Is Wine Healthy?

August 25, 2017

Is Wine Healthy?

How about ‘a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away’ could this really be true?

We bet you are hoping for a simple answer of YES but there might just be little more factors to consider.

Do you know what is really in your bottle of wine?

Here is the Answer:

• Sugar
Manly glucose and fructose which is found in grapes. These sugars are turned into ethanol during winemaking.

• Wine yeasts
Can be naturally found on grapes and it is thanks to yeast that grape’s sugars is fermented. Sadly most wines today have added commercial yeast.

Ethanol
With an alcohol content of about 10 to 13%.

• Phenols/ polyphenols
Polyphenols gives us the look, taste, and smell of wine. It is also found in fruits, vegetables, coffee, and tea.

Polyphenols are the link to the health benefits of wine. They can be found in the seeds and skin of grapes and are also increased due to fermentation and ageing of wines.

wine healthy

• Methanol
Not so beneficial - a toxic substance found in wine but (lucky for us) in very low doses.

Health Benefits of Wine

Almost all benefits of wine are thanks to the polyphenols. Polyphenols are good for our health for a few reasons: they are an antioxidant, neutralise free radicals, and moreover they increase beneficial bacteria (lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) to support our digestion.

Red wine contains more polyphenols than white wine (200 mg per glass vs. 30 mg per glass), because red winemaking includes the skin of grapes.

Red Wine Benefits:

• Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
• Lowers cholesterol and cardiovascular disease
• Boost your brain
• Lowers mortality
• Prebiotic effects

Note to remember: moderation is the key! Alcohol provides a lot of empty calories.

Health Risks of Wine

Sadly, red wine is not all hugs and kisses. Due to ethanol, some health problems may develop.

• Liver damage
• Addiction
• Depression

Wine Additives

Recently wine became more commercial and this new commercial processing of wine is harder on our bodies.

There is around 70 types of additives that increase production (of course) and keep the costs low. Due to the additives people can experience headaches, asthma symptoms, or even diarrhoea after enjoying a glass or two of wine.

• Fining agents
Surprisingly, most common fining agents are animal-based (such as egg white, fish bladder, and casein). Bentonite clay is the most common vegan fining agent.

• Concentrated grape juice (Mega purple)
Is to blame for staining your teeth, gums, and also clothing. Natural red wine is not really supposed do so.

• Sulfur dioxide - Sulphites
Yes, low levels of sulphites naturally occur in wine but commercial wines have often added extra sulphates as preservatives and/ or stabilisers.

Histamines *
Are found naturally in many foods as well as wine but the histamine content in wine has been increasing.

* Some people are allergic to histamines due to producing too much histamine in their bodies that they are not able to break down properly. Increased histamine symptoms are sneezing, headache, diarrhoea, skin itchiness, and shortness of breath.

In Conclusion

Not a wine drinker? Great, no need to start drinking wine to get those polyphenols benefits in. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in addition to your healthy diet.

• A wine drinker already? Try organic wine at moderate levels. If it seems like your sleep and mood are affected,  moderate wine consumption is probably doing you more harm than good, when it comes to health benefits. Hence lowering your wine consumption while increasing foods high in polyphenols might be a good idea.

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