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.
Studies have shown that red wine intake can lower risks of many common eye health issues, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. Each of these conditions affects millions of people in the U.S. – 11 million people suffer from macular degeneration alone and that number is expected to double by 2050. A large-scale study from 2005 found that moderate wine drinkers reduced their incidence of developing any kind of cataracts by about 50 percent compared to non-drinkers. Again, it looks like resveratrol is the source of this benefit.
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