An important part of living a fulfilling, healthy life is about truly enjoying opportunities to indulge. Now, by in large, we tend *not* to think of these indulging moments as the pinnacle of our health - instead we say things like “I’m being so bad” or use words like “cheating.” But if we are seeking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, have no fear, wine can indeed fit into your healthy life style!
There are more than a few healthy reasons to sip a fine muscat (in moderation), so before your next happy hour, make sure you take note of the health benefits of wine:
Strong Immune System
Studies have reported evidence that those who drink wine moderately – no more than two glasses a day – have better immunity and resistance to infectious cold viruses than those who do not drink.
A new study examining the drinking, dietary, and medical habits of citizens from regions in Italy, Britain, and Belgium sought to clarify the already-documented link between alcohol consumption and prevalence of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood. By taking three disparate sets of people with vastly different eating and drinking habits, the researchers were able to show that moderate consumption of red wine seemed to increase the concentration of omega-3s. There was a marked increase of omega-3s regardless of the alcohol consumed – beer, wine, or other liquors – but wine had a greater overall effect, even accounting for alcohol potency. This means that something other than alcohol is contributing; scientists suspect the polyphenols in wine (especially red wine) are the main culprits.
Wine: The Fountain of Youth
A group of Harvard Medical School biologists recently discovered that a chemical in red wine might protect chromosomes from aging. Resveratrol is a minor ingredient in red wine, but it activates a protein called sirtuin that protects cells from its own DNA. That may sound strange, but inside every cell are huge spools of DNA, a tiny fraction of which are in use at any given time; the rest of the volatile DNA is kept under wraps by sirtuin. But when a chromosome experiences a double break in its DNA, sirtuin is dispatched to repair it – effectively leaving its original post of repressing a cell’s DNA. The freed DNA can wreak havoc on a cell, and scientists think this is when aging occurs. As it stands now, the levels of resveratrol in red wine may be too low to really affect sirtuin levels, but this does open the door to further research. In the mean time, drink up!
Sip Up to Stay Smart
A team of UCLA and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine researchers have shown that the polyphenols in red wine block the formation of proteins that build the plaques long-thought to destroy brain cells and promote senility and Alzheimer’s. Not only do they prevent the formation of new plaques; they reduce the toxicity of existing plaques, thus helping to prevent further cognitive degeneration. Researchers used polyphenols derived from grape seeds to block Aß40 and Aß42 (the offending proteins in question) from forming toxic plaque in mice nerve cells, representing the first visual confirmation of a long held theory about polyphenols and Alzheimer’s disease.
Grant Hill is a life-long competitive athlete, fitness enthusiast and fitness entrepreneur. Found of ROI Fitness and MyBootcamp. Presently, Grant feeds his competitive spirit competing as an endurance athlete in between keeping up with “his girs” his wife Kelly, two daughters – Leighton and Avery – and his boxer, Sierra.