OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Linita E. Mathew

    Women, And Wine

    It should come as no surprise that after a long day of countless hours of rigorous work, a woman enjoys soaking in the tub with both a glass of wine and good book in hand. But could this recuperation routine be more beneficial to women than a simple method of winding down? A fine glass of wine not only invokes our senses, but it also provides a sense of reward and relaxation. However, for centuries red wine has also been praised for its medicinal value in many different cultures. In fact, Greek physician Hippocrates advocated for its antiseptic properties and importance towards a healthy diet. Likewise, Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, has an astonishing high number of centenarian citizens. The Sardinians vow that their secret to longevity lies in their diet, which consists of the intake of wine and olive oil on a daily basis. Their regime includes drinking a glass of red wine at dinner accompanied by a 45-minute walk. Red wine aids in the digestion of fats, which helps keep them healthy and lean. Today’s research suggests that moderate wine consumption can be beneficial for maintaining heart health in women.

    So how does this work exactly? Well, unfortunately, the Pinot Grigio will have to step aside, as health benefits have mostly only been attributed to red wine. The only difference between red wine and white wine is the pigment of the skin, and the red skin seems to have all the good stuff! The skin found on red grapes and their seeds are packed with antioxidants known as flavonoids. These flavonoids are responsible for: reducing bad cholesterol, boosting good cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. One glass of red wine a day is said to reduce heart disease and heart attacks due to the scrubbing action of antioxidants. Specifically, the antioxidant resveratrol, prevalent in the skin of red grapes, may prevent tumor growth and promote the growth of nerve cells. Research suggests that the red pigment may have an anti-aging affect, help with tooth decay and improve mental agility.

    So white is out, red is in, does it matter which kind? Yes, the type of red you drink does make a difference! There are three main elements that shape the taste of your signature wine collection: the earth, the air and the climate. This is why wines from different regions carry a unique edge to them. Specific grape lineages will carry a higher flavonoid content than others based on the earth they grew from, while the air and climate shape the success of fermentation. The University of California found that Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir are the safest bet for highest flavonoid count. The rule of thumb to follow is that the dryer the wine, the better it will be for benefitting your health.

    Women should drink in moderation. How much exactly is in moderation? Women and men will both consume different ratios: “Women absorb alcohol more rapidly than men because of their lower body water content and different levels of stomach enzymes. Therefore, moderate wine consumption will be a lower amount for women than for men.” Women should consume one serving, approximately 4 oz. of red wine a day to gain the maximum antioxidant benefit. You do not want to exceed the suggested serving as three or more can elevate fat in the bloodstream. Likewise, drinking excessively can damage the organs and cells of the body and become quite hazardous to a person’s health. Always keep in mind, that the size, shape and body type of an individual may also shape the exact portion of a serving. Wine in this context is meant to be consumed for its medicinal value, not as an alcoholic beverage.

    I don’t drink, will grape juice do the trick? Grape juice shows antioxidative benefits, however it was unable to significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels as compared to red wine. If you do not consume alcohol, antioxidants can be found in a variety of other sources such as cocoa, blueberries, and green tea. Any food or drink that you consume will affect your body, so it is crucial to make healthy-conscious choices daily and combine it with moderate exercise in order to maintain a healthy feminine glow on the inside and outside.

    So ladies, when consumed in moderation, there may be good enough reason for you to enjoy your guilty pleasure a little more each night. It is important to continue reading current research and follow up with new findings that appear in the medical field each day. We all know how hard women work in their careers and personal lives, so always remember to find balance in the chaos through maintaining a proper diet, exercise routine and sound lifestyle. But most importantly, let your hair down, soak in the tub a little while longer, and remember that a girl needs to have at least a little bit of fun!

    What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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