As we endure the silence of city lockdown, we start to turn our attention to today’s new currency, one’s health and well-being. Many Filipinos have spent a good amount of time in learning how to cook at home. There is nothing quite more enjoyable than uncorking a bottle of wine to pair with your food.
Food helps wine, and wine helps food. Not only for flavor purposes, drinking wine has number of health benefits that help aid digestion. Wine and wellness has been a hot topic for sometime now. One can be enjoying a pan-fried filet of sea bass while sipping a glass of unoaked Chardonnay. The freshness and liveliness of the Chardonnay’s high acidity makes it ideal to inhibit the growth of any food-borne pathogens like salmonella, e-coli, and listeria.
A study was published in 2008 by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, help remove potentially harmful substances found in red meat, fried foods, and processed foods, which are released during digestion. Wine and food go hand in hand as having a full stomach will help alleviate the stress put on your liver. Without food, the alcohol will merely pass through the stomach causing the liver to work overtime and delay the breaking down of other foods that can lead to increased fat storage.
Low cases of heart disease death rates have been noticeable amongst the French people, particularly those residing in regions in the south west, despite having a diet known for rich and fatty foods such as Foie Gras, Magret de Canard, and an assortment of cheeses. This is known as the French Paradox and in the early 1990s Serge Renaud, a scientist from the University of Bordeaux, claimed that the low death rate was due to the high consumption of red wine. Further supported by studies of the Mediterranean diet with high in takes of omega-3 fats found in fish, antioxidant rich food, and a moderate in take of red wine lead to both better cardiovascular heath and decreased risk of cancer.
Red wine naturally contains polyphenols that are micronutrients packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah, and Pinot Noir are known to have high levels of Polyphenols that counteract the negative effects of oxidation during the digestion process. It is also known that Reservatrol, a powerful antioxidant is known to strengthen the outermost layer of our skin that keeps moisture and nutrients in while keeping bacteria and other irritants out. Drinking red wine while eating a fatty steak significantly lower the level of inflammation in the blood vessels. These anti-inflammatory properties have been believed to also reduce the risk of contracting the flu. Most people have put their attention to red wine when it comes to health benefits, primarily due to its polypenolic contents however they are not the only elements of wine that have benefits.
Many people have been known to end their day with a ritual night cap, the adult version of a warm glass of milk before bed. It may seem to be more of a luxurious habit to have a glass of wine before bed. A study, though, in 2006 published in the Journal of the Sciences of Food and Agriculture revealed that melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, was found in several wine grapes. Nebbiolo contained the most melatonin followed by grapes like Barbera and Cabernet Franc. It was best to consume wine three hours before going to bed however studies have shown that high in-take exceeding the levels of moderation, alcohol suppresses rapid eye movement sleep and is never recommended as a sleep aid.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) an average 150ml serving of dry table wine between 11%-14% alcohol by volume will contain about 120-130 calories. Wine, consumed in moderation, is know to have effects in helping weight maintenance. A daily diet that includes fish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, olive oil, while staying from high-fat diary and processed has been linked to better heart health and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Dry reds, whites, and sparkling wines are great low carb options. When drinking wine, best to eat protein and vegetables as carbs are turned into fat, alcohol slows down metabolism needed in breaking down carbs.
The most practical advise for wine lovers out there is to find a balance between food and alcohol, not only in the amount but as well as the quality. Not every calorie is the same and we need to make a more conscious effort on how we keep ourselves healthy with a proper balanced diet and consuming in moderation, that is key to unlocking all these health benefits. While wine may not have the benefits such as essential vitamins and minerals, it is still one of the best beverages you can consume with your meal and is the only drink that can elevate your meal to make you deliriously happy.