Yes, it’s true! Red wine, in moderation, may truly play an important part in extending human lifespan. Thanks to antioxidant polyphenols, in particular resveratrol, your merlot may actually help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart, reduce “bad” cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Resveratrol is also responsible for protecting our cells from free radical damage and slowing the down the aging process.
Resveratrol is an antimicrobial substance produced by plants in response to stress, infection, or strong UV radiation. Studies show that the powerful and efficient antioxidant properties in resveratrol are 95% efficient at shielding the skin from environmental damage, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reducing dryness, and smoothing skin texture, compared to 65% for vitamin E and 37% for vitamin C.
Because it is produced within the red grape skin in response to attack by specific molds, grapes and wine produced in moist, northern climates (where these fungi are more prevalent) yield more resveratrol. It is vulnerable to fairly rapid destruction by light and oxygen so wine stored in air-tight, cool conditions away from sun light protects the resveratrol content. Only immediately after a bottle of wine is opened is the maximum resveratrol potency available.
Since making wine also involves the potential damage from alcohol and preservatives, many people prefer a dietary supplement source. When taken orally in supplements that contain resveratrol extract, this powerful antioxidant appears to be well-absorbed.
You can also get some resveratrol in your diet through foods, including:
Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is great for dressing up apples and celery, but it also contains some resveratrol (up to .13 mg per cup). Peanut butter is a great source of niacin and manganese.
Dark Chocolate: In dark chocolate, resveratrol blends nicely with other antioxidants and also minerals, such as iron, copper and manganese. Who doesn’t like chocolate?
Blueberries: Blueberries don’t have quite as much resveratrol as grapes, but they are also a great source of other antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins C and K and manganese.
This unique phytonutrient can also be found in cranberries, jackfruit, mulberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and a wide range of other non-food plants including flowers and trees.