For most people, choosing between Italian red and white wines is a matter of taste.
Some prefer red wines for the complex flavours that they have to offer. Others prefer white wines because they’re often sharper and more refreshing.
Of course, many people love both and will choose a wine based on how they’re feeling during any particular moment in time.
But did you know that a lot of people drink wine because of its reported health benefits?
Wine has been medically proven to help combat a number of long-term health conditions. As long as you don’t overindulge, a glass of wine or two per day can lead to better heart health and increased cognitive strength.
But there’s a strange phenomenon that crops up when you’re talking about which wines to drink for health.
Most people will tell you that red wine is the way to go. As great as white wine is, it doesn’t have the same potency as red when it comes to your health.
Is that really the case? In this article, we’re going to take a look at what makes red wine so much more effective, assuming that it is at all. We’ll also address the view that white wine is of no use at all if you’re drinking wine for health.
The Differences Between the Wines
Before looking at why people prefer red over white when it comes to health, you need to understand some of the differences between the two types of wine.
In particular, it’s important to understand that they’re not made in exactly the same way. Of course, each uses different types of grapes. There are some suited to red wine production while others work best for white wine production.
But the key difference lies in how the grapes are fermented.
With white wine, producers get rid of the stems, seeds, and skins of the grapes after pressing them. This leaves the juice to ferment alone, with no other parts of the grape involved.
Red wine is different.
With red wines, the grapes get crushed and sent into vats to ferment. Crucially, the producer leaves the stems, seeds, and skins in place. It’s these skins that lend the wine its darker colour. But when it comes to health, it’s also these skins that imbue red wine with a lot of the compounds that make it such a good choice for health enthusiasts.
Chief among these is resveratrol. This is a plant compound that has an antioxidant effect when introduced into your body. The red wine production technique also allows other plant compounds to make their way into the wine.
Now, this isn’t to say that none of these compounds find their way into bottles of white wine. The grapes are still pressed with the skins attached, so some of those compounds get introduced into the juice and ferment along with the wine.
But with the red wine production method, you get these compounds at a much higher level. As a result, the effects of red wine when it comes to health are far more potent than the effects of white wine.
What About Nutrition?
Beyond the resveratrol content, do red and white wines differ much when it comes to pure nutrition?
The truth is that there’s very little to choose between the two.
White wines have slightly fewer calories than red wines. But the difference is marginal at best and isn’t something that you have to worry about. Red wines also contain slightly more potassium and iron. But again, there’s not a huge difference. And the amounts of each in a glass of red wine are so small that you’ll rely on other foods to reach your daily recommended intake.
They both also contain the same amount of carbs and sugars.
So, there’s not much to choose between them if you’re interested in using wine to help you lose weight.
The Benefits of Drinking Red Wine
We’ve spoken at length about some of the benefits that come with drinking Italian red wine in the past.
Again, we’ll offer the same disclaimer.
These health benefits only come if you drink red wine in moderation. Overindulging on a regular basis can actually have a negative effect that outweighs any positives you receive from the plant compounds in the wine.
Most recommend sticking to a single glass per day. However, there’s some evidence to suggest that drinking two small glasses can also be beneficial.
The point is that you can’t drink a bottle per day and expect to feel healthy.
Now, let’s look at the benefits.
When it comes to red wine, you can trace most of the benefits back to resveratrol and the other plant compounds that we mentioned earlier.
Studies have shown that regular controlled consumption of red wine can increases your levels of good cholesterol and lower your risk of suffering from heart disease or stroke. It can also improve your cognitive functions, which has led to some claiming that it protects against neurological conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Other potential benefits may include providing relief to those who suffer from joint pain. There are also some studies that suggest the resveratrol may be able to help guard your body against cancer.
Italian white wines have similar properties. However, their production methods mean that they’re simply not as potent as their red wine equivalents.
The Final Word
As you can see, there’s a good reason why people turn to Italian red wine rather than white wine when drinking with a view to their future health.
It all comes down to the production methods.
Red wines contain more of the helpful plant compounds that provide protection against a wide variety of ailments. While white wines contain those same compounds, they are produced in such a way that limits the amount of them that find their way into the drink.
As a result, red wine may be the best wine to choose if you’re looking to improve your health by drinking wine.