Wine. One of the oldest drinks in the history of mankind. It tastes great and if you know a little about it can make you seem pretty smart when touting facts at a dinner party. But what I would like to talk about today is word most haven’t heard of. The word is RESVERATROL and it is a pretty big deal in both the wine industry and medical profession. The definition: Resveratrol is a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens, such as bacteria or fungi. Layman’s terms? Resveratrol is a natural curative antioxidant compound found in plants; particularly red wine grapes.
Now, well most of us self proclaimed Wineos are constantly commenting on the health benefits of red wine, perhaps jokingly or to forgive ourselves for indulging there is a whole lot of truth to it. This little compound resveratrol is associated with repair and prevention of many ailments we as the human race suffer from.
Let’s start with the surface. Drinking red wine is the fountain of youth. Well, not really but resveratrol along with other antioxidants like proanthocyanins which is also found in wine have been known to reduce the signs of aging in the skin. They restore collagen and elasticity which we all know, women by the millions pay a hefty sum to achieve. So, ditch the plastic surgery and expensive serums. Drink a couple glasses of wine instead!
If that wasn’t enough, resveratrol also has a chemical compound within it called piceatannol that helps to reduce fat cells…what? Yes. Red wine can help you loose weight when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. According to a study by the Purdue Research Foundation, piceatannol, found within resveratrol blocks the cellular process that allows fat cells to thrive. Win! So take your bike for a spin and reward yourself with a glass of wine at dinner – guilt free!
While the above two health benefits are icing on the wine drinking cake, wine can positively affect more serious ailments as well. One of the biggies is Alzheimer’s Disease. While the research is ongoing, several studies have shown that red wine inhibits a particular protein which is present in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s and scientists are hopeful that they will be able to zero in on this and use the components in wine to slow this terrible disease. Additionally, a recent study published in 2018 showed an increased risk of dementia in those individuals who didn’t consume wine. So keep your mind sharp and drink up!
Now that we’ve got the skin, brain and weight covered, let’s move onto the heart. Studies published by the US National Library of Medicine have shown that drinking red wine is good for the heart; it protects it in fact. Alcohol is a blood thinner and thin blood can prevent blood clots but wine is a double whammy because the resveratrol also keeps the blood vessels flexible and reduces blood pressure while increasing good cholesterol levels. Drinking red wine specifically, in moderation has been shown to help prevent heart disease.
As if that wasn’t enough to convince you of the wonderful benefits of wine how about we tackle one of the leading causes of death in America – diabetes. While resveratrol helps with cholesterol and blood pressure it also regulates blood sugar levels and studies published by the Journal of Medical Biochemistry suggest drinking red wine can help prevent the disease from attacking. And for those who have type 2, the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes suggests that 1-2 glasses a day can moderately decrease the risk of stroke or heart attack as related to diabetes.
Even more impressive, according to several articles written in recent years published by sources such as WebMd, Medical News Today and more suggest that resveratrol can help prevent colon, prostate and breast cancer. This little antioxidant has been shown to reduce the radicals roaming free in the body that give cancer cells the green light to reproduce. It has even been found to prevent mutations that make cancer immune to chemotherapy!
While the data pours in on all the restorative and healing properties of red wine, in particular the miracle antioxidant resveratrol, we know that nothing will help us live forever but if drinking wine every day has a chance of helping, preventing and curing then I’m in! There is also one other word to keep in mind – moderation. Drinking in excess is clearly linked to many health negatives so let’s keep it under control and raise a glass of deep red to a long, healthy life!
**Angela Zuba is the Owner and Vintner of Waters Edge Winery & Bistro in Kalispell, foodie and self-proclaimed wine nerd. Waters Edge Winery & Bistro is celebrating their first year in business on July 23, 2021.