Red Wine, Is It Good for the Gut?
What if I told you that red wine is good for the gut? What would you say to that? You might think, "well, it's not like I drink a lot of red wine." Or, "I don't know. Seems kind of weird." But what if I then told you that drinking just one glass of red wine each day can actually be beneficial to your gut microbiome and digestive health in general? Would that change your opinion on this idea at all?
If so, keep reading! We will discuss how a glass or two a day benefits the gut and overall health.
All about the gut
The gut is an essential part of your body. It's where you digest food, extract nutrients, and absorb vitamins. A healthy gut helps to promote a healthy weight, happiness, and even brain function. The trillions of microbes that thrive it, collectively known as the gut microbiome.
Microbes in the gut involve almost everything from digestion and metabolizing food to regulating mood and the immune system. When bacteria in our intestines are diverse, they produce a variety of vitamins, enzymes, and other compounds beneficial to us.
Why could red wine be good for the gut?
Many of us already know that probiotics can be found in some fermented dairy foods. Up until recently, studies show that wine also contains probiotics. Researchers isolated bacteria found in red wine and tested them for probiotic properties. The strains examined were Lactobacillus species, including L. casei and L. plantarum. In a separate study, lactic acid bacteria isolated from wine were similar to those found in probiotic foods such as fermented dairy products.
In addition, wine, especially red, is positively associated with increased biodiversity in the microbiota of your gut. Benefits are likely to come from polyphenols - compounds in less abundance in white wine, beer, and cider. Many fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols as well.
The polyphenols in red grapes, such as resveratrol in the skin, are micronutrients that hold medicinal properties and function as a source of fuel for beneficial microbes in the intestinal tract.
The antioxidants in red wine also help create good bacteria in the gut that can improve digestion and lower inflammation levels. That means less gas, bloating, heartburn, and more life energy.
What do experts have to say?
More research is needed to determine the link between red wine intake and gut flora changes and whether a rebalanced gut flora may benefit health. Drinking too much alcohol may increase the risk of many health problems, including some cancers, heart disease, and stroke. To minimize alcohol's potential health risks, adults should not consume more than 14 units of alcohol in a week.