In Wine There is Health
As we look at 2020 in the rearview mirror and begin to settle into 2021, many of us have been prompted to reflect on our goals and view of the future. We all want to live the good life, so what does that look like? We’ve taken the time to uncover a few ways that enjoying wine, our favorite pastime, will make for a better 2021.
Did you know that opening a wine bottle activates 14 muscles? That sounds like a great wind-down from a long day, and warm-up for a good evening. Anyone who enjoys a nice glass after a stressful day (which these days might seem like every day) is familiar with the relaxing effects of a delicious wine. It turns out that the alcohol content isn’t the only factor at play; a powerful plant compound called resveratrol has been linked to reduction of anxiety. Alexander Fleming, the Scottish physician and researcher who discovered penicillin, once remarked, “Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy.” We agree, and we miss seeing our members smile as they savor their favorite Ruby Hill Wines. It turns out that Dr. Fleming was even more correct than he realized!
Further research into the health benefits of wine continually yields optimistic results. Compounds in red wine such as polyphenols and ethanol have been reliably linked to anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting results. While we won’t tell you to take it with your morning multivitamin, we’re thankful for every bit of immune boost we can get during cold and flu season! If you’re especially interested in anti-inflammatory effects, we recommend our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This varietal is especially rich in procyanidins, compounds that help increase blood flow and combat inflammation. Some studies have also shown that red wine, especially when enjoyed with a meal, lowers cholesterol levels while improving levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) and may even help combat obesity. The fermentation process of winemaking also benefits us winos! Fermented foods are good for digestion. The compounds that manifest during fermentation help take care of the good bacteria in your gut. When it comes to fermented foods, regularity is key, and the more the merrier! Consumption of other such foods, such as keifer and kimchi, will give your body an even greater probiotic boost.
Certain properties that are unique to wine allow it to stand above other forms of alcohol when it comes to health. Though alcohol is a known carcinogen, moderate wine consumption has been linked to decreased risk of many forms of cancer, as well as increasing survivability and quality of life. Red wine is also rich in antioxidants, reversing the negative oxidizing effects of most sources of alcohol. These powerful antioxidants help with the elimination of free radicals, which cause destruction of the body’s cells. Good news: dark chocolate has a hefty dose of antioxidants too, so it’s worth a few nibbles. And it’s not just chocolate: a recent study from the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease found that brain function was boosted and cognitive decline was slowed in individuals who enjoyed wine and cheese on a regular basis. While the findings are in the process of further testing, this news is exactly what we like to hear. Peacock Patch Zin and aged cheddar, here we come!
We do want to take a moment to recognize that the most important ingredient is moderation. This key allows you to unlock amazing health benefits while savoring your favorite wines. One to two glasses a day is linked to improved cardiovascular health and even decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. The Dietary Guideline for Americans, issued by the USDA and Human Health Services, does not recommend dramatically increasing alcohol consumption for the express goal of health. However, as we’ve discussed, moderate consumption of your favorite wine can have a great many enriching effects.
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