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Red wine, when consumed in moderation, can have a great amount of health benefits. On average, a healthy intake of red wine is between one and two 5-ounce glasses on a daily basis. Red wine has higher content of polyphenol antioxidants than most other beverages with alcohol content which is proven to have added benefits linked to improved cardiovascular health, healthy levels of blood sugar and preventative measures for cancer.
Procyanidin is a polyphenol that has proven cardiovascular benefits. Preventing blood clots along with inflammation, while dilating blood vessels, ultimately, procyanidin promotes healthy and fluid blood flow. Being the strongest polyphenol for improving cardiovascular health, procyanidin is highest in the Tannat grape. This was the finding in a study conducted in 2006 and published in the journal, Nature. Researchers that conducted this study found that wines native of Sardinia, Italy and southwest regions of France to contain the highest amounts of procyanidin. Among the findings in their research, Madiran wines native to southwest France to contain the highest levels of procyanidin as they are made exclusively from these Tannat grapes.
Also a polyphenol, reveratrol has been known to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases and cancer while maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar. More than two decades ago, a professor emeritus from the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University conducted a study where over 100 different red wines were sampled. The samplings were conducted with wines from New York, California and other countries. It was determined that of the 100 wines sampled, Pinot Noir had a markedly higher content of resveratrol than other wines, not taking wine-making processes or geography of origin into account.
Anthocyanin, a third in this series of polyphenols, is what gives wine its native red color. The higher the content of anthocyanin, the darker red the color the wine becomes. Ideal conditions for increased polyphenol levels in grapes is in a humid climate as the polyphenols can then multiply with the aid of UV light. The Cornell University professor emeritus determined furthermore that wines native to New York including Merlot display markedly higher levels of resveratrol than other wine varieties. In addition, an enologist out of Washington State University determined that wines from regions much closer to the equator contained higher levels of anthocyanin as the climate nearer to the equator was supportive of the environment needed to produce higher levels of this particular polyphenol. Similarly, dry and tart wines such as Cabernet also contain a higher content of anthocyanin.
Overall, wines have always been known to promote a sense of better health, but only if the intake of wine is in moderation. As studies point out, red wines lead the pack in health benefits, particularly, cardiovascular health and cancer prevention. As the old axiom goes, “A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away…”