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Benefits Of Red Wine
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Benefits Of Red Wine

When I go to the doctor's office each year, I am handed a patient information form. Some of the questions include: Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you take illegal drugs? What medications are you taking? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, please list them below and tell how often and how much you take. Doctors need to know these answers so that when medications are prescribed, they can make sure additional side effects can be avoided.

Are there any other reasons why a doctor would ask me if I drink? I thought I heard or read somewhere that red wine had certain properties that were beneficial. Is that true? If so, can those same health benefits be obtained elsewhere since I do not drink and prefer not to start?

Red wine has alcohol, flavonoids, and an antioxidant named resveratrol, all of which are thought to be some of the health benefits of red wine. Alcohol has an anti-clotting effect. Flavonoids, also called bioflavonoids, are an antioxidant found in plants. They produce the bright, vibrant colors in plants, and may trigger production of certain enzymes with protect the heart by preventing clots and preventing life degenerating diseases. What is resveratrol do? For grapes, it is an antifungal. For us, prevents inflammation and clotting. The content of resveratrol in red wine depends on how long the skin of the red grapes are present during the fermentaion process.

Does red grape juice contain any of the benefits of red wine? Since the process of making grape juice does not involve fermenting and the grape skins are removed at the beginning of the process, grape juice is an insignificant source of resveratrol. Juice does have flavonoids. It goes with out saying that juice does not have alcohol. Like wine, juice is high in calories and, by itself, is not a good replacement if you want the health benefits of red wine.

Flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables. The highest concentrations are found in blueberries, cranberries, red beans, and blackberries. Some nuts, certain teas, yellow and red vegetables and fruit also contain flavonoids. While it is better to eat food that naturally contains flavonoids, there are supplements and skin creams that contain flavonoids.

Are there any other sources of resveratrol? Yes, there are. Resveratrol supplements are available as are vitamins that contain resveratrol. Some skin creams also have resveratrol. Also, peanuts contain an average of 73 µg compared to 160 µg in red wine. When considering resveratrol suppliments, it is important to note that there are side effects associated with this compound. These include joint and tendon pain and a blood thinner. Blood thinners should be avoided in the last trimester of pregnancy and before surgeries. Make sure you consult your doctor if you are considering suppliments with resveratrol.

There are other foods that have anti-clotting properties. Salicylate is an asprin-like compound with anti-clotting properties. Cinnamon, raisins, apricots, licorice, blueberries, prunes, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, ginger, oranges, vinegar, avocado, curry powder, broccoli, honey, cayenne pepper, rosemary, peppermint, and thyme all have salicylate.

Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acid are also anti-clotting. You can benefit from them by using sunflower oil, flax seed oil, canola oil, safflower oil, fresh basil, dried oregano and grape leaves in your diet

Vitamin E also acts as a blood-thinner. Vitamin E is present in vegetable oils, including safflower and sunflower oil, as well as wheat germ and brown rice.

Doctors hesitate to encourage people like me to start drinking wine because there are some health hazards with too much consumption. If you haven't started drinking or want to avoid drinking, there are many other food options available that are good for thinning blood, providing resveratrol and flavonoids. Eating foods in moderation is beneficial for our bodies. So help yourself to some fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs.


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