Drinking A Glass Of Wine A Day
In the search for happiness and health, we often come across advice that sounds too good to be true. Is it fact, or is it fiction? For the wine lovers amongst us, it has become all but impossible to avoid that one claim that we’ve all undoubtedly heard time and again: “A glass of red wine a day is good for you.” But despite some of the rumors floating around, many are still tempted to ask if drinking a glass of wine a day is bad for you? So which is it?
Let’s uncork the truth…
In 1992 Harvard researchers made the claim that the consumption of a limited amount of red wine is one of the "eight proven ways to reduce coronary heart disease risk."
Why Red Wine?
The skin and seeds of red grapes contain antioxidants called flavonoids that help prevent coronary problems in 3 ways:
- Flavonoids reduce production of low density lipoprotein (LDL = bad cholesterol)
- They increase high density lipoprotein (HDL=good cholesterol)
- Reduce the blood clotting and fat profiles during a meal
There may be side benefits as well. I’m sure you don’t need a Harvard researcher to tell you that a glass of wine can help you relax. There are many health problems linked with stress, and even a few moments a day spent enjoying freedom from stress, anxiety and tension can do a world of good. (Of course we are discussing moderation here, not mass consumption)
Another Harvard study recently suggested that small amounts of red wine consumed each day may decrease the chances of kidney stones in women.
How much do I Need?
While there are no hard and fast rules, 1 – 2 glasses of red wine per day seems to be the most commonly quoted figure. Red wine is the star of the day here as it would require 6 – 12 glasses of white wine to equal the same amount of Resveratrol as red.
How to maximize these benefits
The University of California tested a multitude of wines for the highest concentration of flavonoids. They discovered that a dry wine contained more a higher concentration on average, than a sweet wine. While this is not necessarily an all inclusive test, the findings would seem to suggest that if you wish to maximize the health benefits, a dry red wine just may be the way to go.
Some of the top selections during testing were:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Petit Syrah
- Pinot Noir
Does Price Matter?
As you may have guessed, the answer is yes. Cheaper wines lack the rich fruit content that is responsible for the high concentration of antioxidants. This does not mean that you have to break the bank of course, but take care in selecting a quality beverage.
Are there any drawbacks?
As with anything involving alcohol, moderation is key. The International Journal of Cancer published an article stating that the risk of bowel cancer may be increased by alcohol consumption. A watchful eye on your rate of consumption and a careful selection of quality dry red wines can help you maximize the health benefit, while reducing the risk. Quite an enjoyable way to watch your health wouldn’t you say?