Friday, April 23, 2010

Red, red wine makes you feel so fine -- and has health benefits, too

For wine lovers like us, the news for healthy foodies is generally very positive. Most studies point to the overall superiority of red wine over other alcoholic beverages in terms of enhancing our health.

The consensus seems to be that in moderation and as part of an overall healthy diet, red wine in particular is good for us.

To quote a summary from a "Today" show web posting:

"Thanks to its alcohol content and non-alcoholic phytochemicals (natural occuring plant compounds), wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and slow the progression of neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease."

Red wine has the added benefit of containing high concentrations of the powerful heart-protective antioxident resveratol. However, some experts point out that tests of the effects of resveratol have so far been conducted on animals, not humans, so we can't extrapolate too much from the results.

The other cautionary note has to do with moderation. More than one glass of red wine a day for women or two for men might be counter-productive. In other words, it's probably better to have none than to go over that amount. I personally think that's a bummer, since I'm going to want that second glass, doggone it. (But not a third, if that's any consolation.)

And of course, one of my healthy foodie rules to live by is "Minimize liquid calories," so that weight control is another reason to take it easy on wine consumption.

Forge your own path through the land of alcohol, and good luck!

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