Wine and Good Health: The Benefits of Wine

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Wine and good health...sounds like an oxymoron but this widely debated topic has many people on both sides of the coin. Some believe that a moderate amount of red wine can be good for us while others talk about the damages of drinking even small amounts of alcohol. As a neutral mediator weighing both sides of this debate it appears both are technically correct!

Red wine and heart disease

Grape skins give red wine its rich beautiful colour and are a source of antioxidants. Antioxidants occur naturally in foods and can protect our body's cells against damage. Cell damage can lead to common diseases such as heart disease and diabetes; therefore, following this logic, people make the claim that red wine can be good for us. Maybe. Animal studies have shown that the antioxidants in red wine may reduce blood vessel inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease, but excessive amounts of alcohol can increase your blood pressure leading to heart disease and stroke. Bottom line: red wine and other alcoholic beverages should not be used to prevent chronic disease like heart disease and cancer. But cooking with wine is a whole other story!

Cooking with wine

Studies have shown that the alcohol from wine actually burns off during the cooking process, depending on how long the dish is cooking for. For instance: while a dish simmering for 30 minutes will still contain about 35% of the alcohol, a dish simmering for 2.5 hours will only have 5% of the alcohol left, leaving behind the antioxidants. Win-win for everyone! Not sure what wine to use when? We stumbled upon this amazing chart from Today's Dietitian and think it does a great job of breaking down the confusion.

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