Resveratrol

Resveratrol – Do You Really Need To drink Red Wine Everyday To Benefit From It?

So, you’ve heard that drinking a glass of red wine a day can be good for your health – or bad, depending on which day it happens to be in your news feed!

Health experts have attributed this to the polyphenol RESVERATROL. Incidentally, when the media references this substance, they’re talking about trans-resveratrol.

In case you were the inquisitive kind of health seeker, polyphenols are antioxidant-rich plant compounds = phytonutrients that are amazing for your health!

Lycopene in tomatoes, lutein in carrots, EGCG in green tea, and flavonoids in raw cacao are other examples. Resveratrol is in the same class of polyphenic bioflavonoids as cacao. [1] 

What Are The Potential Benefits of Resveratrol?

In general, polyphenols, are powerful micronutrients that our body needs, and they have numerous benefits that may offer protection from many different health conditions.  

Here are some of the health benefits that RESVERATROL may offer:

  1. Anti-aging effects
  2. Helps lower blood pressure
  3. Positive effects on blood triglycerides/fats
  4. Can increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
  5. Decreases risk of heart disease
  6. Neuroprotective and increases blood flow to the brain
  7. Increases insulin sensitivity and reduces complications of Diabetes
  8. Reduces inflammation and joint pain
  9. Anti-cancer properties

Resveratrol is thought to fight aging on a cellular level, and its antioxidant properties are especially helpful in protecting cardiovascular and brain health. It’s also purported to be effective for decreasing inflammation and managing pain.  

But, just a word to the wise woman… those with hormone-sensitive health conditions may want to consider whether to take resveratrol as a supplement due to its potential estrogenic effects, as it’s considered to be a PHYTOESTROGEN. [1][2] 

Additionally, if you’re currently using any medications, resveratrol supplements may also block some enzymes that help clear certain compounds from the body. That means certain medications, including those prescribed for blood pressure and anxiety, and immunosuppressants, could build up to unsafe levels.

It’s always best to consult with a knowledgeable Health Practitioner before taking any supplements including resveratrol.

What Foods Contain Resveratrol – Other Than Wine?

It’s best to consume phytonutrients through high quality whole food sources that naturally contain them, instead of through artificially-made supplements.

The following foods contain a healthy dose of resveratrol: 

  • Peanuts/peanut butter
  • Pistachios/pistachio butter
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Mulberries
  • Black currants
  • Cacao and dark chocolate
  • Red grapes, but only in the skins and seeds [2][3]

Be aware that grapes are on the EWG’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of highest pesticide residues, so purchase organic when possible and wash all of your produce well.

And how much resveratrol is actually in wine?

Unless you’re Plato, who likened wine to man’s gift from the gods, then we suggest that you consume wine (and other alcoholic beverages) a little less liberally 😉

“Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the gods to man.” ~ Plato 

Red wines have a higher resveratrol content and those made with thicker-skinned grapes (like Pinot Noir and Malbec) have the most. A California Pinot Noir, for example, contains ~ 0.5mg per 5 oz glass, as compared to 1.25mg in a 100g serving of red grapes.

White, rosé and sparkling wines have virtually no resveratrol due to the fact that the skins are removed during fermentation, averaging only 0.20 mg per bottle. [3] 

So, you see, there’s really not much beneficial antioxidant action in your nightly sip unless you plan to drink the whole bottle – and clearly that’s not advisable for many other reasons! 

The jury is still out about the benefits of taking resveratrol supplements, so for now it’s best to consume it naturally from foods – and as we’ve just mentioned, wine isn’t your best source! 

However, when you combine a number of other plant foods that naturally contain resveratrol, you’ll compound the amount and stack the health benefits of this phytonutrient.  

And, what better way to do that than with just 3 ingredients, including dark chocolate?!  

We would like to introduce you to our Cranberry-Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark recipe… phenolic bioflavonoid antioxidants never tasted so good 😛 

RECIPE 

Cranberry-Pistachio-Dark Chocolate Bark

Ingredients 

2 cups (12 oz) dark chocolate chips or chocolate bar broken into chunks (aim for 70% cacao content or higher)

1 cup shelled pistachios (unsalted), coarsely chopped, divided into ¾ + ¼ cup

¾ cup dried cranberries (unsweetened, unsulphured), divided into ½ + ¼ cup 

Optional: ¼ tsp sea salt or pink salt, divided into ⅛ + ⅛ tsp 

Preparation 

In a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl, heat chocolate on medium power in 20-sec intervals until melted; stir frequently until smooth. Do not overheat! 

Add in ¾ cup pistachios + ½ cup cranberries (+ ⅛ tsp salt if using), folding gently until just combined.  

Spread mixture onto parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet.  

Sprinkle the top with remaining pistachios + cranberries (+ salt if using).  

Freeze or refrigerate until firm – about 1 hour. Cut or break into pieces.  

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep up to 3 weeks – but it won’t last that long anyway!

REFERENCES 

[1] Dr. Josh Axe (March 2017) – Resveratrol: The Anti-Aging Powerhouse That’s Good for the Heart, Brain & Waistline 

[2] Healthline (May 2017) – 7 Health Benefits of Resveratrol Supplements

[3] Superfoodly (Nov 2017) – Resveratrol Foods: The 17 Highest Sources To Supplement With

Additional Resource:

Environmental Working Group (2019) – EWG’s 2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce