Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Power of a Red

The skin contains over 400 health-promoting substances like tannins, phenols, flavonoids, bioflavonoids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols like quercetin, resveratrol, OPC's and catechins. They all work together to raise the level of HDL cholesterol "good", and lower the LDL cholesterol "bad".

Most of these act like antixodiants in the blood. Antioxidants reduce free radicals in the body which cause damage, help create conditions for disease and cause aging. Specifically they donate electrons to "unstable" molecules which are literally bouncing around in your blood putting small pits in your blood vessels and damaging healthy cells. This action alone gives your body opportunity to heal the damage. It is this 'damage' that we call the "signs of aging".

OPC'sOligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are some of the most abundant polyphenolic substances in the plant kingdom. Proanthocyanidins are an integral part of the human diet, found in high concentrations in fruits such as apple, pear, and grapes, and in chocolate, wine, and tea. Yes you just saw the excuse to eat chocolate now too!  OPCs are highly effective free radical neutralizers, reducing oxidative stress and damage that occurs in the body due to exposure to toxins and pollutants in the environment; 

  • OPCs have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them beneficial for people with arthritis and joint pain; They are a natural histamine inhibitor, and thus have enormous benefits for people suffering from allergies and asthma; They are known to promote healthy blood sugar levels, which offers benefits to those with diabetes, glucose intolerance, metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes; They promote optimal blood viscosity, thereby offering a reduced risk of blood clotting, stroke, heart attack and excessive bleeding.
Resveratrol is the king of the red wine health benefits. Also found in the skins of grapes, resveratrol is the antibody the grapes produce when they are fighting disease, fungii or injury. They repair cells, reduce inflation, and act as antioxidants in reversing the aging process. Where free radicals damage healthy cells, which is what causes aged skin, resveratrol not only combats the free radicals but repairs the damaged cells. The best way to absorb Resveratrol appears to be by direct absorption through the inside of the mouth. 

Tannins are what give wine its bitter, dry taste and are found in the skin and seeds of the grapes. They are proanthocyanidins (often referred to as OPC's). Tannins work like antioxidants and prevent hardening of the arteries, and inhibit the growth of plaque on your teeth. Winemakers often go to great lengths to reduce the number of tannins in wine. Press Wine, on the other hand, is extremely high in tannins because the winemakers do not deseed the grapes, but instead press and break the seeds during winemaking.

Quercetin is another pigment in red grapes. Also found in apples, green onions and green tea, quercetin works as an anti-inflammatory, an antihistamine and an antioxidant. 

Flavonoids and Bioflavonoids are really one in the same. Their purpose in plants is to create the blue and yellow pigments in flowers and leaves - but they do so much more. Research has shown them to have both anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-allergy abilities.

All together, these ingredients make up the health benefits of drinking wine. To enhance the healthiness of red wine add healthy meals void of hormones, steroids, antibiotics and toxins.   

Next time you pour that wonderful red to enjoy the health benefits pair it with a meal that is equally beneficial to your health.   Quality Gourmet Everyday

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