Red Wine and the Power of Antioxidants

red wine

I do not condone drinking heavily as a way to live one’s life. Alcohol can become addictive and worsen one’s health. There is nothing that can supplement a well-balanced diet and daily exercise routine to maintain a healthy body. However, research has shown drinking red wine in moderation does actually have some health benefits. Moderate drinking for men is considered one to two drinks a day, and one drink a day for women. With this in mind, it is a perfect time of year to write on a little indulgence with a glass of red wine.

The holiday season is quickly approaching and calendars are already filling up with the social events. It’s a great time to enjoy a savory glass of wine with some close friends. What you probably did not know about that glass of wine is it can actually help prevent your chances of getting heart disease, heighten your libido and even improve stability.

First off, let’s talk about all the different natural compounds found in red wine. Red wine contains certain substances called antioxidants that have extremely beneficial properties to support a healthy body. Flavonoids, resveratrol, polyphenols and melatonin all have positive effects on our body and are all found in red wine.

Research has shown that polyphenols may strengthen the lining of blood vessels in your heart. This will then strengthen the heart itself.

Melatonin is the antioxidant that regulates the body clock. If you have trouble falling asleep, drinking red wine before bed might help you have a more restful night. One’s beauty sleep is very important in keeping a healthy body.

The most beneficial antioxidant found in red wine is resveratrol. This is the key ingredient that helps prevent blood clots, damage to blood vessels and reduces cholesterol. Researchers have found drinking red wine, and resveratrol, is linked to a reduced risk of blood clots and inflammation. These two risks can in time lead to severe heart disease. Resveratrol is also known to prevent fat accumulation and lowers the risk of diabetes by reducing insulin resistance. This wonderful antioxidant is located in the grape skins used to make the wine.

White wine also has resveratrol, but a smaller percentage. During the fermentation process, red wine ferments with the skins in the barrel for a longer period than white wine, which in the end gives red wine a higher dosage of resveratrol. Along with good heart health, resveratrol has also been linked to inhibiting the spread of numerous cancers, such as breast, thyroid, prostate, colon and stomach cancers, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State.

If you do not drink wine, there are other ways to incorporate resveratrol into your diet. Why not just eat the grapes? You can also find a smaller percentage of resveratrol in red or purple grape fruit juice, peanuts, blueberries and cranberries, though the amount varies widely.

Believe it or not, recent studies collected this year also found red wine may help prevent senior falls. This seems rather counterintuitive, but researchers from the American Chemical Society have presented some pretty convincing lab results suggesting resveratrol could improve senior mobility and strength, resulting in less falls. In this study, the researchers tested two groups of lab mice. They studied young and old mice to see how balanced they were while crossing a beam. In the beginning, the older mice had trouble crossing the beam and often fell before making their way across. Within an eight week period of a resveratrol-rich diet, researchers saw an improvement. After week four, the older mice were almost equally stable as the younger mice.

This study’s researchers did mention that humans have difficulty absorbing resveratrol, but they believe it has the potential to help seniors avoid falls and obtain a steady stance in life: “Our study suggests that a natural compound like resveratrol, which can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet itself, could actually decrease some of the motor deficiencies that are seen in our aging population,” said research lead, Jane Cavanaugh, Ph.D. “And that would, therefore, increase an aging person’s quality of life and decrease their risk of hospitalization due to slips and falls.”

Now to discuss what’s on everyone’s mind. How does red wine help libido?

A collection of data from Tuscany, Italy shows that red wine has an affect on one’s sex life. In this study, researchers from the Urology Department of Italy’s University of Florence medical school gathered data from 800 women living in Tuscany. They were interested in what foods these women ate, their daily drinking habits and their sexual health. The study divided the women into three groups: red wine drinkers, white wine drinkers and alcohol-free women (teetotalers). After collecting the data, using the Female Sexual Function Index, the research showed that all three groups were equal in sexual arousal and satisfaction.

Yet, there was still a difference between these three groups. This study showed that the red wine drinkers had greater desire for sexual intercourse, as well as a heightened degree of vaginal lubrication. The researchers believed this could be caused by blood flow, resulting from the dietary values found in red wine, but also the simple fact that our eyes are drawn to the color red. Red is the universal color of sexual attraction. Research has shown that women find men more sexually attractive when men are wearing red compared to any other color. Ergo, women who drink red wine might have a stronger sexual appetite.

So grab that wine glass out of your cabinet tonight and enjoy a glass of delicious red wine with dinner. It might have some beneficial effects on many aspects of your life. But don’t forget — only in moderation ladies and gentlemen.

Tiffani Kim

About Tiffani Kim

Tiffani Kim is an entrepreneur, fashion designer, artist and founder of the Tiffani Kim Institute Medical Wellness Spa in Chicago’s River North. Ms. Kim helps you stay youthful and healthy from the inside out in her blog, “Living Well and Beautifully” with advice, recommendations, trends and more.