You know when your doctor tells you that drinking a glass of red wine while cooking dinner is good for you? In large part, it's due to the resveratrol. While the link between resveratrol in wine and heart health continues to be researched, there are some notable benefits. So if you are a red wine drinker, pour a glass of your favorite vino rosso and tune in.
What Is Resveratrol?
Without getting too scientific, resveratrol is a naturally occurring polyphenol. A commonly found compound in numerous plant-based foods, including grape skins, it is known for its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory content. The dark skins of grapes are a key component in the red winemaking process and therefore, red wine contains various levels of resveratrol. White wine, on the other hand, does not incorporate the skins during winemaking, so it does not contain notable levels of reservatol.
Benefits of Resveratrol
So how exactly do the antioxidants in your glass of cabernet sauvignon help your health? Potentially in more ways than one. Currently, the Mayo Clinic links resveratrol with lowering one's risk of heart attacks, preventing bad cholesterol, lowering risk of blood clotting, and preventing heart disease. While all that sounds pretty good, the jury is still out and more research is needed to confirm these benefits in humans.
Resveratrol Levels In Wine
Drinking your evening glass of red wine isn't exactly the same as popping a vitamin. The American Heart Association does not recommend starting to drink for the possible benefits of wine if you don't already. Instead, try finding those powerful polyphenols in a snack of table grapes, an apple, or a garden tomato.
If a glass of red wine is already integrated into your lifestyle, look for pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, or syrah, as these darker red and purple grapes have a higher concentration of resveratrol compared to other varieties. Note that even when drinking these styles, the actual levels of resveratrol are quite low. You would need to drink far too much to obtain the recommended one gram of resveratrol per day in order to experience the benefits. So think of your glass as a small contribution to your overall intake of resveratrol.
More Studies Needed
While resveratrol is thought to have numerous benefits in terms of heart health, much more research is needed to further understand the link between red wine and health. In the meantime, if you are a Pinot Noir fan, go ahead, sip on in moderation.