Now that UB40's lyrics have let you drift off for a minute, let me reel you back in and we'll look at red wine. Now, First off I'm not telling anyone who has driven themselves to alcoholism to start drinking wine to get healthy. You have a sippy cup of grape juice, while the rest of us adults who know the meaning of self control get healthy. Now everyone has heard someone say, "red wine is good for you," and 9 out 10 of them can't tell you with any conviction why. Often times people acquire information by hear-say and that's embellished or just made up rumor. They then endeavor to repeat misinformation. Well here's some "facts" to help you to make real decisions of how wine could fit into your diet. First a little history,
According to Wikipedia, wine has a history dating back thousands of years, archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest known production of wine, made by fermenting grapes, took place as early as the sixth millennium BC, with evidence of winemaking at different sites dated from 6000 BC in Georgia, 5000 BC in Iran, and 4100 BC in Armenian Georgia, where wine residues were also discovered on the inner surfaces of 8,000-year-old ceramic storage jars. Chemical analysis of 7,000-year-old pottery shards indicated early wine making in Iran's Zagros Mountains. Other notable areas of wine production have been discovered in Greece and date back to 4500 BC. The same sites also contain the world's earliest evidence of crushed grapes. A winemaking press found in 2011 in Armenia has been dated to around 4100 BC. It looks like, the spread of wine culture westwards was most probably due to the Phoenicians who were centered on the coastal strip of today’s Lebanon, one of the world’s oldest sites of wine production. The wines of Byblos were exported to Egypt and throughout the Mediterranean. Evidences include two Phoenician shipwrecks from 750 BC that were discovered by Robert Ballard, who also found the, RMS Titanic in 1985, the Phoenician cargo of wine was still intact. As the first great traders of wine, the
Phoenicians seem to have protected it from oxidation with a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin. A 2003 report by archaeologists indicates a possibility that grapes were mixed with rice to produce mixed fermented beverages in China in the early years of the seventh millennium BC. One of the lasting legacies of the ancient Roman Empire was the viticultural foundation laid by the Romans in the areas that today are world-renowned wine regions. In places with garrison towns (e.g. Bordeaux, Trier, and Colchester), the Romans planted vineyards to supply local needs and limit the cost of long-distance trading. In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church supported wine because the clergy required it for the Mass. Monks in France made wine for years, aging it in caves. Wine has also played an important role in religion throughout history. The Greek god Dionysus and the Roman equivalent, Bacchus, represented wine. The drink is also used in Christian Eucharist ceremonies and the Jewish Kiddush.
Red wine is also usually consumed in the company of others, so it encourages human connection, a very powerful factor in maintaining health." The Mayo Clinic states: " Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. Many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It's possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits. Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that's gotten attention. Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces "bad" cholesterol and prevents blood clots." "Also most of the research on resveratrol has been done on animals, not people. Research in mice given resveratrol suggests that the antioxidant might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease. However, those findings were reported only in mice, not in people. In addition, to get the same dose of resveratrol used in the mice studies, a person would have to drink over 60 liters of red wine every day. So start pouring. Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease. The resveratrol in red wine comes from the skin of grapes used to make wine. Because red wine is fermented with grape skins longer than is white wine, red wine contains more resveratrol. Simply eating grapes, or drinking grape juice, has been suggested as one way to get resveratrol without drinking alcohol. Red and purple grape juices may have some of the same heart-healthy benefits of red wine. While resveratrol supplements are also available. Researchers haven't found any harm in taking resveratrol supplements, though most of the resveratrol in the supplements can't be absorbed by your body. If you already drink red wine, do so in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as an average of two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. The limit for men is higher because men generally weigh more and have more of an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol than women do. A drink is defined as 12 ounces (355 milliliters, or mL) of beer, 5 ounces (148 mL) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 mL) of 80-proof distilled spirits."
Your Head: Wine could preserve your memory. When researchers gave memory quizzes to women in their 70's, those who drank one drink or more every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine helps prevent clots and reduce blood vessel inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline and heart disease, explains Tedd Goldfinger, DO, of the University of Arizona School of Medicine. Alcohol also seems to raise HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, which helps unclog your arteries.
Your Weight: Studies find that people who drink wine daily have lower body mass than those who indulge occasionally. Moderate wine drinkers have narrower waists and less abdominal fat than people who drink liquor. The alcohol may encourage your body to burn extra calories for as long as 90 minutes after you down a glass.
Your Immune System: In one British study, those who drank roughly a glass of wine a day reduced their risk by 11% of infection, by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, a major cause of gastritis, ulcers, and stomach cancers. As little as half a glass may also guard against food poisoning caused by germs like salmonella when people are exposed to contaminated food, according to a Spanish study.
When Australian researchers recently compared women with ovarian cancer to cancer-free women, they found that roughly one glass of wine a day seemed to reduce the risk of the disease by as much as 50%. Earlier research at the University of Hawaii produced similar findings. Experts suspect this may be due to antioxidants or phytoestrogens, which have high anticancer properties and are prevalent in wine. And in a recent University of Michigan study, a red wine compound helped kill ovarian cancer cells in a test tube.
Your Bones: On average, women who drink moderately seem to have higher bone mass than abstainers. Alcohol appears to boost estrogen levels. The hormone seems to slow the body’s destruction of old bone more than it slows the production of new bone.
Your Blood-Sugar: Premenopausal women who drink one or two glasses of wine a day are 40% less likely than women who don’t drink to develop type 2 diabetes. According to a 10-year study by Harvard Medical School. While the reasons aren't clear, wine seems to reduce insulin resistance in diabetic patients.
Dr. Jung et al at the University of Mainz published a research paper in 1999 entitled "Moderate red and white wine consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease". The paper's summary stated:
"red wine improved the antioxidant capacity in the blood. The scores for moderate wine consumption were higher than for water. Systolic blood pressure reduced significantly and the distolic blood pressure reduced." In the US, The Jordan Heart Research Foundation found that free radicals were reduced by 15% in red wine drinkers, while red wine drinkers experienced a reduction in the blood's clotting ability of 10%. When grapes are converted to wine, it increases the antioxidant levels as well as producing alcohol. So wine contains far more antioxidants than things like concentrated grape extract or juice. Research also shows that even though red wine may contain more antioxidants, there are different types of antioxidant molecules.
Girls, if you like a glass of wine after work, relax. You are likely to gain less weight than those who stick to mineral water. Moderate female drinkers also have a lower risk of obesity than those who abstain, according to new research. The findings, from a study of more than 19,000 women, is at odds with most dietary advice. That say's alcohol consumption leads to weight gain. The research suggests that a calorie from alcohol has less impact on weight than a calorie from other foods and that the way the body deals with alcohol is more complex than realised. One theory is that in regular drinkers the liver develops a separate metabolic pathway to break down alcohol, with surplus energy turned mainly into heat, not fat. In the study, Lu Wang, a medical instructor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues asked 19,220 American women aged 39 or older with a healthy body weight to describe their drinking habits in a questionnaire. About 38% drank no alcohol Over the next 13 years the researchers found that all the women tended to gain weight but the non-drinkers gained the most. The women's overall weight gain decreased as alcohol intake increased. There was also a difference according to the type of alcohol. Red wine was associated with the lowest weight gain. Beer and spirits were linked to the highest weight gain. The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, seems to say that there is no clear connection between alcohol consumption and weight gain.
Now if you are going to take the plunge and serve some wines, in general, here are the basic serving temperatures for various wine styles:
*"Lesser-bodied" red wines, rosé, and full-bodied white wines Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesling: 46°F to 55°F
*Less complex white wines (Vinho Verdhe, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, dessert wines): 43°F to 50°F
* Champagne: 43°F to 46°F
Serving a wine too cold will mask it's flavors and bouquet.
Serve a wine too warm and it will seem dull, flabby, and hot with alcohol.
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