Concha y Toro

Francisca Jara 03/03/2022


Wine and wellness, a more than likely pairing


Here we will not refute the fact that excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to our body. Hundreds of studies have shown that a balanced diet is the key element for a healthy lifestyle and that, therefore, choosing carefully what we eat and drink is our responsibility. So, does wine fit into this equation?

Taking care of our physical and mental health is a trend that is gaining more and more strength, and the market has been able to respond to these habits. The offer of healthy products is increasingly sophisticated and the information regarding daily practices of mindfulness fills the newspapers and social networks. But is wine compatible with a healthy lifestyle? Of course.

In this return to nature, wine has a place that is ancestral. But not only as a drink, since wine is the oldest medicine of the human being, which has been used as such for more than 5,000 years. This is how the book The History of Wine as a Medicine explains it, where they tell how the wine scribes, doctors who described its use thousands of years ago, documented its virtues and assured that, consumed in moderation, wine is “our most potent preventative medicine”. In past centuries, when death from infection was very common, wine was used as an antiseptic. While now, many papers indicate the properties that wine has to prevent cardiovascular and degenerative diseases such as cancer, thanks to its antioxidant properties (especially in red wines) and its ability to counteract products that are harmful to the body such as free radicals. This, as a result, would increase life expectancy. In addition to reducing stress levels by acting as a relaxant, by the way.

But in more recent years, wine has not stopped attracting attention. Have you ever heard of the French Paradox? This theory emerged from French scientists in the early 1980s and is based on the fact that, in most countries, a diet high in saturated fat is directly related to more deaths from heart disease. But the French, despite being heavy consumers of saturated fats like butter and cheese, have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease. The answer to this paradox was: the tradition of drinking wine on a regular basis.

You will also have heard of the Mediterranean Diet, recommended as healthy by the World Health Organization (WHO), and which consists of an abundant consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, olive oil, fish, a low consumption of red meat plus moderate intake of dairy products and wines.

Which, complemented with physical exercise and the socializing factor of wine, would also help mental health by offering us moments of relaxation and pleasure. Scientific studies also support that a type of natural grape phenol, called resveratrol, works as an anti-inflammatory and reduces oxidative stress. This component, among other things, is associated with a positive effect on depression and anxiety.

Although this note is not a call to those who do not consume wine to start doing so, the idea is to convey that the moderate consumption of those who enjoy a glass of red wine such as Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 or Gran Reserva Carmenere 2019, with a high presence of phenolic antioxidants such as resveratrol, is perfectly compatible with healthy lifestyle habits.

Eating well, exercising daily, drinking enough water, sleeping at least 8 hours a day are simple ways to take care of your body, mind and spirit. Also feeding the soul with activities that make us enjoy the here and now, such as yoga or meditation, can give us new perspectives to further develop enjoyment of life.

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