The use of wine as a pharmaceutical dates back more than 3,000 years B.C. In some parts of the world, wine was used as a disinfect, to quiet fevers, as well as a diuretic, and even thought to provide some measure of a nutritional balance. It was oftentimes thought to be safer to drink than water, as many of the pathogens that plague humans are destroyed by the acid and alcohol in wine. While there are many health benefits of red wine, it does not mean that if you do not drink alcohol that you should run out and stock up on wine, and start drinking. For those who consume wine, especially red wine, it is good to have an insight and overview of what you are consuming.
It is widely recognized that the anti-oxidants in red wine, and not the alcohol itself that provide various health benefits. Resveratrol is plant-derived, natural, and a very unique and powerful anti-oxidant that is in red wine, that helps fight free radicals. It is one of the main anti-oxidants that is in red wine. Resveratrol, has shown to help prevent blood clots and inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and other maladies. Research suggests that resveratrol helps to reduce the possibility of prostate cancer by half, even the more aggressive form by more than half. The antioxidant has also shown to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and even dementia. Those who drink red wine may have fewer colds, have reduced levels of LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, as well as a reduced risk for some forms of cancer. It cannot be stressed enough that moderation is the key, and very important, as consuming alcohol beyond the point of moderation will have the opposite effect, creating an intoxication effect, as well as creating a toxic environment resulting in cellular damage.
It has been shown that the immune system is not suppressed by red wine, that normal levels of immunity are maintained, unlike other alcoholic drinks. In some test studies, resveratrol has been shown to help fight certain bacteria known to cause ulcer infections. Red wine that is sweet typically has lower levels of polyphenols, or anti-oxidants, so the dryer the wine, the higher the anti-oxidant content, thus increasing the health benefit.
It is a matter of choice, but there are a few favorites that many prefer for health benefits. One of the more readily available and common red wines is Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a full-bodied red wine. One of the more popular red wines is Merlot, has a gourmet flare, with a rich flavor. Pinot Noir is also a full-bodied favorite with subtle flavors of mint, cinnamon, black cherry, as well as other delicate flavors. Merlot also has a healthy content of flavonoids. The Zinfandel varieties are smooth, subtle, with a very light flavor, and offer heart health benefits as well.
Though drinking red wine may have a calming effect, thereby reducing stress, it should be noted that there are circumstances where consumption of alcohol should be avoided completely. Always consult a medical professional before the start of alcohol consumption as a health regimen.