If you spend some time scrolling through the pages of the Xtrawine blog, you will see that we’ve written several articles about the health benefits of drinking Italian wine.
Your wine is not simply a tasty beverage.
Studies have shown that the high concentration of antioxidants that wine contains can help reduce the risk of a number of ailments, particularly those related to the heart.
Of course, it’s important to make the point that this is only the case when wine is consumed in moderation. But as long as you’re drinking wine as you should be, it offers a range of health benefits.
But that’s not all.
Many do not know that Italian wine can also help to slow down the ageing process.
In this article, we explain why that is and discuss how much wine you should drink to feel its more positive effects.
Italian Wine and Anti-Ageing
Earlier, we mentioned that the antioxidants in Italian wine play a key role in the health benefits that it has to offer.
Those same antioxidants also contribute to wine’s anti-ageing attributes.
Before we dig into that topic, it’s important to understand what antioxidants are.
An antioxidant is a compound, typically found in plants, that has a range of beneficial effects on the human body. Key among these effects is the compound’s ability to soak up something called free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable atoms that develop in the body constantly. They’re responsible for damaging cells and causing a range of health conditions. Many also point to free radicals as being responsible for the ageing process, as the damage they cause can lead to the signs of ageing. For example, free radicals may destroy skin cells, leading to the formation of wrinkles.
And that brings us back to antioxidants.
You can think of them as sponges. They act to soak up any free radicals they come across, preventing them from causing damage. Unfortunately, the body produces a limited quantity of antioxidants naturally, which means you need to top up your levels through your diet.
This is where Italian wine comes in.
As we’re sure you already know, Italian wine is made using grapes. These plants contain something called polyphenols, which are a form of antioxidant. And among these polyphenols, we have something called resveratrol.
Resveratrol is the secret weapon of Italian wine.
It is the antioxidant that is often highlighted when we speak about the health benefits of Italian wine. It is also the antioxidant that is responsible for the anti-ageing effects that wine can have,
Think of resveratrol as a super antioxidant. Its presence eradicates large portions of free radicals in your body, preventing these dangerous atoms from causing damage.
So, Does Italian Wine Stop Ageing Altogether?
Of course, the answer to this question is that no, it does not.
Free radicals will always exist in such quantities that it is impossible to get rid of all of them. And of course, there are many other factors that play into the ageing process that Italian wine, and the antioxidants contained therein, can do nothing about.
Instead, Italian wine slows the ageing process.
Think of it like applying a wet sponge to a stain on the carpet, with the stain being a collection of free radicals and the sponge being the antioxidants in your wine. The sponge will soak up a large portion of the stain, causing it to fade. However, the stain is unlikely to disappear completely. So, the stain still exists. The sponge simply lessens its effects in terms of it being visible.
Italian wine serves a similar purpose when it comes to free radicals. Resveratrol can get rid of some of them. But it can’t get rid of them all.
Can’t I Just Drink Grape Juice Then?
This is a logical question.
After all, resveratrol comes from grapes. So, it stands to reason that you should be able to get these antioxidants into your body from drinking grape juice.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
And the reason comes down to production methods.
When making grape juice, producers remove all of the skin and seeds from their grapes. They’re only interested in the sweet flavour of the grape. The problem here is that the antioxidants that make grapes so effective for combating the signs of ageing are found in the skin and seeds of the grape, rather than its pulp.
Italian wine production makes use of the whole grape. As such, the seeds and skin are able to transfer many of their positive properties to the “juice” before they’re extracted from production.
The simple conclusion to draw from this is that wine contains resveratrol (and other antioxidants) while grape juice does not, at least not in any significant quantities.
How Much Wine Should I Drink to Experience Positive Effects?
This is a classic question that many have asked over the years. And you’ve likely come across advice online suggesting that two glasses of wine per day is a good number to aim for.
This is partially true.
In 2018, a group of researchers conducted a review of existing studies on the subject. They concluded that the optimal intake of wine if you hope to experience health benefits is two 150ml glasses per day for men.
Women apparently get the shorter end of the straw, with a single 150ml glass being optimal for them.
Drinking more than this may have negative ramifications for your health due to the alcohol content of wine. So, the message is that moderation is the key, with the advice above providing you with a guide on exactly how to moderate.
The Final Word
The simple fact is that drinking Italian wine can help to slow ageing by soaking up the free radicals that are currently making their way through your body. Some have even gone so far as to create skin peels using wine, and similar inventive solutions, to target the effects of resveratrol.
As long as you drink in moderation, and understand that wine is not a “cure” for ageing”, you will be able to see these effects yourself. And of course, you’re truly spoiled for choice in terms of which wine you use, as the Xtrawine catalogue contains thousands for you to choose from.
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