Most of us know that indulging in the occasional glass of red wine can have considerable benefits for our hearts. But what does this mean for all of the white wine lovers out there?
Is red the only type of wine that provides health benefits…or is white wine good for your heart too?
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White Wine: A Heart-Healthy Surprise
Good news for white wine drinkers: several different studies have shown that white wine is just as effective as red in enhancing heart function and helping to prevent artery blockage!
It was previously believed that the majority of health benefits provided by grapes came from their skins – which are used in the creation of red but not white wine.
The skins of grapes contain high levels of antioxidants which benefit the heart and other body parts. However, the grape itself also contains a ton of nutrients and powerful antioxidants, which also makes white wine a heart-healthy choice.
To learn more about white wine and heart health (as well as other body benefits), read on!
5 Ways White Wine Does a Body Good
1) Antioxidants Promote Heart Health
We already know that white wine is made without the grape’s antioxidant-rich skin – so does this make a glass of white any less effective for heart health than red wine?
Not according to the majority of studies, including one from a Turkish university which found that even though red wine contains a significantly higher concentration of antioxidants, the protection of cells offered by those antioxidants was not significantly more powerful than the ones found in white wine.
2) Helps Fight Disease
Almighty antioxidants do more than just protect your heart – they can help your body fend off all kinds of devastating disease. In the case of white wine, several different studies have shown that its antioxidant content is particularly valuable in helping to prevent both lung disease and breast cancer.
For example, a 2002 study by the University at Buffalo School of Medicine found that moderate white wine consumption over the course of a lifetime improves overall lung health.
Likewise, a 2010 study by the University of Wisconsin revealed that white wine helps protect the body’s cells from breast cancer just as well as red wine does.
3) Aids in Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight, you don’t have to swap out your chardonnay for sparkling white grape juice. It turns out that white wine is actually just as helpful toward slimming down your waistline as fruit juice!
In a 2004 study conducted by the University of Hohenheim in Germany measured participants whose diet involved 10 percent of energy deriving from white wine and compared it to a control group whose diet consisted of 10 percent of energy coming from juice.
The study concluded that participants attempting to lose weight by reducing their daily caloric intake saw just as much success drinking white wine as they did consuming traditional fruit juices.
4) Slows Aging Process
Want to look and feel younger? Sip more white wine! While researching the heart benefits of white wine, scientists also found that it triggers the Sirtuin 1 gene (SIRT1). SIRT1 has been shown to help slow the human aging process.
5) Helps Prevent Diabetes
White wine may also help regulate or even prevent diabetes. But surprisingly, this ability mostly comes from the alcohol itself. Since the prohibition era, there have been numerous studies on the effects of alcohol and health – and consistently, moderate alcohol consumption is shown to help prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Which White Wines Are Best for Heart Health?
Now that we know that white wine can be just as effective as red wine for heart health and more – let’s take a closer look at all the different varieties of white. Namely…are all white wines created equal?
Unfortunately, not all white wines are as jam-packed with powerful antioxidants. In fact, some don’t seem to have very many at all.
Fairly conclusively, research has shown that out of all white wine varieties from all over the globe, certain European white wines tend to be the most beneficial.
The white wines from France, Germany and Italy – specifically the Friuli Venezia region of Italy – are renowned for being particularly rich in the antioxidants tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol.
Now when it comes to variety, dryer white wines tend to be the better choice. Several studies have shown that Chardonnay has the highest count of the antioxidant polyphenols.
Sauvignon Blanc , another dry white wine, is also a good choice because it has proven anti-inflammatory properties.
Sweeter white wines like Reisling and Pinot Grigio aren’t necessarily bad for you in moderation – but keep in mind that since they are sweeter, they will generally contain more calories.
How Much White Wine Should You Drink?
While white wine may be good for you in a variety of different ways, but it’s important not to overindulge. The many benefits of white wine are based entirely around moderation consumption.
Moderation is different for everyone – but it is generally defined as a maximum one 5-ounce glass daily for adult women and two 5-ounce glasses a day for adult men.
Is White Wine Good for Your Heart?
When it comes to heart health, red wine gets all the credit. However, recent studies have shown that white wine is just as effective in promoting heart health and helping us live longer.
But that’s not all – white wine has many other health benefits as well, including disease-fighting properties from antioxidants, supporting weight loss, slowing the aging process and even helping to prevent diabetes.
So white wine is good for you – but some kinds are even better than others. When you have a choice, opt for European varieties, particularly those from the Friuli Venezia region of Italy.
Also elect for dryer varieties like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc over sweeter types like Reisling or Pinot Grigio. But no matter what kind of white wine you end up with, it’s important not to drink too much of it.
Moderation is key; over-consumption will not only counteract the benefits of white wine, it can lead to serious health problems in the long run. So stick to one 5-ounce a glass of white wine per day if you are a woman and up to two 5-ounce glasses per day if you are a man.