So, you work out when you can, try to eat a bit on the healthy side, focus your energy on positive thinking and then what? Come home and have a nice relaxing glass of wine. Which works out perfectly, as more and more studies have started to realize the health benefits of moderate amounts of wine. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean completely cutting out your favorite treats.
However, recent research has realized that those health benefits of wine could be even more beneficial in non-alcoholic wine. Turns out, non-alcoholic wine has quite a few health benefits which will leave your body feeling better after every sip, perhaps even more so than alcoholic wine.. For pregnant and nursing mothers, non-alcoholic wine can be more than just a treat, but actually beneficial for health during the transition. Just what do these health benefits include? Let’s take a closer look.
In recent years, red wine has gained popularity as being a heart healthy choice, due to its resveratrol and high level of antioxidants, which help prevent coronary artery disease and lessen the risk of heart attack. Why red wine in particular? During the winemaking process, red wine keeps the skins of the grapes on, while white wine has the skins removed, resulting in lower antioxidant levels. While white wine does have some health benefits, red wine tends to be even more advantageous.
Even the Mayo Clinic has commented on the connection between red wine and its apparent coronary benefits. The magical beverage has been linked to decreasing the risk of heart disease, lowering cholesterol levels and even helping to reduce the chances of having a stroke. However for some, an issue arises when regular wine contains alcohol, which can have adverse effects on consumers.
Enter: non-alcoholic wine. WebMD cites a study conducted by the University of Barcelona which examined 67 men who had diabetes or three or more heart disease risk factors. These men were split into two groups: alcoholic wine consumers and non-alcoholic wine consumers. When these men drank regular red wine with alcohol, their blood pressure went down slightly. However, when they drank non-alcoholic red wine, their blood pressure levels went down enough to lower their risk of heart disease by 14%, and their risk of stroke by as much as 20%.
Why is this? Research finds that though wine—particularly red wine—does have health benefits, the alcohol in it may counteract these to some extent. Red wine contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants protect the body from harmful molecules called free radicals, which factor into the development of blood vessel disease, cancer and other heart conditions. These types of polyphenols include:
- Gallic acid
- Caftaric acid
- Caffeic acid
- P-coumaric acid
The two types of wine used in the Barcelona study had the same polyphenol levels for the men to consume. However, because of the lack of alcohol in the non-alcoholic wine, the polyphenols were better able to boost the men’s levels of nitric oxide, helping to lower their blood pressure and allow more blood to reach the heart and organs.
The New York Daily News cited researcher Ramon Estruch, MD, PhD, saying, “The non-alcoholic part of the wine—namely polyphenols—exert a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may be useful to prevent other diseases such as diabetes.”
Along with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, non-alcoholic wine also wins for less calories. Alcohol in general tends to be high in calories, but with non-alcoholic wine, you get that same great taste, without the fear of too many calories. For those of us trying to live a healthier lifestyle, this is a valuable component. In fact, non-alcoholic wine contains about three times less the calories than its alcoholic counterpart. So, not only does alcohol-free wine benefit your heart, but it can also benefit your waistline.
For women who are pregnant or nursing, non-alcoholic wine provides these incredible benefits to ensure the body’s heart-healthy transition without the caffeine or caloric intake. While wine in general contains health benefits, red wine in particular can provide significant results. Try a glass of non-alcoholic red wine in order to optimize your heart health potential.
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