A glass of red wine and a box of chocolates
That title caught your attention, didn’t it? Who would have thought that “wooing supplies” are actually good for us?
You surely know that raw (emphasis on raw) chocolate is one of the most powerful, pro-health foods on the planet. Likewise, we are now learning that red wine confers amazing health benefits. Unfortunately, to get the true health benefits of this intoxicating beverage, we have to drink so much that we would blow out our livers (anti-health), but clever scientists have been working on a way to condense the health benefits down into a capsule. Not nearly as much fun to take but guaranteed to keep your liver functional.
Someone recently asked me what is all the hoopla about resveratrol, one of the active ingredients in red wine, so here is, in synopsis form, an overview of the science of red wine (not just resveratrol):
One of the polyphenols in red grapes promotes the release of nitric oxide (NO) into the extracellular space by normal human endothelial cells, which relaxes the smooth muscle cells and the dilation of blood vessels, reduces platelet aggregation, and increases blood flow to all body organs.
Red wine may enhance long term memory due to its influence on blood vessels (and increased blood flow) and increased neurotransmitters.
Because resveratrol is highly antioxidant, it blocks the damaging effects of glucose, keeps prostate cells from proliferating inappropriately, promotes heart health and DNA health protection, supports the immune system and liver function, improves physical and mental performance, keeps the skin healthy by helping to preserve the moisture content in the skin.
One of the things to look for when purchasing a resveratrol product is that you really want the whole food (grapes), not just a single ingredient. The pharmacist/herbalist at Eclectic Institute insists on freeze drying the whole plant and will not produce a “standardized extract” of any herb because he believes that there is a synergy between all the constituents of a plant, only some of which are studied adequately.
Red wine concentrate and raw chocolate may be two of the best anti-aging products in the world.
Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel. She can be reached at 472-4499.