Does Wine Fit Into a Vegetarian Diet and Lifestyle

Ok, so you are sticking to a healthy vegetarian or vegan nutrition plan and working out regularly, but you don’t want to be “boxed” into any extreme diet lifestyle.  In fact, you would like to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or on the weekends.  You want to lead a healthy lifestyle, but does that mean you have to give up enjoying wine?  The answer is  – probably not.

Wine is much more than an alcoholic beverage, as it is vastly more complex than beer or spirits, in that it is never boiled, so its biologically active compounds are not destroyed or altered by heat.  Naturally fermented wine is still a living food.  You can find chemical-free, additive-free wines that retain their many nutrients, including B vitamins, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, organic sodium, iron and phosphorus.

Records dating back over 4000 years ago, refer to wine as both a food and medicine.

All good things in moderation, can contribute to good health, and that includes wine.  Drinking too much wine is counter-productive, and will have an ill effect on your health instead of a supportive one, so do consume wine in moderation always.

The Significant Health Benefits Of Wine

* U.C. Davis research on wine tannins, shows that a glass or two of wine per day may cut coronary heart disease risk by as much as 50%, by subtly decreasing blood clot formation, and considerably reducing stress.

* A study in the journal of Epidemiology, reveals that drinking 2-3 glasses of wine per day reduces death rates from ALL CAUSES by 30%.

* Wine boosts levels of good cholesterol (HDL), while at the same time preventing bad cholesterol (LDL).

* In moderation, it is a mild tranquilizer for the heart and blood pressure.

* Wine, like other fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles, aids digestion.

                                                   * Wine boosts circulation.

* Wine aids in pain relief.

* Wine reduces excess body acid production.

* Wine is superior to tranquilizers or drugs for nervous tension.

* Wine can aid in weight loss, because wine relaxes.  Studies show that people tend to eat less when they are relaxed.

* A newer study shows that drinking only 2-4 glasses of wine per month, can cut the risk of macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in people over 60) by over 20%.

* And yet another study conducted by the journal Epidemiology on wine antioxidants, shows that its polyphenols even help prevent hepatitis A virus replication.

* Wine is a more powerful anti-microbial against common bacteria, than some drugs.  It can for example, reduce the growth of some harmful stomach bacteria colonies within 20 minutes.

* To enjoy the benefits of aiding digestion, and helping to squash harmful stomach bacteria from wrecking havoc on your system, sip a glass of wine during your meal.

Why You Should Opt For Organic Wine

 Sadly the grapes which produce our wines, are one of the most heavily sprayed fruits in America.  Grape skins also have a notable affinity for fluoride, a highly toxic substance used in pesticides.  Wines made from organically grown grapes, are increasingly popular in both Europe and California.  Organic wine means that the wine is made from organically grown grapes that have not been treated with any sulfites, yeast, bentonite, egg whites, gasses (like N2 or CO2) in the process.  Added sulfites, rather than naturally-occurring sulfites, have been known to cause allergic reactions like congestion and stuffy nose for many people.

The Two Magical Components Of Wine

The 2 magical components of wine, that make it such a health tonic (in moderation) is Quercetin and Resveratrol.  Read more to learn what each of these components can do.

Quercetin – is an antioxidant flavonoid in red wine.  It also just may be one of the most powerful anticancer angents ever discovered.  Early results show that quercetin reverses tumor development by blocking the conversion of normal body cells into cancer cells.  Quercetin normalizes insulin release levels, which prevents some complications of diabetes like cataracts, neuropathy (nerve damage), diabetic retinopathy (blindness) and nephropathy (kidney damage).

Resveratrol – is a compound in red grape skins, that aids in keeping cholesterol levels healthy.  Resveratrol also seems to prevent blood platelet aggregation, keeping blood vessels open and flexible and reducing blood clotting in the arteries, which is usually narrowed by years of heavy fat consumption.

NOTE: Resveratrol has mild estrogenic effects, and may aggravate hormone dependent tumors.

Is White Wine As Beneficial As Red Wine?

Yes and no.  Both red and white wines reduce LDL oxidation, platelet formation and fat buildup in your arteries.  However, the benefits seem to be much more pronounced in red wine drinkers, which has been likened to the resveratrol in the skin of red grapes.

So it seems that wine DOES fit into a healthy diet and lifestyle, but again in MODERATION.  Excess alcohol leads to a marked increase in your risk of numerous health diseases.  2 glasses of wine per day seems to be the magic number for positive health benefits.

A Word of Caution For Menopausal Women

Your capacity for alcohol changes markedly as your hormones change, so you might best tolerate 1 glass of wine per day.

So enjoy that glass of organic, red wine and as always – Please Don’t Drink and Drive.

Bon Veggie Appetit!

Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews

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