You probably heard about the French paradox: drinking a glass of wine every day is beneficial to our health. Let’s look at the evidence.
The great scientist of the nineteenth century Louis Pasteur said that wine is the most healthy and hygienic drink in the world, obtained from the fermentation of grape must or juice. The fermentation process is produced by the metabolic action of the yeasts, which transform the sugars and acids of the fruits of the Vitis vinífera into alcohol. Miraculous, right?
In addition to water, sugars, acids and alcohol, wine also contains other compounds from the grape, such as tannins, anthocyanins and the mysterious resveratrol. The latter is present in the skins of the grape and is a mechanism developed by the plant to protect the fruits from bacteria, fungi and UV rays. The results of several scientific studies show that this compound is beneficial to our health and well-being.
First, we have to underline that, according to many researches, red wine has the most health properties, especially for our cardiovascular system. Red wine protects our heart and reduces the risk of heart attacks. The aforementioned resveratrol raises the level of good omega-3 fatty acids. This is key for protecting our arteries.
Being a fermented food, wine improves the bacterial micro flora of our intestines. This is very important. Let us not forget that the father of medicine Hippocrates said that all diseases have their origin in the gut. Today doctors confirm that the state of our digestive system directly influences the defense of our body and mental health.
Also, the consumption of red wine is related to the protection of the brain. It can prevent dementia and depression. A study by John Hopkins University School of Medicine concluded that a person who regularly consumes moderate amounts of red wine can prevent or lessen brain strokes.
Some other studies even relate moderate wine consumption to improve vision (thanks to anthocyanins), gums and skin. For example, the enotherapy, so trendy in some hotels and luxury spas, promises to protect our skin and prevent its premature aging through baths and massages with products based on wine.
All these studies speak of the beneficial effects of wine for our health, but also emphasize moderate consumption. And what is moderate for you? Maybe it’s not the same as for me? Scientists also answer this question: in the case of women, one glass per day, and men’s, two glasses. No one said that life was fair.
Everything in the universe has an A and B side (Yin Yang, as defined by Eastern philosophy). One light and one dark side! We must not lose sight of the fact that wine is an alcohol (at least about 15% of its content). If we cross the recommended limit can cause serious complications to our health. Wine can generate addiction or alcoholism, unleashing harmful consequences, such as depression, arrhythmias, hypertension, fatty liver, cirrhosis and even several types of cancer.
But let’s not confuse ourselves: is wine beneficial to our health? The answer is very simple: Yes, of course, as long as it is consumed in moderate quantities. It is a matter of studying and living the French paradox or the Mediterranean diet, where wine is fundamental to live healthy and longer. In some localities, as in the case of Sardinia, there are many documented cases of people who are over 100 years of age. The inhabitants of these regions not only seem more physically active, but happier.
The key word is moderation, a fundamental virtue for Greek philosophers, a way of life where the ritual of toasts takes on the most absolute of the senses: Cheers!