RED WINE is an important component in Mediterranean dietary traditions. Its considered the explanation of the French paradox that coronary heart disease in France is the lowest among industrial countries, despite the high incidence of risk factors such as smoking, a high-fat diet and the lack of exercise of its citizens. Longevity among the French is often attributed to wine drinking and its positive effect upon the heart.
Remember Jeanne Calment , The 1222 old woman introduced in this book ? She believes her daily glass of wine was partly responsible got her wonderful longevity.
Wine drinking has been popular for thousand of years. Solomon, the ancient Hebrew king, in the Song of Solomon the world’s greatest love poem, wrote, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine” (Song of Sol. 1:2). Wine later became a biblical symbol in the times of Jesus Christ. During The miracle at Cana of Galilee, Christ turned water to wine, foretelling of the outpouring of His Spirit through the symbol of wine.
Since the earliest times of human civilization, wine seems to have been an important and integral component of the human diet. But lately, research has revealed that wine drinking actually has a powerful impact upon how long you live.
Through the 1990’s an enormous amount of evidence piled up suggesting that moderate red wine drinkers have less heart disease and suffer fewer fatal heart attacks than those who don’t drink at all. But don’t get the wrong idea. Heavy drinking has never been beneficial. This same evidence proved that those who drank more than just a small amount each day were negatively impacted.
The equivalent of one to two small drinks per day of any kind of alcohol is associated with decreased health risks compared with nondrinkers, while higher amounts result in an increase risk of heart disease and stroke. These observations have tended to characterize light drinking as protective. The protection has been demonstrated in various population groups for both sexes and all ages.
Some studies found that red wine not only decreased deaths and heart attacks, but it also decreased deaths from other causes. Researchers reported that moderate wine drinking decreased the incidence of breast cancer.
You may be wondering why this is so. Researchers say that up to two servings (240-280 ml) of red wine a day inhibits oxidation of bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL), thus helping to prevent atherosclerosis. It also increases antioxidant capacity and plasma levels of good cholesterol, or light-density lipoprotein.
Red wine, not white wine, contains abundant plyphenols. These are complex group of compounds that affect the appearance, taste and fragrance of red wines. They may come from the fruits skin and seeds. Plyphenols are extremely powerful antioxidants that effectively intercept free radical activity. The fermentation of red wine helps to release polyphenols, thus making them more available for your body to absorb them.
The two primary phenol groups that occur in grapes and wine are the flavonoids and the nonflavonoids, The most common flavonoids in wine are “catechins” and “anthocyanins”(red-blue pigments). Researchers believe that these powerful substances are responsible for decreased cancer and increases longevity.
However, if you don’t drink an occasional glass of wine, I would not recommend that you start. You might consider having a glass of grape juice with your evening meals of for a refreshing snack between meals. Even if the alcohol in wine is thought to release the powerful benefits of flavonoids, it is still the red grapes that provide these benefits. When you consider the dangers and risks involved with drinking, including alcoholism an the subtle encouragement of drinking to those who might have a weaker will than you do, you may choose to avoid the alcohol and yet still receive the benefits of wine through red grape juice.
Drinking tea on a daily basis has the same effect as an occasional glass of wine.