Archive for the ‘Health’ category

Wine and chocolate dipped strawberries

October 11, 2012


Some of my favourite things: Red wine, strawberries and dark chocolate. Here’s a quick read on the health benefits of these three marvels…


Red wine

New research shows that red wine, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, and Merlot, contains melatonin. Melatonin regulates the body clock, so drinking a glass of red wine before bed may help you sleep. Melatonin is also an anti-oxidant, which means it also has anti-aging and cancer preventative properties.


Strawberries contain a chemical compound called phenols. Anthocyanin, a particular phenol abundantly found in strawberries, lends the rich red colour to the fruit. Though anthocyanin is known to have antioxidant properties within the fruit, it is debated as to whether the antioxidant agents in anthocyanin-rich foods can be absorbed into the body once digested. Fortunately, however, it is known that when anthocyanin-rich foods are consumed, the body’s uric acid levels increase, which serves as an antioxidant agent.

Dark chocolate
Recent studies suggest that chocolate may contribute to good cardiovascular health. The plant phenols in dark chocolate help reduce blood pressure, improve blood flow and may have minor anti-clotting effects as well. The antioxidants in chocolate help prevent plaque build-up in the arteries, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Dark chocolate is also a great source of copper and potassium, which are known to be essential minerals in maintaining good cardiovascular health.

Source: healthdiaries


The Health Benefits of Red Wine

February 28, 2012

There have been millions of studies on the effect of alcohol on the human body. It seems that everything points back at red wine being the healthiest of them all. Wine has always been a staple in the human diet. In fact, scientists have documented red wine as far back as 5400 B.C. We must be doing something right.

Here are ten reasons to drink red wine:

New research shows that red wine, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, and Merlot, contains melatonin. Melatonin regulates the body clock, so drinking a glass of red wine before bed may help you sleep. Melatonin is also an anti-oxidant, which means it also has anti-aging and cancer preventative properties.

A compound in red wine called resveratrol has been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies.

Brain Health
Resveratrol has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Heart Health
Red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease thanks to the resveratrol and other anti-oxidants it contains.

Lung Cancer
Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain found that each glass of red wine per day reduced the risk of lung cancer by 13%.

Prostate Cancer                                                                                                                               Four or more glasses of red wine per week has been shown to reduce men’s overall risk of prostate cancer by 50% and the risk of the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer by 60%.

Breast Cancer
Moderate consumption of red wine is believed to lower the risk of breast cancer. However, drinking more than 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day appears to increase the risk of breast cancer in women, so moderation is key.

Researchers in Spain found that people who drank more than two glasses of red wine per day have 44% fewer colds than people who abstained.

Resveratrol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps overall physical health since many diseases and ailments can be attributed to inflammation.

Resveratrol has been found in studies to lower LDL cholesterol, while another ingredient in red wine, saponins, also have cholesterol lowering properties.

If you do need an eleventh reason – Alto wines simply taste great as well.


Avocados, apples and red wine can ease arthritis symptoms

January 30, 2012

Researchers have carried out the study and found a definite link between the food people eat and the severity of the symptoms — in fact, apples, avocados and red wine contain anti-oxidants which reduce the rate at which cartilage breaks down, helping to slow the process of osteoarthritis.

Likewise, oily fish like salmon are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that oil the joints and thereby damp down inflammation. Omega-3 could also reduce the long-term need for painkillers in those with joint problems.

The study has also suggested that drinking plenty of fluids, two to three litres a day, to maintain good hydration and a steady flow of nutrients to your joints.

And, the foods most commonly found to worsen arthritis are wheat, corn, rye, sugar, caffeine, yeast, dairy products, oranges, grapefruit, lemons and tomatoes. Meats most likely to provoke symptoms are bacon, pork, beef and lamb.

According to researchers, these foods trigger joint pain in those with arthritis. But when these are avoided about 70 per cent of sufferers have been seen to be reporting less pain and improved mobility.

The researchers have based their findings on an analysis of 82 people with osteoarthritis. The study also found that pain intensity reduced during the six-week period they had weekly Reiki sessions.



Red wine and health

June 6, 2011

In addition to bringing out the flavour in food, and being delicious on its own, red wine is strongly linked to a variety of health benefits. Studies have shown that drinking wine in moderation — a glass or two a day — can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.

Health Benefits of Red Wine

Have you ever wondered why people living in certain regions of France have a relatively low occurrence of heart attacks, despite their high-fat diet? Their heart health may be linked to red wine that many French people drink with meals. Experts have identified a potential link between red wine and health, identifying some specific health benefits that appear to be linked to moderate consumption of red wine.

Some of health benefits of red wine include:

Antioxidants: Its antioxidant content may be one of the biggest health benefits of red wine. Antioxidants are molecule compounds that repair cell damage caused by harmful oxygen byproducts in the body. Some research has found that antioxidants can help reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration and diabetes — and red wine is full of them.

The skins and seeds of red grapes carry a particularly powerful antioxidant called resveratrol. When red wine is made, the skins and seeds are fermented in the grapes’ juices, causing red wine to have high levels of resveratrol.

Cancer prevention: Resveratrol has also been shown to minimize the risks of some types of cancer. It helps prevent DNA mutations that could lead to cancer, and it prohibits new blood cells from encouraging cancer growth.

Heart disease and stroke prevention: Resveratrol may help reduce the risk for heart disease and strokes. It has blood-thinning capabilities, which helps prevent blood clots from forming. In addition, resveratrol lowers levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol) in the blood, preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Drinking Wine in Moderation

While red wine has plenty of health benefits, overindulging can be harmful. Drinking wine excessively is linked to alcohol abuse, which is associated to a variety of serious health issues, including:

  • Alcohol addiction
  • Cancer (specifically cancers of the mouth, esophagus, liver and breast)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver damage
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis.

“Moderate” drinking has different meanings for different people, and it varies by culture. In the United States and South Africa , however, drinking wine in moderation generally means one glass of red wine a day for women and one or two glasses for men.


Red wine may help control weight

May 31, 2011

Red wine may contain chemicals that help control weight gain, recent research suggests.

Experiments at the University of Porto show that animals given red wine gained significantly less weight over an eight week period than animals kept under the same conditions, but given no red wine.

The key may be a chemical that occurs naturally in red wine that increases levels of oestrogen in the body. Oestrogen plays a role in the metabolism of fat, and also fat distribution.

Resveratrol, a substance abundant in red grape skins, is a form of oestrogen, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The problem is that after a few glasses of red wine, my diet goes out the window and I start to nibble on snacks and ‘forbidden’. It is these sin snacks that are killing my diet.


Source: Marie Claire

Laughter and red wine: The key to longevity

May 9, 2011

According to recent studies laughter and moderate red wine is the key to longevity. So having a few laughs with friends and a glass of red wine can be great for your body and soul.

Two separate research groups have released findings that might confirm what you may know: Laughter and moderate red wine and a handful of walnuts or peanuts are the best longevity, disease-fighting and anti-aging secrets out there.

Reports from the Montefiore Einstein Cancerdefine Center at Montefiore Hospital are that they have been using ‘strength through laughter’ therapy to cure patients for the last five years.

During the laughter therapy session, the patients crack each other up and laugh to forget their own illness; they also use good film comedies, books and stand-up specials during the session.

The American Cancer Society and other medical experts say that laughter is the best therapy to reduce tension and relax the body. It lowers the blood pressure, reduces stress hormones define and increases muscle flexion.  Many medical experts laud laughter’s unique internal organ massage benefits.

To add to this, Harvard researchers have made claims they have a critical key to unlock the secret of aging. The Harvard studies showed that resveratrol also found in the crust of peanuts and walnuts, in grapes, peanut butter, pistachios and other foods seemed to ward off the effect of age on heart, bones, eyes and muscles.