Rub It On, Drink It Down – What?
Or it will, according to some of the latest reports about still yet another health benefit of wine. I like reading reports about wine – particularly red wine – as it morphs from a nice drink with dinner to a health food. And now – much to the joy of those who are sun worshippers – it’s also a sunscreen. Of sorts.
Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists discovered that the flavonoids in wine grapes have the ability to stop sun damage to the skin. Admittedly, the first reports from various bloggers and wine fans shouted everywhere, “Wine prevents sunburn! Drink more!”
Researchers at the University of Barcelona made the discovery, and reported that red wine grapes (the emphasis is on grapes), particularly those of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Sirah, and Pinot Noir, have higher levels of the flavonoids that prevent Reactive Oxygen Species – generated by UV rays and can damage the skin – which make them very protective.
So what’s a Wineaux to do?
Use external sun protection anyway. At the time I write this, we’re having Surface of the Sun temps in Vegas, and when you live in an environment as harsh as this, drinking red wine alone won’t do the job. Of course, you can also take your wine in pill form – also known as grapes. This new research is expected to motivate health and beauty companies to begin creating sunscreen lotions with grapes added as extra protection. Hm. Rubbing Pinot Noir all over my body and sipping a glass before going outside…sounds great to me!
We’ve watched wine evolve into a health food over the last few years, beginning with the French Paradox, the fact that while eating a diet obscenely high in fats and calories and being dedicated smokers, the French tend to live as long or longer than Americans, and without the heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions that plague us. Scientists narrowed it down to the fact that the French drink red wine the way that Americans drink soda, and are far more healthy for it. The key is resveratrol, a component of wine with huge antioxidant characteristics.
A Norway study showed that people who drank moderate amounts of red wine had better cognitive function than those who abstained. The naturally occurring antioxidants, flavonoids, resveratrol, and other components of wine are believed to have beneficial effects on the heart, on diabetes, and even suppressing some cancers. It’s at least as effective as green tea when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, and far more fun and much more delicious!
It’s wonderful to know that nowadays, scientists are discovering what people of old have always known – that good natural foods are the best things for the human body. So the next time somebody raises an eyebrow over your snack of red wine and chocolate, remind them that this is health food!
- Drink More Wine, Get Less Sunburned [Health] (gawker.com)
- A Glass of Red Wine a Day Keeps The Doctor Away (nwear.wordpress.com)
- Drinking wine could help to stop sunburn (telegraph.co.uk)