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It’s Christmas and You Should Think of Wine

21 December, 2020

, Christmas

The year 2020 has been a challenging one. The joke writes itself - January, February, Quarantine, and it’s December! Indeed, we are now preparing to celebrate the last festival of the year, even though we still are under the shadow of the pandemic. However, as we step into the New Year, there is hope. The first vaccine shot has already been given in the UK, and the general public vaccination drives will soon start in most of the countries, including India.

So, while we have been careful so far, we should not let the guard down, and keep up the vigil. Hopefully, in a few months, we may be able to move around a bit more comfortably, even though, we may still have to follow protocols to some extent. So, it’s a good mood to be in to prepare for the Christmas celebrations with family. And what’s Christmas, without a decked up tree, some lovely cakes and puddings, family lunches and dinners, church visits and masses, and of course, some wine.

Perhaps, it is time to pay a little more attention to that wine; you may be aware that the Mediterranean diet is the one that is being dubbed as the healthiest in the world. It includes a glass of wine also. So, wine is good and has its health benefits. But, of course, there are some issues as well. However, if we choose the right wine, and have it in the right quantity, then we get the best benefits out of it.

Red or White?

Typically, you get two types of wine, the Red and the White; as the name suggests, the Red wine is prepared from the red grapes, and white from the white ones. The process involved in making the two wines is different though. The Red wine is made by crushing and fermenting the grapes in oak barrels. The White wine is made by removing the skin and de-seeding the grapes and mixing it with yeast, in steel vats. 

The goodness and the health benefits of wine arise from a compound called polyphenols. This component helps in reducing risks of heart attacks. This component is found in the skin and seeds of the grapes. Hence, only those wines that are made with the skin and seeds intact, are good for your health. Hence, it means that Red wine is the one that can provide health benefits, or come with higher polyphenol levels. Also, wines that are called dry wines are better for health, and not the sweet ones. The sweet ones may have added sugar that is detrimental to health. Ideally, one should also look for those wines that have lesser alcohol content, 12.5% ABV or less. 

Health Benefits

The wine is rich in antioxidants, and we know how beneficial they are for our health. They prevent cellular inflammation and damage and hence can prevent and even protect from many diseases like cancer. Drinking Red wine can increase the antioxidant levels in your body. This has been proved through certain studies as well. Incidentally, drinking Red wine has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease.

The anti-inflammatory properties brought on by the antioxidants can also help reduce auto-immune disorders and heart disorders. This is being linked to a compound in wine called Resveratrol. It helps reduce blood pressure, as well as bad cholesterol and thus helps keep the heart-healthy. An occasional glass of wine can also put you in a good mood, and help with improved mental health. Some studies have also linked wine consumption to longevity, and this also points to the Mediterranean diet. Some studies have indicated that Red wine promotes the growth of good gut bacteria, thus helping with gut health.

The Downsides

Alcohol consumption is not good and it is easy to form habits and get addicted. Many families have been destroyed due to this addiction. Hence, one needs to be careful with its consumption. More so, for aged people with specific health conditions. Any form of alcohol, including wine can interact with certain medications and can prove to be dangerous. Hence, it is always advisable to be cautious, and also discuss your limits of consumption with your doctor. Red wine when taken occasionally, in moderate quantities, can be beneficial for health. Al the benefits of wine can also be obtained through certain diet plans as well. So, if you do not want to get into the habit, you could skip it totally as well. But, perhaps, it’s not a bad idea to raise a toast at Christmas for all that has gone by, and welcome the New Year ahead, with a glass of wine.

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