If you like to drink a little red wine, then you probably already know about its many health benefits.
Not only are those benefits real – but now, we're learning even more about them, how they work and how to get the most from them.
In addition to that rich crimson color, red wines feature a compound called resveratrol, a polyphenol that shows some truly remarkable properties. A study that will appear in the September issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, highlights how resveratrol may help prevent cancers, protect the heart and brain, control age-related illness and even reverse diabetes and obesity.
But one of the most remarkable things they've found is how we absorb it. And it actually happens before you swallow it.
Once you drink your wine and it reaches your stomach, the resveratrol has little chance of getting into your bloodstream, where it can show off all those remarkable powers. As a result, most of this compound never reaches circulation in your body.
There is one way it does get into the blood, however – and it's exactly how wine lovers tell you to enjoy your drink. Instead of just gulping your wine down and sending it right to your tummy where the resveratrol never has a chance to do its stuff, these researchers say you should swish it around in your mouth a bit, enjoy the taste, and hold onto it for a few moments before you swallow.
The mucous membranes in your mouth can actually help send that remarkable resveratrol coursing through your body, fighting cancers, reversing aging and helping you live longer and better – as long as you enjoy your vino in moderation.
While other alcoholic beverages can't quite do everything red wine does for you, most moderate drinking is safe and even healthy. Just a few weeks ago, we looked at a study that showed how moderate drinkers live longer.
So while red wine might be the best of all alcoholic beverages, you can safely enjoy most forms of alcohol, as long as you do it moderately.
And if you're drinking those reds, be sure to savor them a few moments before you swallow.