Blueberries – 6,500 (1 cup)
- Pomengranate Juice – 5,500 (6 oz glass)
- Cinnamon – 5,200 (teaspoon)
- Açaí Juice – 3,030 (6 oz glass)
- Cooked Tomatoes – 1,350 (1 cup)
What Wines Have The Most Antioxidants?
Wines with high antioxidants are the dark red wines. Since antioxidants come from the pips and skins of a grape, as well as contact with oak, you’ll find that full-bodied red wines aged in oak have the highest antioxidant properties.
How Much Wine is Too Much?
The goodness of red wine can be easily countered with the negative effects of alcohol. So how much wine is too much? According to the Dietary Guidelines:
“Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. It is not recommended that anyone begin drinking alcohol or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits.”
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
Fermented foods have long been associated with good digestion. The probiotics and microbes found in fermented foods contain lactic-acid that nourish the good bacteria in your GI tract. Some red wines contain more lactic acid after going through a secondary fermentation that makes the wine taste smoother. Here are some common fermented foods:
- Yogurt & Some Cheeses
- Real Sauerkraut
- Sourdough Bread
- Tempeh & Soy Sauce
Beer, Cider, Wine & Sake
Benefits of Moderate Drinking
Over the years, several long-term studies have been conducted comparing drinkers to non-drinkers. There have also been studies comparing wine drinkers to spirits/beer drinkers. Here are some of the more interesting findings:
- Wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than spirits/beer drinkers.
- Moderate drinkers have 30% less risk than non-drinkers of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Brain function declines less quickly in moderate drinkers than non-drinkers.