Once upon a time, those choosing not to imbibe were forced to make do with plain old juice and soft drinks, but with the rise of the “sober curious” movement and conscious consumption has also come a swath of alcohol-free wines that take out the booze (through a process known as dealcoholization) but don’t lose the flavor.
Recent research has shown that the health benefits of wine could be even more beneficial in non-alcoholic wine. Turns out, unfermented wine has quite a few health benefits which will leave your body feeling better after every sip, perhaps even more so than alcoholic wine. Non-alcoholic wine can be more than just a treat but actually beneficial for health. Just what do these health benefits include? Let’s take a closer look.
In recent years, red wine has gained popularity as being a heart-healthy choice, due to its resveratrol and high level of antioxidants, which help prevent coronary artery disease and lessen the risk of a heart attack. Why red wine in particular? During the wine-making process, red wine keeps the skins of the grapes on, while white wine has the skins removed, resulting in lower antioxidant levels. While white wine does have some health benefits, red wine tends to be even more advantageous.
Even the Mayo Clinic has commented on the connection between red wine and its apparent coronary benefits. The magical beverage has been linked to decreasing the risk of heart disease, lowering cholesterol levels, and even helping to reduce the chances of having a stroke. However, for some, an issue arises when regular wine contains alcohol, which can have adverse effects on consumers.
- Lowers Risk of Heart disease
WebMD cites a study conducted by the University of Barcelona which examined 67 men who had diabetes or three or more heart disease risk factors. These men were split into two groups: alcoholic wine consumers and non-alcoholic wine consumers. When these men drank regular red wine with alcohol, their blood pressure went down slightly. However, when they drank non-alcoholic red wine, their blood pressure levels went down enough to lower their risk of heart disease by 14%, and their risk of stroke by as much as 20%.
- Rich Source of powerful antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. Research finds that though wine particularly red wine does have health benefits, the alcohol in it may counteract such benefits to some extent. Red wine contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols.
These types of polyphenols include:
- Gallic acid
- Caftaric acid
- Caffeic acid
- P-coumaric acid
The two types of wine used in the Barcelona study had the same polyphenol levels for the men to consume. However, because of the lack of alcohol in the non-alcoholic wine, the polyphenols were better able to boost the men’s levels of nitric oxide, helping to lower their blood pressure and allow more blood to reach the heart and organs.
- Help Prevent Diabetes
According to a New York Daily News report which cited researcher Ramon Estruch, MD, Ph.D., saying, “The non-alcoholic part of the wine—namely polyphenols—exert a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may be useful to prevent other diseases such as diabetes.” Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels. Many people with alcoholic liver disease also have either glucose intolerance or diabetes. Alcohol consumption can lead to dangerously low blood sugar.
- Fewer Calories
Non-alcoholic wine also wins for less calories. Alcohol, in general, tends to be high in calories, but with non-alcoholic wine, you get that same great taste, without the fear of too many calories. If you consume more energy (calories) than you expend, you will gain weight. Excess calories are stored throughout your body as fat. Your body stores this fat within specialized fat cells (adipose tissue). As little as 10 or 20 calories stored as excess fat each day can lead over decades to obesity.
For those of us trying to live a healthier lifestyle, this is a valuable component. In fact, non-alcoholic wine contains about three times less calories than its alcoholic counterpart. So, not only does alcohol-free wine benefit your heart, but it can also benefit your waistline.
- No hangovers
A hangover refers to a set of symptoms that occur as a consequence of excessive alcohol use. Typical symptoms include fatigue, weakness, thirst, headache, muscle aches, nausea, stomach pain, vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, anxiety, irritability, sweating, and increased blood pressure. A glass could easily get you drunk. On average, alcoholic wines have an alcohol concentration between 11 and 13%; how much wine you have to ingest to get drunk largely depends on the actual level of alcohol in wine. Although close in alcohol content, wine enters the bloodstream faster and will get you more drunk over the same amount of time as beer. In terms of a hangover, there is no clear winner. Both in excess will lead to a rough next morning, but they are equal as far as effects in general.
But with a non-alcoholic, you don’t have to bother about getting drunk or hangovers. In addition, you also get to avoid the long-term health risk of alcohol consumption which can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.