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The Health Benefits Of Wine - by Fiona Muller

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glass of wine a day is not only a pleasant relaxing drink to end the day with but it could also be good for you. There have been many studies about the benefits of wine and health and they have in general concluded that red wine is something that can be seen as good for you.

In fact, in the early 1990s there was a programme broadcast on television called the French Paradox which started all the discussion about wine and the health benefits of it. This programme concluded that red wine consumed on a regular basis may decrease the chance of coronary heart disease.

This programme used the French as an example of a nation who despite their consumption of fats, rich foods and alcohol they have a lower rate of heart disease than their American equivalents. The programme although it did have some scientific research behind it was a very successful marketing vehicle for the wine industry and since its release has been a contentious issue that is rolled out by scientists time after time. In fact over the two decades since the programme was aired it has been proved that red wine and to a lesser extent white wine and beer do offer some health benefits when drunken in moderation. This is the key that is often forgotten by the public at large drinking huge quantities of wine is not good for you.

So what is it in the wine that makes it healthy? It is in fact the skins of the grapes that are the bit that provide this health giving compound. Grape skins contain a compound called Resvaratol. This is a phenolic compound and it is this that reduces bad cholesterol in the human body making it a good thing to have ingested. Red wine is better than white wine at this because grape skins are left for longer in the fermenting grape juice in the production of red wine . This compound is also an antioxidant. Everyone knows that antioxidants have cancer prevention properties. So all in all this adds up to a pretty strong reason to have a glass of red wine. It also adds up to a great piece of good press for the wine industry in general and gives us an excuse to have that glass of wine after a hard days work.

Of course all these health benefits are cancelled out if you drink too much wine. In fact binge drinking can lead to high blood pressure, liver damage and increased weight.

Fiona Muller has been writing for over 20 years. She is a qualified journalist and has worked in food and drink writing for the last few years. For more information visit Laithwaites.co.uk


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