A glass of red wine a day can have significant health benefits. Apart from the lessening of tensions that we experience after a little alcohol however, red wine can benefit us in other ways. This is due to the high level of antioxidants that are found in red wine, the compound that neutralizes free radicals in our body.
Fighting Free Radicals
Free radicals are released during the metabolic process of oxidation and can damage the cells, thereby accelerating the aging process and contributing to degenerative diseases such as Arthritis. Antioxidants thus play a major role in reducing the side effects of oxidation by reducing cell damage and the formation of free radicals.
Two Antioxidants in Red Wine
The two antioxidants found in red wine are Resveratrol and Flavonoids, two compounds found exclusively in plants. Resveratrol is a part of the defense mechanism of plants that helps them to grow free of disease and other infections.
Flavonoids play a role in the coloring of plants, with a different type of Flavonoid for yellows and blues. The typical color of red wine, a kind of purplish red, is produced by another type of Flavonoid.
Increased Blood Flow
Because of the antioxidant properties of red wine, it is regarded by medical health professionals as an important ally in the fight against two of the scourges of modern life: cancer and heart disease.
Flavonoids, as well as Resveratrol, are known to decrease the formation of LDL or bad cholesterol and to increase HDL cholesterol in the blood. This increases blood flow to the heart and major organs and greatly reduces the risks of a heart attack or stroke.
Resveratrol and Health
Studies have found that Resveratrol can help to prevent damage to nerve cells and thus help in the fight against neurological damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In some cases, it has been known to grow new nerve cells which can help to replace those that are already damaged.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean countries are well-known for having a low incidence of heart disease. Recent studies have pointed to the diet favored by the populations in those countries as a factor in their well-being, as well as the greater use of wine in their daily diets.
The fact that their diets include Olive Oil with its Omega-3 fatty acids, a higher amount of fiber and wine, particularly red wine, is said to be one of the reasons for their low rates of heart disease.