Can drinking red wine actually benefit your health?

By Angeliz Venter

The first time I got exposed to the idea that drinking red wine might actually be healthy was when I was in high school and took French as a subject. We studied the language, as well as the cultural aspects of the French and one common theme throughout, was their love for wine and how they even dilute wine with water for their children. As and avid wine drinker, this thought stayed with me and led me to this blog post, can drinking wine actually benefit our health?

Let’s start at the beginning; if we look back into history, people have been drinking wine since 6000 BC. I think for a beverage that’s been around for that long you can’t be wrong for drinking it occasionally! A simple definition for red wine is that it is made from dark red grape varieties. You can find many different red colour variations, which is caused by the skin of the grape that is darker and not the flesh, which is actually white or lighter. The grapes are picked, either by machine or hand and afterwards it goes through a destemming and crushing process. Normally when the grapes arrive at the winery a preservative, sulfur dioxide is added to prevent oxidation and delay fermentation. It is then cooled before the fermentation takes place. During this process the separation of the solid and liquid phases starts and this happens by “pumping over” the liquid from the bottom of the tank. The temperature is then controlled to prevent the fermentation overheating the soon-to-be wine. Then it’s time for pressing, aging, fining and stabilizing the wine which helps clarify the wine before it is filtered and bottled for consumption.

Now, that we know how our beloved red wine is made… Can we get to the point where we have a healthy excuse for drinking a glass more than once a week? Yes! Let’s go!

The health benefits of drinking red wine:
• It is rich in antioxidants.
• Lowers bad cholesterol.
• Sustains your heart health.
• Regulates blood sugar.
• Reduces the risk of cancer.
• Can aid in treating a common cold.
• Keeps your metabolism active.
• Increases memory retention.
• Reduces the risk of depression.
• The anti-bacteria in red wine helps your digestive system.

That being said, excessive wine drinking can actually have the opposite effect of all these benefits and severely impact your life in a negative manner! Which includes and are not limited to high cholesterol, depression, alcoholism, weight gain, liver failure and even threaten your life. So now you may ask me, what is the perfect amount of red wine per week for it to act as a health benefit? Ideally, it shouldn’t exceed 1 to 1 and a half glasses of wine per day for women and 1 to 2 for men. All of this depends on the individual and studies have shown that the positive effects increases if you skip a day or two in between to let your body rest. This should also be the only acholic beverage that you consume that day and be your total drinking limit. If these facts scare you or if you are not an avid wine drinker, you can reap the same benefits by adding the red wine to your cooking.

So, my dear wine drinkers, as much as we want to highlight the benefits and replace our green smoothies with our red wine, we have to be cautious of how we consume our wine and our habits around it, because as much as it can be good for your health, it can also be detrimental.

Cover picture: GD Life Sweet Shiraz. This wine has a hint of spice with sticky raspberry flavours and is naturally sweet for any occasion.


The girl she was before

When I read a review saying there is an unexpected plot twist at the end, I was on high alert to try and figure out the catch from the beginning, but nothing could prepare me for the actual plot twist… Very few books can keep me guessing until the end and then I have the suspect completely wrong. I would truly recommend reading this book, for a short, yet nail gripping read.

Jess Kitching writes this suspense/crime thriller brilliantly, keeping you on your seat from the first page, making it impossible to put down until the last page. She takes you through the peaceful and content life of Nat in Coral Bay, whose perfect life comes to an abrupt halt when two of her best friends die unexpectedly. On top of that, the return of Chrissy Summers doesn’t make it any easier on Nat’s grieving process and brings back painful memories of how she was a victim of bullying in school and the girl she used to be.

When the police start suspecting foul play, Nat’s life unravels even more and she is faced with her past demons, accusing stares and small-town gossip ruining her once perfect life.

The question on everyone’s lips.. Is there a serial killer loose in Coral Bay? Is it someone they know? Who is next?

Published by Kingsley Publishers

Ashwagandha, the Indian Ginseng.

By Angeliz Venter

If you are anything like me, you have no idea what Ashwagandha is, how to use it or why it would help you. The first time I heard about Ashwagandha, I was scrolling endlessly through Instagram and saw a local vegan restaurant, Lexi’s Eatery, post the benefits of their Moon Milk, which contains Ashwagandha and I immediately went on a research spree to learn more about this foreign ingredient.

Ashwagandha is a plant. More specifically it is an evergreen shrub, commonly known as Indian Ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry. You can find it mostly in India, the Middle East and some parts of Africa. It is an adaptogen herb and an Ayuverdic herb. Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbs have been used in India for more than 5000 years in collaboration with lifestyle practices like yoga, meditation, massages and dietary changes to increase good health and certain illnesses. It helps the body reject physiological stress, psychological stress and adapting your body’s needs. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha translates to ‘smell of the horse’ which refers to the ability that it has to increase your stamina, while nourishing both the female and male reproductive and nervous systems.

While researching this herb, the following benefits clearly stood out for me and pushed me towards trying it:
• Supports a healthy immune system.
• For your skin it produces natural oils, has astringent properties and moisturizes your skin.
• It calms your mental processes, while giving you a boost of energy.
• Helps you sleep better.
• For your hair it fights dandruff, stimulates your scalp and improves blood circulation.
• Aids in having a healthy reproductive system for both females and males.
• Supports a healthy back and joints.
• Promotes thyroid health and healthy functional adrenals.
• Increases good muscle health

After reviewing all these benefits, I decided I had to try it, because I struggle with anxiety, especially since Covid started and I couldn’t do my usual activities as often to ease my stress and help my mental health. I love warm drinks, so the easiest way for me to consume Ashwagandha was to try and recreate Lexi’s moon milk at home.

Here is my recipe:
• Add 150ml oat milk to a pot on the stove
• Add in a ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Ashwagandha (if it is your first time using it, add ¼ as the effects was quite strong for me)
• Add a heaped teaspoon of Berry Beetroot superfood mix
• Add an organic coconut sugar (the quantity depends on your liking), but I used one teaspoon
• Stir until the mixture comes to a boil and pour it into your glass
• Sprinkle some Berry Beetroot mix on top for the perfect Instagram picture 😉

After drinking 2 big sips, I could definitely feel the effects and I loved it!! Although I felt very relaxed, I also felt very energized. I was a bit hesitant that it would make me sleepy during the day, but as long as you stay active it energizes you and as soon as you lie down, you will most probably go sleep. So, for me it felt like the herb adapted to my mood and what I am doing, which is great!

I got all the ingredients from Faithful to Nature and delivery was so fast! Try my Moon Milk recipe and let me know what the effects was on your body!