In times of celebration, a wine toast may be just one of the most awaited part by many. Popping open the cork while the velvety oaked aroma fills the air and flowing effervescent liquid comes out from the bottle gives excitement to everyone.
The bubbly wine usually used to commemorate joyous occasions in one’s life as it symbolizes royalty and reflects love. But aside from taking part in celebrations, wines have other importance that is beneficial to life.
The wine has undergone intensive studies over the years and it has been proven to be an effective elixir. Who says a man needs a fountain of youth to live a long life? Pour yourself a glass of wine and bottle up some knowledge to find out the surprising benefits.
1. Drinking Wine Supports Longevity of Life
Resveratrol is a polyphenol that can be found most especially in red wines. It is a powerful antioxidant that can be found in grape skin and red grape juice. Antioxidants help the body fight off free radicals that can damage our cells and organs.
Studies show that resveratrol promotes health and longevity by increasing the activity of a protein called sirtuins. Sirtuins are responsible in protecting the body against diseases of aging. (1)
Several studies have suggested that alcohol consumption, particularly wines, have shown health benefits that lead to longer life spans. Nonetheless, these studies emphasize that positive benefits only come with moderate consumption.
Key Takeaway: If you want to protect your body against diseases of aging, consuming a moderate amount of wine gives positive health benefits that may lead to long life.
2. Drinking Wine Helps Keep Our Hearts Healthy
Since ancient times, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have become a known, life-threatening problem for the world.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), up to the present time, many people are still dying annually from CVD than from any other diseases and it has been the number 1 cause of mortality and morbidity all around the globe. (2)
Many researchers have shown that intake of polyphenols is associated with a reduced risk of CVD. Wines contain polyphenols which can be actively found in flavonoids that also has putative antioxidant properties.
These polyphenols once again are called resveratrol which may help protect the lining of the blood vessel in the heart. Consuming 1 to 2 drinks per day (4 to 8 ounces) may reduce the risk of CVDs.
Drinking wine may help in decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as bad cholesterol which may cause artery damage while increasing the body’s high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which also known as good cholesterol which may reduce the risk for heart disease. Moreover, wine prevents the formation of blood clots. (3)
Key Takeaway: Drinking 4 to 8 ounces of wine per day may lower the risk of having CVD because of the polyphenols that it contains.
3. Drinking Wine Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 Diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus) is a lifelong metabolic disorder that is characterized by the way your body metabolizes glucose (sugar). Sugar levels build up in your bloodstream because there’s no enough insulin that can regulate the movement of sugar into your cells. (4)
The number of people suffering from diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 and diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly up to the present time. According to American Diabetes Association (ADA), drinking red wine – or any moderate amount of alcoholic beverages can lower blood sugar up to 24 hours.
However, people with Type-2 Diabetes have typically been advised to reduce their alcohol consumption to have a better control of their blood glucose levels. Because of this, ADA recommends checking your blood sugar before you drink, while you drink and after you drink to make sure that it is on the safe level.
Do not drink on an empty stomach because it can lower glucose level even further.
Key Takeaway: Wine drinking can lower blood sugar up to 24 hours in moderate consumption.
4. Wine Has Been Found To Have Anticancer Effects
Cancer ranks the second leading cause of death in the world. Cancer developed from the transformation of normal cells into tumor cells that may be malignant or benign.
Wines contain antioxidants – a substance that may prevent cell damage. Anti-oxidants found in wine such as resveratrol, quercetin, catechin and gallic acid destroys cancer cells and improving the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy cancer treatments.
These antioxidants make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation and making normal tissue less sensitive. (5)
Do not underestimate the growing power of a bottle of red. Red grape, one of the basic ingredients in red wine, suppresses the activity of aromatase which can be an effective approach to preventing the development of breast cancer.
Also, a recent study shows that three or more glasses wine in a week can lower the chances of having abnormal colon growth that can lead to colon cancer.
Red wine could be a key to fighting prostate cancer too. Thanks to the grape compound called resveratrol that makes tumor cells more sensitive to treatment. Researchers have found that an average of four to seven glasses of wine per week gives only 52% chances to men of having prostate cancer than for those who do not drink.
Key Takeaway: Wine contains antioxidants which can help prevent cancer and improve the efficacy of cancer therapies.
5. The Nutrients In Wine Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
People growing always have the fear of losing all their precious memories. Some believe it is inevitable, however, there are literally hundreds of ways that one can prevent it. One of these methods is by drinking wine.
Dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental process that is gradually taking place during old age. Studies show that wine consumption can reduce the risk of having dementia which often leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a developing mental deterioration that can occur as one aged. Again, resveratrol found in wines help in keeping blood vessels open, so that essential supply of oxygen and glucose can move freely to the brain to keep it alive and working. (6)
Key Takeaway: Resveratrol which can be found on wine keeps the blood vessels free from blockages that can affect brain functions in retaining memories.
6. Drinking Wine Can Keep Depression At Bay
Depression has been common but serious disorder for some people because it can affect how you feel, think and handle everyday activities. This may sound contradicting, as most people know that alcohol consumption can worsen one’s depression or anxiety. In spite of that, drinking a glass of wine per week can turn into a depression-fighting depressant.
A seven-year study conducted by PREDIMED analyzed 5,500 individuals of light to moderate drinkers and found that individuals who drank two to seven glasses of wine in a week were less prone to depression than non-drinkers.
Again, this is about drinking in moderation because on the same study those who drank heavy alcoholic beverages were more prone to depression. (7)
Key Takeaway: Enjoying two to seven glasses of wine in a week may be your remedy for depression.
7. Drinking Wine Can Give You A Healthier Skin
High levels of antioxidants in wine, when applied directly to the skin can inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria and are beneficial in maintaining a healthy skin. Antioxidants rejuvenate the skin, increase skin elasticity and keep the skin bright and glowing.
In consuming wine as a drink, wine can stimulate blood circulation that can prevent wrinkle formation and skin aging. However, when one drinks in excess, it makes hormone flow lose its balance and may cause skin dehydration and aggravate chances of acne. (8)
Key Takeaway: Wine contains antioxidants and polyphenols that are essential to keep the skin healthy.
8. Drinking Wine Reduces The Risk Of Fatty Liver Disease
There are two types of fatty liver disease, one is an alcoholic liver disease (ALD) which is characterized by drinking lots of alcohol and the other is a non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) which cause is not clearly known but it has been associated with obesity. (9).
Nearly 12,000 individuals were studied and said to have NAFLD in the US and modest wine consumption has shown some benefit in reducing this disease. Drinkers who consume tolerable amounts of wine, as compared to those who do not drink at all, have reduced their risk to NAFLD in half.
Then again, modest beer or liquor drinkers have a greater probability of having NAFLD because alcohol is a known liver toxin. Antioxidants in wine help reduce damage in DNA cells, which could benefit damaged liver cells. (10)
Key Takeaway: Drinking of wine in moderation can benefit the liver cells that can prevent the risk of having fatty liver disease.
9. Drinking Wine Can Help Prevent Obesity
There is a difference between overweight and obesity. Overweight refers to an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat and water. Obesity, on the other hand, refers to excessive amounts of body fat.
Based on Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, at least 2.8 million people in the world die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. (11)
Wine, specifically white wine, contains the antioxidant called epicatechin, quercetin, and resveratrol. These antioxidants can lower levels of cholesterol and may also support weight loss by burning belly fats and by decreasing inflammation commonly associated with obesity. (12)
Key Takeaway: White wine promotes weight loss by burning belly fat and by decreasing anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Wine Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Stroke
Stroke occur when the blood supply to the brain has been blocked which is called the ischemic type of stroke or blood vessels within the brain burst which is called the hemorrhagic type of stroke. These two types of stroke are sometimes not fatal but prevention has always been better than cure.
Alcohol is well-established as one of the causes of stroke, on the other hand, wine has been linked to stroke prevention because of its unique chemical composition. Resveratrol in red wine decreases inflammation that can contribute to brain injury caused by stroke.
Moreover, resveratrol in wine fights free radicals that are produced before, during and after stroke. These free radicals are harmful because they damage cells in the blood vessel and making the brain prone from bleeding and blockage.
The chemical reaction of resveratrol promotes the process called neuroprotection, which protects the nerves and surrounding blood vessel from damage. (13)
Key Takeaway: Wine decreases inflammation that can cause blockage in the nerves which may lead to stroke.
11. Drinking Wine Helps Boost Your Body’s Defenses
Daily consumption of wine can boost immune system according to researchers. Ethanol, the chemical component of alcoholic beverages and wine as well helps boost the potency of vaccinations. (14)
Drinking wine in moderation can help develop immunity that can fight against 200 viruses. Wine contains high levels of antioxidants in the form of flavonoids which can combat strongly against viruses. (15)
As a proof, red wine can help cure the symptoms of flu and cold. The polyphenol resveratrol can prevent viruses from multiplying once they have entered the body’s system.
Key Takeaway: Daily consumption of wine helps boost the immune system as it contains a high level of antioxidants which fight against viruses.
12. Drinking Wine Strengthens The Bones
Past researchers have associated moderate wine drinking with improved bone density. As human age, bones are becoming thinner and weaker. New studies show that drinking wine in moderation may help reduce the risk of having osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is most common to women after they have reached the menopausal stage. Osteoporosis makes the bone brittle and more fragile with an increased susceptibility to bone fracture. (16)
One or two glasses of wine per day can protect women from thinning bones. It appears that modest consumption of wine bridges the imbalance between the dissolving old bone and poor production of new bone that can lead to osteoporosis in older women. (17)
Key Takeaway: Osteoporosis can be lessened through modest consumption of wine in older women
13. Wine Can Protect Our Teeth Against Dental Plaque
Wine may help prevent dental caries by inhibiting the growth of certain bacteria found in oral biofilm according to researches done by American Chemical Society. Wine can slow down the growth of bacteria that can cause cavities. (18)
Polyphenols, wine, and grape seed extract can slow down the growth of bacteria responsible for the formation of plaque and tooth decay. Though red wine can help reduce these bacteria optimal oral health still results from daily dental hygiene.
Brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist are still the best recommendations, but including wine into your diet can increase your defenses against dozens of possible teeth and gum diseases.
Key Takeaway: Wine can inhibit the growth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Nonetheless, daily dental hygiene routine is still the best way to protect our teeth from decaying.
14. Drinking Wine Can Improve Our Eyesights
Ophthalmologist, Milind Pande, from Vision Surgery, says that the resveratrol which can be found in wine may be beneficial to the eyes. Resveratrol prevents age-related deteriorations of eye muscles. One of these age-related deteriorations of eye muscles is called Macular Degeneration.
Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss and is considered as incurable eye disease. This is the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, which is called the macula, which records the images we see.
The macula is the one responsible for your ability to read, recognize, and see objects in fine details. Resveratrol which can be found in wine and grapes prevent the growth of blood vessel in the eyes that can lead to macular degeneration. (19)
Key Takeaway: Wine can prevent age-related deteriorations of eye muscles. So, say goodbye to carrots and drink up your wine for better eye health.
15. Wine Can Help Prevent Gallstones
The gallbladder is an organ located under the liver. It stores bile which is responsible for our body’s fat digestion. Although, gallbladder itself is not important and formation of gallstones may not actually be a problem. At times when gallstone is pushed out of the gallbladder, there’s a tendency that it might get stuck in the bile duct which can cause you a lot of pain.Gallstones are hard and have the same appearance as pebbles. (20)
Researchers have suggested moderate consumption of wine prevent the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder after they have studied the dietary habits of 25, 639 patients for over 10 years, during which time 267 patients developed gallstones. Successful research showed that patients who consumed 175ml of wine per day decrease the chance of developing gallstones by thirty-two percent. (21)
Key Takeaway: To avoid future complications caused by gallstones, it is advised to consume 175ml of wine per day to decrease the chance of developing gallstones.
6 Delicious Recipes
Thinking about winemaking, most likely you’ll immediately think that it’s going to be a tedious procedure because of wine, as we all know, has to undergone fermentation to achieve excellent quality.
Well, in fact, you don’t have to be a master vintner or have expensive equipment to make wine. Making homemade wine from all-natural ingredients like fruits is manageable, enjoyable and worth every sip.
One can also add wine in their dishes to add a unique and smooth taste in their food. This method has been done by top level chefs around the world to impress their customers. So, let the fermenting and cooking begin!
1. Elegant Strawberry Wine
Strawberries are rich in fiber, folic acid, potassium and it is said to be a good source of Vitamin C. With strawberries as your base fruit have you foreseen how healthy is your wine can be?
- 3 kilograms of whole washed clean strawberries
- 23 liters of hot water
- 1 whole lemon juice
- 2.2 kilograms of organic sugar
- Crush strawberries in a large ceramic Jar.
- Pour in the hot water and then pour in the lemon juice and mix thoroughly for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Cover the jar with a very clean fine cloth and let it sit in a dark and cool place. Stir every single day for about a week.
- After the first week, strain the strawberry liquid into a clean bow. Use two layers of cheesecloth for straining. Throw away the leftover pulp.
- Mix the strained strawberry liquid with the organic sugar and stir, pour the mixture into another clean ceramic jar and leave it be for another week, remember to stir daily again.
- After week two, transfer the strawberry liquid into glass bottles and lightly cork.
- Store in a dark and cool place for three months to turn into wine.
- When you notice that the wine is already clear and no more bubbles are showing, transfer the wine into multiple wine bottles, Seal with a cork and let it ferment for at least a year before consuming.
- After the long wait, serve it to your friends and families to impress them with your amazing wine brewing skills.
2. Amazing Cherry Wine
Cherry is a shiny red or purple tiny fruit packed with health-benefiting nutrients and antioxidants.
- 3 kgs. of clean washed cherries
- 4 liters of drinking water
- 2 kgs. of organic white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of brewing yeast
- Clean the cherries with running water thoroughly, make sure to remove the stems.
- Pour boiled water onto it and put them under a wine press for five to six days.
- Pass the cherry juice through a cheesecloth to remove the pulp. Add yeast and sugar to begin with the fermentation process. Add a bit of lemon juice if you want.
- Set the jug in a dry and warm place during the fermentation.
- The process is done after fermenting for several weeks. Shake the jar and let it ferment for another four or five months to finish making the wine..
- Transfer the wine into separate wine bottles let them ferment for as much as you prefer.
- Other from plainly drinking the wine you made, you can also add it to any dish that you cook. The wine would add a unique taste to your dish!
3. Braised Chicken with Red Wine
Having a romantic French dinner? Sauvignon Blanc adds zip to the lemon-and-caper-infused liquid.
8 pcs of chicken thighs
All-purpose flour for breading
2 tbsp. of butter, unsalted
2 tbsp. of olive oil
4 large garlic cloves,peeled and crushed
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of Sauvignon Blanc
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, preferably homemade
Four pieces of lemon zests
4 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon of drained capers
1 piece of bay leaf twig
1 cup of red wine
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dust the chicken with flour and season with salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter and oil together in a large ovenproof skillet.
- Fry the chicken with the skin-side down, and let it cook over medium-high heat. Cooked both sides for about 12-14 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
- Place the chicken into a large platter, leave about a tablespoon of oil in the skillet.
- Place the garlics into the skillet and saute over medium-low heat until it becomes softened, this would usually take about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the red wine and let it boil over high heat. Let it boil until about half of the mixture has evaporated.
- Combine the lemon zest, the stock, capers, thyme, and bay leaf and boil.
- Replace the chicken skin-side up to the pan.
- For about 50 minutes, braise the skillet in your oven, do this until the meat becomes tender.
- Replace the skillet to your stove and boil for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly lessened.
- Remove unwanted seasoning remains if you want. Serve and enjoy!
4. Red Wine Pork Tenderloin
Try this very easy to fix, and very rich tasting pork dish.
- A kilogram of pork tenderloin
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1/2 tps. of table salt
- 1/2 tps. of ground black pepper
- 1/2 tps. of powdered garlic
- 2 cups of red wine
- A packet of ready made gravy mix
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place pork in a large baking dish, and season the meat with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place onions and celeries on top of the meat, then pour wine all over it.
- Bake the pork tenderloin for 45 minutes.
- After baking, remove the pork tenderloin from the large baking dish, and transfer to a large platter. In the baking dish, mix the gravy mix , wine and cooking juices. Stir the mixture until it thickens. Slice the pork tenderloin into desired sizes and cover with gravy.
- Serve and enjoy! I recommend that you eat it with baked potatoes.
5. Shrimp Linguini With White Wine
This shrimp linguini is so easy to make, can be done in minutes, and absolutely delicious!
- 8 oz of linguine pasta
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 6 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of broth from chicken
- 60 mL of white wine
- 1 juice from squeezed lemon
- 1/2 tsp. of lemon zest
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound of fresh shrimp, peeled
- 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
- 3 tsp of parsley, fresh and chopped
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
- Pour water in a large pot, then lightly sprinkle it with salt. Transfer the pot to a stove and let it boil.
- Cook the linguine in the pot until al dente or for about 10-14 minutes.
- Preheat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and sauté the garlic for about a minute.
- Combine the wine, chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper, and salt.
- Lower the flames, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until half of the liquid has evaporated.
- Throw in butter, shrimp, basil, and parsley into the saucepan. Cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, until the shrimp turns opaque.
- Add in the al dente linguine, and mix to well coat the with the sauce. Cook it for about 2 more minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
6. Cheesecake with Wine Jellies
This cheesecake infused with wine is a unique and new kind of wine-and-cheese-pairing.
- 3 tbsp of melted unsalted butter
- 7 pieces of graham crackers
- 1/2 cup of organic sugar
- 1 tablespoon of organic sugar
- 1 medium to large egg
- 1 medium egg yolk
- ¼ tsp of salt
- 10 ½ oz log of softened fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 cup of crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp or 5 oz of crème fraîche
- 1 pack of unflavoured gelatine
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chilled drinking water
- 3 tbsp of orange Muscat
- 3 tbsp of rosé
- 3 tbsp of Pinot Noir
- 3 tbsp of tawny port
- 4 tsp of white sugar
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a parchment paper on a baking sheet. Create four pieces of 3-inch circles with a shirt cardboard.
- Spread butter on the insides of the four 3-inch circles and 2 ½ inch in depth ring molds.
- Using a food processor, grind the melted butter with the graham crackers, add a tablespoon of the sugar.
- Place the molds on the baking sheet that you have lined with parchment paper, then place the cardboard rounds on each mold’s bottom. Trim the cardboard to make it perfectly fit.
- Distribute the crushed graham crackers with butter on each mold, and then firmly press them to compact. Bake it for about 10 to 12 minutes, and set aside to cool.
- While waiting, using a bowl, and a handheld mixer, beat the egg yolk, egg, salt and the remaining half cup of sugar at medium-low speed for about 2 minutes or until it becomes pale and fluffy
- Include the goat cheese and continue to beat to make it smooth. Add in the in the crème fraîche, fold gently. After doing so, transfer the mixture into the graham molds and smooth out the top.
- Bake until the cheesecakes are set or for about 25 minutes, prevent it from browning. Set aside the cheesecake for 10 minutes to let it cool, and then refrigerate for at least an hour, or until it it chilled.
- Boil a cup of water then dip a sharp knife into it. When the knife heats up, remove it and dry it immediately. Gently pass the blade around the each cheesecake edges. Carefully press the cardboard bottoms of each mold to get the cheesecake out of the molds, replace the removed cheesecakes into another baking sheet.
- Cut four strips of parchment paper tha are long and high enough to cover the edges of the cheesecakes. Wrap each cheesecake with the parchment paper strips to help them keep their shapes. Make sure to secure it with a tape.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine cold water and the gelatin powder and gently combine by stirring. Microwave the gelatin at medium power until the gelatin full melts or for about 20 seconds.
- In separate ramekins, Pour the 4 different types of wine. Include 2 tsp of the white sugar to the rosé; and also to the Pinot Noir, microwave the ramekins for about 18-20 seconds. After microwaving stir gently to fully dissolve the sugar.
- Pour 1 tsp of the previously melted gelatin into each of the 4 wine ramekins. Set the wines aside and let cool completely. Each ramekin of wine jellies gets poured on one of the cheesecakes you made. Refrigerate it for about 20 minutes or until chilled and set.
- Gently remove the parchment molds from each cheesecake and serve!
Wrapping It Up
Wines have been many things to us over the years. The wine has undergone numerous studies which have found various connections between improving the quality of life and its consumption. In the ancient times, due to the scarcity of water, the wine has become an essential need in life rather than a luxury, so it came to symbolize sustenance and life.
Even in the earliest of times, wine has proven its worth when it comes to sustaining life. Up to now, there are still on-going researches on why wine is considered as one of the most powerful elixirs known to man.
However, anything in excess is bad for one’s life. The first thing to realize is that the dose matters. Many studies give the results in glasses per day or week. Anyhow, saving the drinks up during the week to binge over the weekend has been shown to be associated with zero health benefits and is in fact associated with the conditions linked to chronic, heavy alcohol abuse.
So pop up some bottle in your fridge! Savor every sip and feel the velvety texture of your wine as you drink. Wine a bit and just a little bit more. Yet, always remember to drink moderately.
Make the best everyday health choices – helping you find what’s good for you.
Article courtesy of Jen Miller