One more reason to drink a glass of wine, apart from the fact that it tastes good and cheers us up?
Because wine contains flavonoids! And flavonoids are allies of our well-being!
What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids or bioflavonoids (from the Latin flavus, meaning ‘yellow’, which is their colour) are the most abundant polyphenols in our diet. In other words, they are a class of natural compounds produced by plants through their secondary metabolism. They are widely present in the plant world and therefore in foods and drinks that we consume regularly such as apples, onions, green and black tea, propolis, cocoa, legumes and even wine and olive oil!
Flavonoids in wine
Where exactly are they found? In the skins of white and especially black grapes: the concentration of these molecules in red wine is about twenty times higher than in white wine. These substances are responsible for many aromas, colour and flavour of the wine produced, but also for other properties, such as the wine’s ability to evolve by resisting ageing.
The benefits of flavonoids
In general, flavonoids play an important role in the body through their powerful antioxidant action, helping to eliminate toxins produced during the day and protecting us from UV rays, inflammation and infection.
Including foods with flavonoids in the diet can be an effective way to prevent and control high blood pressure: according to scientific research, at least five subtypes of flavonoids have shown a positive effect on lowering it.
Several human studies also have shown that the intake of flavonoids’ certain classes (such as flavonols, flavones, flavanones and flavonols) is associated with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Moreover, flavonoids are essential for the functioning of blood vessels, especially capillaries: they increase their resistance and regulate their permeability.
Results of a recent analysis suggest that a high intake of flavonoids in the diet is inversely proportional to the onset of type 2 diabetes. However further researches are needed to demonstrate their effectiveness as blood glucose regulators.
Research has shown that some flavonoids can help to counteract the cancer cells’ multiplication, although further studies are needed to confirm their therapeutic use. In any case consumption of foods with flavonoids – in combination with a healthy diet – appears to reduce the chance of contracting certain cancers.
A study from Rush University in Chicago, published in April 2020 in the journal Neurology, claims that flavanols (a subgroup of flavonoids) may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, as this is a recent discovery, it needs further researches to corroborate it.
So thank you flavonoids!
Since it contains flavonoids, the (moderate) consumption of wine seems – to the delight of us wine lovers! – to bring considerable benefits.
Good wine to you all!