Five healthy reasons to have chocolate and wine this Valentine
On Valentine’s Day, there is nothing men and women love more than being pampered with gifts. A perfect Valentine would usually start out with a bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates delivered straight to the door. This would be usually followed up with a romantic dinner accompanied with a bottle of wine. To sum it all nicely, schedule in a full body massage to really bring it home.
Most people would usually feel guilty indulging in chocolates and wine, but not to worry, recent research shows that these indulgences may actually be good for your heart. We’ve all heard that there is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine from time to time. In fact it is actually good for you as long as it is done in moderation. Those who drink moderate amounts of wine seem to have a lower risk of heart disease amongst other health benefits. Both red and white wine contain resveratrol which is a very powerful compound that has been shown to regenerate the body all the way at the cellular level.
Resveratrol is a bioflavonoid antioxidant that can be found in certain foods and drinks, and are known to greatly minimize the effects of aging. Besides making you look and feel younger, resveratrol has also been shown to have many functions including:
Improving cardiovascular health
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, resveratrol prevents or slows down the stiffening of arteries. Usually our arteries stiffen with age, and this causes the blood pressure to rise leasing to hypertension. Resveratrol averts this by producing more nitric oxide which causes blood vessels to relax. It also improves blood circulation and offers protection against the formation of blood clots which are all risk factors for heart disease.
Ever wonder how the French people manage to eat all their amazing croissants and pastries and still stay so slim? One answer – Wine! A study conducted in 2016 involved feeding mice a high calorie, high fat diet and also giving them resveratrol supplements. At the end of the study, the body weight of the mice had decreased! Resveratrol ingestion activates a gene that has been believed to protect the body against the effects of obesity. However, I don’t suggest you eat a high calorie diet and drink bottles of wine every day as a way to stay slim. Rather adults should eat balanced diets, and drink moderate amount of wine; 4oz daily or every other day would help maintain healthier body weights.
Protects brain health and mental health
Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, resveratrol helps to protect brain cell damage. Nutrition Research Center at Northunbria University UK shows that resveratrol causes increased blood flow to the brain which improves brain functioning. It also interferes with the protein fragments that form plaques that cause Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, several studies have shown that drinking red wine can help slow down age related cognitive decline seen in dementia. Of course, it also has positive effects on mood and moderate intake helps alleviate stress and makes you feel good overall
May prevent cancer
One of the most striking health benefits of resveratrol its that it has anti-carcinogenic properties. Research conducted by the University of Seville in Spain shows that resveratrol blocks the multi step process of cancer formation and progression. Another research conducted in 2012 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that moderate consumption of red wine in particular reduces the chance of breast cancer in women. This was demonstrated among pre-menopausal women who were given 8oz of red wine nightly for a month. If this isn’t a good reason to drink more red wine, I don’t know what is.
May ease joint pain
There have been several studies to show that resveratrol may be used to prevent joint deterioration and inflammation. One study injected resveratrol into the knee joints of rabbits and they suffered less damage to their cartilage. I’m sure most people would much rather have a glass of wine than injections!
The bottom line is that resveratrol is a very powerful compound and as we can see it has so many health benefits. Of course, it is not only seen in wine, it can also be found in other food sources which include, but not limited to, dark berries, skin of red grapes, pistachios, some herbs and teas such as Itadori tea, raw cocoa which is used to make dark chocolates. But for the purpose of Valentines week, I would say go ahead and open up your box of dark chocolates and indulge in moderation. That’s right, go ahead and drink some wine and eat chocolates; it’s good for you!
Disclaimer: The medical information provided here is as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment
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