A touch of the grape

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I must admit, I’m not a connoisseur of fine wines.  In fact, when I buy wine, I’m usually drawn to the cute label at the grocery store.  That being said, my taste for wine hasn’t been very good.  When I started to do research for this blog, I have discovered many facts about wine and I’m now thinking maybe I should begin to do my homework on the different types of wine.

We have all heard the health benefits from drinking wine, but, personally, I didn’t realize ALL the benefits.  If you don’t know the hidden treasures of wine, let me fill you in.  The compound that is the “miracle cure-all” is called, resveratrol.  Resveratrol comes from the skins of grapes.

There are times when you shouldn’t drink, such as, when you are pregnant, have a drinking problem, or get migraines from wine.  In that case, you can eat grapes, blueberries, cranberries, mulberries, pistachios or peanuts. They are great sources for resveratrol.  Or you can get resveratrol in supplement form.

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If you enjoy a touch of the grape, red wine contains more resveratrol than white wines, but, they will both give you the health benefits you want.  Women are recommended to drink one glass of wine a day.  Men, are allowed 2 glasses a day.  But, before you get your glass and fill it to the brim, you must realize one glass is equivalent to 5 ounces.  Drinking more will undo all the good, plus raise your blood pressure,  you will have a risk of developing several kinds of cancer, and could damage your liver.  Moderation is the key!!  The best time to have a glass of wine is while enjoying a Mediterranean type meal.

Ok, so, now what are the health benefits?

Wine contains antioxidants.    Antioxidants combat  the free radicals in your body.  Free radicals are the mean little critters that can cause terrible health problems such as cancer.   Wine can slow the growth of breast cancer cells, suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells, and can slow down the growth of liver cancer cells.  Resveratrol can reduce the size of bowel tumors by 50%.  Wine may boost lung functions and prevent lung cancer cells from growing.  Drinking wine can also keep you from getting oral cancer.

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As if that’s not enough, wine boosts your immune system and wards off infections such as colds.  Also, as we get older, our bones get more brittle.  Wine increases bone density and reduces the chance of osteoporosis.

Wine reduces the risk of stroke by being a natural blood thinner, breaking up blood clots that could lead to a stroke.  Wine helps with the battle of heart disease, by improving blood vessel health, which in turn, improves the flow of blood, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Wine lowers cholesterol.  Resveratrol decreases LDL while increases HDL.  It also lowers blood pressure.

Wine also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.  Resveratrol has been proven to improve sensibility to insulin.  Wine improves brain function….of course not so much if you drink the whole bottle!  This is where you have to follow the 5 ounce rule.  The chemicals in red wine prevent the brain’s neurons from dying off.  As a result, it protects the brain from dementia while slowing down the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s’ and Parkinson’s.

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Resveratrol activates a protein that acts as an anti-aging agent.  This increases your overall health promoting longevity.  Resveratrol also inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria.  Wine in moderation, helps you relax and reduces depression.

Wine promotes healthy eyes.  This may help with treatment of diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration.  Wine also protects your teeth from bacteria which causes cavities.

Isn’t it funny that we run to the doctor for chemical prescriptions and pay big companies for pills that can have horrible side effects when the answer to our problems are nature made!  Of course, I don’t want you to quit taking your meds and head to the nearest winery.  Talk to your doctor first and remember MODERATION!

If you are interested in a “wine of the month”,  click on the California Wine Club next to this article.

Here’s to a long and healthy life!!