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Superfood of the Week: Health Benefits of Red Wine
There’s nothing better for many people than having a relaxing glass of wine at the end of a busy work day. Did you know that wine in moderation can potentially be good for you? That’s why this week’s superfood is red wine!
Moderate amounts of wine may have several heart healthy benefits including:
- decreasing LDL cholesterol (your “lousy” or bad cholesterol)
- increasing HDL cholesterol (your “happy” or good cholesterol)
- dilating blood vessels (thins your blood)
- decreasing clotting
- acting as a digestive agent
Red wine contains important phytonutrients such as flavanoids and resveratrol that act as antioxidants and prevent molecules known as “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body. Red wine contains more resveratrol than white wines. This is due to the fact that red grapes have more and the longer the skin is kept on the grape during the wine making process, the greater the concentration of resveratrol in the wine. During white wine production, the skin is removed before fermentation, making its resveratrol concentration decrease. Although many other foods act as antioxidants and contain resveratrol as well, you have to consume much more of them than you do red wine to get the same amount of antioxidant activity as one glass (5 oz) of red wine.
You can raise your glass to this superfood but remember to do so in moderation. I stress moderation because the amount of wine you drink matters tremendously. If you drink more than what is recommended, your health benefits are lost and your health risk goes up considerably.
Here is how “moderation” is defined for alcohol:
- Men: No more than 2 drinks per day
- Women: No more than one drink per day
- One drink is defined as 5 oz of wine and 12 oz of regular beer or 1.5 oz of distilled spirits
Remember, alcohol (along with carbohydrate, fat, and protein) contains calories. Stick to the recommended amounts and your glass of wine with dinner may just do the body good!