Does a Daily Glass of Red Keep the Doctor Away?
Over the centuries, red wine has evolved to become an important part of human culture, where it has been prized for its health benefits since medieval times.
Despite the high consumption of saturated fats adopted in the French diet, the French have surprisingly lower incidences of heart diseases compared to other nationalities– a phenomenon now coined as the “French Paradox”. This was subsequently established to be associated with the red wine consumption of French people.
Scientific research has now established that moderate consumption of red wine does provide health benefits especially in the protection against heart diseases. The antioxidants found in red wine are largely responsible for this protective effect. One way in which these antioxidants function is through the lowering of blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscle of blood vessels in the body, thereby reducing the resistance to blood flow.
In addition to that, antioxidants also prevent the accumulation of fatty deposits in blood vessels, thus reducing one’s risk of developing vessel blockage. The benefits of the antioxidant compounds in red wine is not limited to the heart; these compounds have also been claimed to reduce the occurrence of chronic inflammation.
With the established benefits of red wine, its consumption in moderation will certainly offer health advantages. The American Dietary Guidelines define moderation as having not more than one drink per day for ladies, and not more than two drinks per day for men – 1 drink is equivalent to 5 fluid ounces of red wine. Cheers to that!
Written by U Jean Tan
U Jean is a certified Pharmacist. She received her B.Pharm from Monash University.