RIO – It is not new that red wine is indicated by science as a protector of heart health. The greatest source of benefits comes from a compound that appears abundantly in nature, polyphenols. In plants it plays the role of protection against the sun, insects and microorganisms. In the human body, it works primarily to fight free radicals, the molecules that cause aging.
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The main polyphenol in wine is resveratrol, but there are others, such as tannins, flavonoids, quercetin, anthocyanins and ellagic acid, present in smaller quantities.
For some time, however, research has begun to identify effects that are barely imaginable, such as the prevention of pimples and the reduction of the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Some of these mechanisms are related to free radicals, others are not. But they all have polyphenols in common.
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Also, the alcohol itself helps to avoid overloading the arteries. According to a study conducted by researchers at Kingston General Hospital, Queen?
7;s University, Canada, and published in the scientific journal of the American Heart Association, polyphenols in wine relax the artery walls and prevent platelet aggregation, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. thrombosis and hypertension.
Moderate doses to ensure the effect
The benefits, however, are only identified with moderate doses of the drink. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this means a daily intake of 90ml for women and 180ml for men, one and two cups, respectively. The difference in quantity is due to the fact that the female body absorbs the drink more quickly. This is because they produce smaller amounts of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which is released by the liver and used to break down alcohol.
– Wine also has an advantage over other beverages, as it is usually consumed with food, which reduces the risk of overuse – underlines Antonio Carlos do Nascimento, endocrinologist and writer of the book “Wine: health and longevity”.
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Doses higher than the WHO recommended volume can have the opposite effect on the body. Excessive consumption is linked to several health problems, such as liver cirrhosis, sexual impotence, hypertension and even cancer, as well as the risk of chemical addiction.
The wines with the highest amount of polyphenols are reds and it does not necessarily have to be expensive.
“The densest ones, such as those obtained from Tannat grapes, are the best for your health. Cheaper wine that does not age has more health benefits than expensive wines that are reserved for years and lose elements during this time, although they improve in flavor – the endocrinologist points out.
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Polyphenols are also found in whole grape juice, but in lower quantities than in red wine. The reason lies in the preparation of the drink: in the production of grape juice, the fruit is heated and macerated to release the juice, spending little time in contact with the peel, a region that concentrates the greatest amount of polyphenols. In the production of wine, the liquid that goes to fermentation includes the skins, increasing the contact time.
Anyone who has any kind of restriction on wine, it is worth replacing it with whole grape juice. Researchers from the FAPESP Food Research Center have developed a technique that increases the concentration of resveratrol in grapes, increasing the content of the substance in grape juice by up to 70%, which would make the benefits of the juice very similar to those of wine. .
Wine consumption is growing in Brazil
According to data from the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), wine consumption in Brazil grew by 18.4% in 2020. The country went from 360 million liters in 2019 to 430 million last year. , the largest increase among the countries associated with the entity, the largest in the industry.
In 2020, Brazilians drank an average of 2.6 liters of wine per year. In 2019, that number was 2 liters per year per person.
The increase in the country is associated with the social isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – the ease of buying wine online and longer time at home have favored this.
Worldwide, the United States leads consumption in absolute numbers, with 3.3 billion liters per year. Already leaders in per capita consumption are the unbeatable Portugal (51.9 liters per capita per year), Italy (46.6 liters) and France (46 liters).
The 10 main benefits of red wine
1. Help us fight Alzheimer’s
A glass of wine a day can reduce the risk of developing the disease, which is neurodegenerative.The drink leaves unique antioxidant compounds in our gut that can protect the brain’s neurons from damage.
2. Increase bone density
Red wine is rich in silicon, a mineral essential for the proper functioning of the human body that contributes to bone mineral density, helping to reduce the risk of developing diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Furthermore, it helps to stimulate the production of collagen, a substance with a natural rejuvenating power, acting with great potential in tissue regeneration.
3. Strengthens the immune system
Resveratrol increases the body’s ability to create anti-inflammatory molecules, which can lead to an improvement in the immune system. The antioxidant helps healthy gut bacteria thrive by stimulating the production of T cells and increasing the body’s immune response.
4. Helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Resveratrol improves sensitivity to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, with an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates in the blood. This helps the body lower sugar levels, preventing type 2 diabetes.
5. Reduces acne
Resveratrol is able to inhibit the growth of some bacteria that contribute to the appearance of pimples.
6. Refine your thinking
Drinking has been associated with improved cognitive function in both men and women, especially over the age of 50. It works in forming new memories, learning, vocabulary and emotions.
7. keep your heart strong
Drinking is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease: moderate consumption can reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease by up to 50%, for example. This is because polyphenols promote arterial vasodilation and decrease platelet aggregation, reducing the risk of hypertension.
8. Helps reduce bad cholesterol levels
The lipid profile of polyphenols reduces the chances of oxidation of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), which is the main cause of atherosclerosis. On the contrary, the substances present in wine increase the concentration of apolipoprotein, the main protein of HDL, the good cholesterol.
9. Reduces the risk of stroke
It acts as a natural blood thinner, helping to break down blood clots that can clog arteries and cause a stroke.
10. Promotes long life
The discovery came from studies that analyzed the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, based on the consumption of fresh and natural foods such as olive oil, fruit, vegetables and cereals. But at the center is the wine. Polyphenols activate a protein that acts as an anti-aging agent, which explains why people who have been following the diet for years tend to live longer, be happier and healthier.