You have probably heard that red wine is good for you, but do you know exactly how it benefits your health? Here are some reasons why a glass of red wine a day may keep the cardiologist away.
Morley Safer’s piece on “The French Paradox” (aired on '60 minutes' in 1991) rocked the wine world by suggesting that red wine was responsible for the low levels of heart disease in
. The French diet is laden with high amounts animal fat such as butter, cheese and cream. How could it be they had a lower incidence of cardiac illness? France
There is now plenty of scientific evidence to support the connection between red wine and heart protection. Pigments located in the skin of the red grapes are responsible for this heart-friendly action. These dark colored pigments are now known to be antioxidants. Resveratrol, one of the anti-oxidants found in grape skin pigments and in the grape seeds (which are present during the process of fermentation), has been found to have many pro-cardiac functions.
Resveratrol is thought to act in several ways to prevent heart problems. First, it reduces the risk of damage to the lining of blood vessels---a damaged blood vessel is much more prone to attract bad cholesterol. When blood vessels fill with bad cholesterol, blood pressure increases. Moreover, a cholesterol plaque can break off and cause a heart attack or a stroke. Last, resveratrol also helps thin the blood. When the blood is thin, blood cells have less chances of clotting together, thus lowering the likelihood of a heart attack or a stroke.
Moderate consumption of red wine (1-2 glasses per day) has also been found to reduce the risk of heart disease. As white wine contains no dark colored grape pigments, regrettably it does not offer any heart protection. Red wine lovers, here’s to your health!