Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Which Wine Is The Healthiest One?

Alcohol indulgence has been classified as a risk factor for heart disease. But moderate consumption of wine was thought to be good for the heart. 

Health experts who have studied the science of grapes and health benefits in wine pointed out that many varieties of red wine, especially pinot noir, contains a greater amount of a plant compound called resveratrol than is found in white wine. 

Pinot noir refers to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. Pinot noir grapes are chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France but they are also grown around the world including countries like Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, South Africa, and United States.

Resveratrol might lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL or the bad cholesterol), reduce the risk of blood clots and cancer, prevent damage to blood vessels, and contribute to general longevity.

Studies in mice given resveratrol suggested that it might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease. Research in pigs has also shown that resveratrol may improve heart function and increase the body's ability to use insulin.

Nevertheless, there is still no clear evidence that red wine is better than other forms of alcohol. For example, several studies have linked Champagne consumption to beneficial cardiovascular, vascular and even brain performance, possibly due to its anti-oxidant properties. 

Yet not all alcohols are the same. For instance, a chronically high intake of beer or spirits has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. One study also showed that resveratrol might actually reduce the positive effect of exercise on the heart in older men. 

So, which wine should be consumed?

Red wines are beneficial because they are fermented on the skin and have a lot of antioxidants and tannins. Tannins are chemical compounds found in plants and fruit skins that give wine a bitterer and a more complex taste. They have also been linked to red wine headache. Some people who might get hangovers because of tannins should avoid drinking red wine.

For people who prefer something fizzy and festive, they should stick with Champagne, which is a ‘sparkling white wine’. As suggested by some experts, adding a splash of seltzer water (soda water, carbonated water) to any wine stretches the drink without adding calories. And it might help avoid that headache the next morning. 

Anyway, there is no doubt that high, chronic intake of alcohol, in any form, will certainly associate with many adverse health outcomes. It is, therefore, important that people should consume alcohol or wine moderately and stick to the American Heart Association (AHA) recommendation: no more than two drinks daily for men and one drink for women. A single drink is 5 ounces of wine, the same as a 1.5 shot glass or a 12-ounce bottle of beer.

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