Can Wine be the Cure for a Healthy Heart?
I recall reading a great book, The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner, a few years ago. It highlights the communities where there is the highest concentration of centenarians and features the lifestyle habits that these places have in common. I completed their online assessment to see how my habits stacked up to these optimal habits and was surprised at the recommendation they made: drink more.
You see, centenarians had a small, regular intake of alcohol, usually wine, throughout their adult life. This reinforces the research that demonstrates that wine has health promoting compounds- thank goodness for that!
Wine, especially red wine, contains high amounts of antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. While there are many kinds of flavonoids, the ones in red wine are the antioxidants that give the wine its beautiful color. One polyphenol that has earned some attention recently includes resveratrol. Resveratrol has preliminary research suggesting that it may help to protect blood vessels and keep them healthy as well as help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, particularly LDL levels. Early research also has shown promise in supporting healthy inflammation and blood clotting, but more research is required to explore the benefits in those areas.
Believe it or not, studies have also shown that moderate intake of alcohol (of any kind) may also benefit your heart. No one is recommending that you start drinking just to protect your heart, as alcohol can have some detrimental effects as well, particularly on your liver, but if you do, there may be some benefit.
When it comes to wine, both whites and reds contain resveratrol and other flavonoids. The resveratrol comes from the grape skins, so red wines tend to have higher amounts due to a longer fermentation with the skins present throughout the process.
Here at Emerson, we tend to recommend going with organic, sulfite-free wines whenever possible. In order to ensure we give our customers only the BEST recommendations, we’ve done the work to test some organic wines to share our favorites with you! Here they are!
Bonterra Zinfandel Mendocino Organic Red
Calera Pinot Noir Reed Vineyard
ConoSur Organic Chardonnay
Frey Sauvignon Blanc Organic, Mendocino California
So, if you enjoy a bit of wine now and again, raise your glass and toast to your health before you sip. Salud!
By: Jaclyn Chasse, ND