Thursday, December 7, 2006

New 'Wine Diet' Adds Years to Your Life

There's mounting evidence that shedding a few pounds and drinking red wine go together. Roger Corder's celebrated new book "The Wine Diet" extols the virtue of red wines and dark chocolate. Really, who would want to cheat on that diet?

If you're contemplating giving up wine for your diet...Don't! There are far too many studies now showing the significant long-term health benefits from a daily glass or two of red wine to worry about the extra calories.

Top U.S. killers are heart disease and cancer, but it doesn't have to be that way. One study shows men can lower their risk of heart disease by 50% by drinking two glasses of red wine per day. And women who drink one glass per day reduce their risk by 30%.

What makes red wine so healthy? Red grape skins, seeds and stems all contain high concentrations of compounds called polyphenols - more commonly known as antioxidants. These same antioxidants also help prevent certain types of cancer such as prostate, colon, and skin cancer.

Do you think high blood pressure is at epidemic levels? Perhaps it's because not enough Americans have wine savvy. Wine lovers now realize a glass of wine also helps your body excrete excess sodium, which lowers your blood pressure.

And now you can stop worrying about growing old. Red wine also has resveratrol, which was most recently linked by two studies in mice, to living longer and to showing signs of reducing the leading factors that cause Alzheimer's disease. It might be too soon to predict if the results in mice will be duplicated in humans, but it's a promising step.

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