People have enjoyed drinking wine throughout recorded history. And modern science shows that drinking it in moderation strongly benefits your heart, your brain, your immunity, your stress levels, and even your lifespan.
Of course, many of these marvelous benefits derive from polyphenols—the powerful, healing compounds in the grapes used to make wine.
So, today, let’s examine the science on SIX polyphenols found in just one lovely glass of wine.
Then, I’ll tell you about which kind of wine contains the HIGHEST concentration.
(It may help you decide whether to serve red or white with dinner tonight!)
Let’s get started…
Unleash the “compounding” effects of grapes
The exact polyphenol content in wine varies tremendously from bottle to bottle.
It depends on things like the kind of grape used, the climate where the grapes were grown, and even the process used to make the wine.
Still, most red and white wines contain some levels of the following polyphenols:
Quercetin. This is one of the most abundant of all the polyphenols. It helps tame harmful, chronic inflammation—the root cause of most disease. And many studies show it specifically protects against lung disease and the buildup of plaque in arteries.
Anthocyanins. These plant pigments create the vibrant red, purple, and blue colors you find in plants, fruits, and vegetables. Like quercetin, anthocyanins also benefit the lining of your blood vessels and prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Procyanidins. You find these healthy tannins in particularly high concentrations in red wine. Research shows they help regulate the production of a peptide called endothelin-1, which constricts blood vessels and can lead to high blood pressure.
Ellagic acid. We don’t have a lot of research into this polyphenol’s effect on human health. But some studies suggest it plays a role in supporting liver health and regulating fat cells. Plus, experimental studies in mice show it may help regulate blood sugar, too.
Catechins. These naturally potent antioxidants prevent cell damage in humans. They’re most commonly found in tea. But they’re also present in red wine—and white wine, at lower doses.
Resveratrol. Resveratrol is perhaps the most studied and well-known of all the polyphenols found in wine. In fact, in lab studies, it appears to inhibit cancer cell growth and support the heart by preventing blood vessel damage and promoting healthy cholesterol levels.
Other research shows resveratrol regulates insulin, protecting against Type II diabetes. And it even seems to help slow the progression of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Of course, the doses of resveratrol used in some of these studies are greater than what’s found in one glass of wine. Meaning, to get those same impressive benefits, you’d need to drink much more wine per day than I would ever recommend…or that would even be possible.
Meanwhile, you DO get the full benefits of quercetin, anthocyanins, ellagic acid, procyanidins, and catechins in just one or two glasses of wine—which falls in line with my advice to drink in moderation.
Now, let’s move onto to the big, important question that may be on your mind…
Should you have red or white with dinner tonight?
If you’re picking your wine based entirely on polyphenol content, I’d absolutely say go with red!
Just one glass of red wine contains about 200 mg of total polyphenols. Whereas one glass of white contains about 30 mg.
(Darker wines, made from darker grapes with thicker skins, contain more beneficial compounds. That’s because the healthy compounds are concentrated in the skin.)
But remember—there are many benefits to drinking wine in addition to the polyphenols. In fact, both red and white wine contain prebiotics, which “feed” the healthy probiotic bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome.
Plus, drinking both red and white wine improves your circulation and reduces stress—the No. 1 hidden cause of heart disease.
Furthermore, many large studies show drinking ANY type of alcohol (not just red or white wine) can lower your disease risk and improve your longevity. So, don’t be afraid to mix it up and choose a nice pinot grigio when you’re having fish…or just feeling like something lighter.
In fact, you can learn much more about three SURPRISING health benefits of drinking both red or white wine in the May 2022 issue of Insiders’ Cures (“Raise your glass to wine’s three unexpected health benefits”). Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one!
In the end, if you enjoy drinking wine with dinner…relax and feel good about it. After all, you get SIX powerful, healing compounds in just ONE glass.