Hippocrates was likely the first to tout the health benefits of alcohol, and numerous modern studies have since won over members of the medical community that now endorse moderate drinking. The drink of choice among health professionals is red wine - up to two glasses a night for men. Thanks to its abundance of phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help improve cell signaling and antioxidant activity, red wine has many positive effects including fighting inflammation throughout the body.
"Red wine has about five times more phytonutrients than white wine,"says Jo Robinson, investigative journalist and author of Eating on the Wild Side, which comes out in paperback in May. Phytonutrients are in the skins of the grapes and since the skins are removed immediately for white wine, red is the superior choice. Robinson says phytonutrient levels are easily gauged by holding your glass up to a light. The less light that comes through, the better. The list of healthiest red wines includes Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. So pour yourself a glass and read on about its benefits.
Several studies have come out touting the power of resveratrol in fighting various types of cancer in many different stages. Research from University of Leicester found that resveratrol intake equal to two glasses of red wine cut the rate of bowel tumors in half in laboratory models. "One of the reasons it helps prevent cancer is it reduces damage to DNA, which is the beginning of cancer," says Robinson. However, alcohol consumption has also been shown to increase the occurrence of certain cancers. This conundrum has prompted researchers to try and find alternative ways to take in resveratrol, such as eating fresh currants or grapes.
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