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What's So Good About a Good Red Wine?

If you're a lover of good red wines, then you already know how good it is for you

Red wines are ancient history, really. Grapes were being fermented in the earliest of times to produce strong drink at the table and elsewhere. However, it was with great excitement that the news began to spread around 1992: red wine could help you live longer.

Scientists had discovered a magic fountain - and it was called "resveratrol." This molecule, a naturally occurring substance, was given the credit for long-lived Europeans who continued to dine on an excess of fat-filled foods. They named it the "French Paradox," which explained why French men and women were reaching old age in general good health. The resveratrol in the red wines - and their abundant consumption rates - were behind this phenomenon.

Research has continued and just a few short years ago, other amazing benefits of resveratrol began to emerge. It seems this little compound works on keeping platelets from becoming "sticky," which can clog arteries. Not only that, it acts to thin the blood, which prevents clotting and the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Even better, red wines may reduce the incidence of cancer cell growth; namely breast, skin, prostate, and colon. There are indications, too, that it may be effect in the deceleration Alzheimer's.

Moderation remains the key, of course. Experts recommend one glass per day for women and two glasses for men. That's four ounces per glass, by the way. There are some individuals who should not consider taking up this delightful benefit. Those who are battling dependency or are suffering from liver disease, for instance. Many experts proclaim that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is better than consuming red wine. Exercise and eating a proper diet are key. But if you're already a red wine lover, why not indulge at the same time?

Not all red wines are created equal. If you're buying a bottle to consume right away, chances are it has been filtered for tannins and that means the reduction of large amounts of resveratrol. It is the tannins that make a fresh wine taste bitter. Red wines produced in climates that are generally wet and cold have more concentrations of resveratrol. Pesticides eliminate the molecule, so organics only. Muscadine, Pinot Noir, and Concord grapes top the list of resveratrol reservoirs, by the way. They are generally fermented with the vines, skins, and seeds of the grape, which leaves the greatest residue. That's why white wines have very few health benefits - they're processed minus those vital ingredients.

Grape juice (purple) and jellies have beneficial traces of resveratrol, but the best bet for health remains with a glass of red wine each day.

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