Healthy wine is not an oxymoron. While overindulging in alcohol leads to a host of troubles, physically and otherwise, consuming good reds in moderation can be a boon to your body. How – and when confronted with a barrage of bottles, how do you choose the best?
Research is ongoing, but it appears that the antioxidants in red wine can help prevent coronary artery disease. It is believed that it increases “good” cholesterol levels while preventing the buildup of “bad” cholesterol. Some studies also indicate that resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, can help prevent blood vessel damage, prevent blood clots, protect nerve cells and plaque buildup (which contributes to conditions such as Alzheimer’s), and lower risk of inflammation.
It also appears that reds help people avoid metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Why isn’t white wine feeling the love? It simply has lower levels of these antioxidants. When it comes to healthy wine, red has the most scientific evidence behind it.
Selecting Healthy Red Wine Brands
For health benefits, and wonderful taste, try:
Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabs contain high levels of procyanidins, which improve blood flow and reduce risk of inflammation and blood clots. They’ve also been linked to longer lifespans.
Pinot Noir: Rich in resveratrol, pinot noir has been associated with decreases in metabolic syndrome, improved cholesterol levels, and even enhanced mental health. When choosing healthy red wine brands, look for smaller, “craft” wineries that don’t skimp on aging time – which reduces the concentration of resveratrol.
Merlot. Merlot contains the highest concentrations of procyanidins. As mentioned, these phytochemicals help maintain heart health.
Now, choosing the brand is equally essential. Select clean wines that do not use extraneous ingredients or introduce harmful chemicals. As with anything we put in our bodies, the cleaner, the better!
And remember, moderation is key to enjoying health benefits. A glass a day will do you, and when you select healthy red wine brands, you’ll savor each sip.