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.
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFFESIONAL AND THIS BLOG IS NOT AN MEDICAL OPINION. CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER BEFORE DRINKING RED WINE OR USING IT FOR HEALTH BENEFITS. NOT FOR SALE TO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18.