Does Wine Really Have Antioxidants?
We’ve all heard stories about the Fountain of Youth, a mythical fountain that grants young age or immortality to whoever drinks from it. Though many, many people have looked for it, the Fountain of Youth will likely remain a myth. However, throughout the years, there are always stories of people living to extraordinary ages, and at the heart of many of their stories sits...wine?
In fact, the idea that wine can help you live a long, healthy life has been around for decades! This idea has permeated many corners of the globe and has led to a significant amount of research into the health benefits of wine. Even though we don’t know everything about wine yet, we’re starting to figure out one thing; antioxidants.
There are a significant number of foods and drinks that are rich in antioxidants, and wine is among them. Many people have begun to credit wine antioxidants for some of the possible health benefits of drinking vino, though we’re still not sure the full extent of what wine can do.
Keep reading to dive into the world of wine and antioxidants!
What Are Antioxidants Anyway?
We hear the word antioxidant pretty often nowadays, but what are they really?
Antioxidants are compounds found in foods, beverages, and the human body, that fight against cellular damage. They do this by fighting free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can hurt your cells, and bringing balance to your body. You’ve probably already heard of some antioxidants! Vitamins A, C, and E are all considered antioxidants.
Put simply: antioxidants are our friends! They help us protect our bodies from harm and potentially help us live longer healthier lives.
So, what does this have to do with your nightly glass of wine?
The Story On Wine
First of all, we should clarify a crucial point, and if you’re drinking a Chardonnay, you might want to set it down. When we’re talking about wine antioxidants, we are only talking about red wine (sorry white wine lovers).
Though you might find traces of antioxidants in some white wines, they are primarily found in red wines, and that is where research has been focused!
You should also know that most stories about red wine and long life aren’t giving you the full picture. For instance, researchers began studying wine consumption only after noticing that French people tended to have lower rates of heart disease, attributing their lowered risk of illness to drinking wine. After researching for some time, they discovered many other factors contributing to this perceived heart health, including a Mediterranean diet.
Unfortunately, if you’re expecting to find out that wine is a super-drink that can cure any disease, we’re sorry we have to burst your bubble.
With that out of the way, let’s start exploring the antioxidants you can find in red wine. Based on the research that has been done thus far, there are three red wine antioxidants that appear to be the most effective; resveratrol, anthocyanins, and catechins. While these names may seem ultra scientific, studies have shown that these three compounds are responsible for the best red wine benefits. Let’s dive into how the antioxidants in red wine work.
Resveratrol could arguably be considered the most important antioxidant in red wine, and it can have an impact on a few specific areas of the body. Some studies have shown that resveratrol can play a role in heart health, possibly by reducing blood clotting, expanding blood vessels, and helping the body fight against disease. There is also evidence that resveratrol can reduce bad cholesterol!
Another antioxidant red wine drinkers should know about is Anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a pigment that gives color to many foods, including red grapes! Every time you’re drinking red wine, you have Anthocyanin to thank for the deep, rich red color.
As an antioxidant, research suggests that Anthocyanin is antimicrobial, can help with visual and neurological health, and may aid in preventing a number of diseases!
The final antioxidant on our list is Catechin, a compound also found in many teas. It has been shown to have many possible health benefits!
Considering these three major antioxidants found in red wine, the list of possible red wine benefits is pretty long. However, just because they are present in wine doesn’t necessarily mean they will benefit you.
This brings us to the million-dollar question:
Is Wine Good For You?
Though you might be a little surprised to hear it, drinking a glass of wine daily could actually be good for you! We don’t have all the information yet, but the early results of testing and research are promising. The benefits of drinking wine will be a topic of discussion for years to come, but at the moment, moderate amounts of red wine seem to be relatively healthy and beneficial to your diet.
That being said, drinking wine is not the only way to add antioxidants to your diet, and most experts wouldn’t recommend picking up drinking for the health benefits. If you already enjoy wine, however, moderate drinkers can consume 1-2 glasses of wine a day.
Wine Insiders: Your New Home for Vino
Here at Wine Insiders, we love everything about vino, and we want to share that love with you! Check out our fantastic collection of wine which features tons of different varietals from all over the world.
You can also learn more about wine through our blog, which includes everything from growing regions to wine pouring techniques. Become the wine expert you’ve always wanted to be, and have the wine collection to match, all with the help of Wine Insiders.