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Ever since it was first discovered that red wine has certain health benefits, people are using this as an excuse for having a nice glass of wine without having to feel guilty about it. Of course, some have taken this the wrong way and overindulge in this alcoholic beverage, but most people are well aware that red wine can be good for the health only if consumed with moderation.

Red wine is rich in antioxidants, and one particular antioxidant called resveratrol is believed to be responsible for positive effects of red wine for human health.

“French paradox”

There has been much talk over the last years about the so-called French paradox. It has been found that even though their typical diet is rich in saturated fats, the French have surprisingly low rates of heart disease, which is why, it is called a paradox. After careful examination of lifestyle and dietary habits of French people, the scientists have come to conclusion that it is their widespread consumption of red wine in moderate amounts that protects their cardiovascular health and counteracts the negative effects of their not so healthy diet.

The science is well aware that alcohol, if taken in small amounts, does have certain health benefits, especially for the heart. However, it is likely that red wine’s positive effects on health come from more than just alcohol.

Resveratrol in red wine

The positive effects of alcohol are not significant enough to explain all the benefits of red wine for human health. After many a lengthy research, it was found that high levels of antioxidants in red wine are responsible for that. The big factor in this is most likely one particular antioxidant, called resveratrol.

Resveratrol seems to be preventing arterial blockage and thus many cardiovascular diseases. It is also believed to prevent certain types of cancer and also diabetes.

White wine has much less resveratrol than red wine, probably because grape skins are removed in the process of making white wine. Other foods that contain resveratrol include peanuts, red grape juice and blueberries. However, these foods do not contain enough resveratrol to assure benefits for the heart.

Resveratrol has been connected with longer life span. However, this has not been investigated enough so a definitive conclusion is yet to be made. In any case, resveratrol does promote good heart health, and reduces the risk of death by coronary disease.

Its effects are beneficial only through moderate consumption. However, opinions on what “moderate” exactly means can vary from person to person, so the scientists had to care of that too. It is established that, in order to benefit from positive effects of resveratrol in red one, women should drink no more than five ounces per day, and men no more than ten ounces of quality red wine per day.

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