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Wine: Heal Thyself!

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Did you know that the benefits of wine go beyond the glass? That beautiful bouquet of lavender, licorice, dark fruit, coffee and aged leather has antioxidants and health benefits but also lends boosting and soothing qualities to health and beauty supplements. The practice of incorporating ancient methods of extraction still takes place today for skin care, hair care, cosmetics and dyes. 

Although the health benefits of red wine have been discussed and disputed for years, many believe that a five-ounce glass of wine each day is part of a healthy diet. Antioxidants are known to fight the free radicals that contribute to cancer. Although red wine gets most of the headlines for containing these immune boosters, it’s been proven that white wine has the same if not more antioxidants than red wine. So that glass of viognier is also good for you!

Stroke, heart disease and cholesterol problems are reduced with key compounds found in red wine. As a natural blood thinner, resveratrol provides benefits similar to aspirin by preventing blood clots, especially in women. Additionally, the tannins in red wine grapes contain procyanidins that team up with antioxidants to reduce toxic free radicals and naturally fight cholesterol. Resveratrol has been known to assist the body’s natural abilities to react appropriately to insulin needs for diabetes management.

Brain function and longevity are improved with red wine as well. Keeping our brain engaged and our neurons lively and active are keys to overall good health, and by adding red wine in moderation to a healthy lifestyle, resveratrol is activating a key protein that acts as an anti-aging component. 

Seeds, Skins and Stems
After the wine grape juice is put through the multiple processes of creating beautiful wine varieties, byproducts such as seeds, skins and stems have gone through the production and fermentation process, releasing valuable compounds that can be reincorporated into other products and uses. Why save the antioxidants for the wine glass when we can enjoy them topically as well? Both resveratrol and anthocyanins in red wine are part of the compounds that also protect our skin from cell damage and harmful UV rays that cause our skin to thin and age prematurely.  

Vineyard and winery owners who have grown up in the wine industry know a great deal about the byproducts of the harvest. It’s in their blood. Passionate artisans in the wine industry, mostly women such as Lydia Mondavi, are using the products in new ways. These pioneers extract the benefits of wine grape byproducts and use them in a new field that’s the ultimate upcycling of an otherwise disposable and compostable material resulting from the winemaking process.  

Skin and Body Serums
Wine-infused products are available at higher-end retail outlets and online; they address the issues of elasticity and acne by adding ingredients such as lemon peel, lavender and jasmine. Some facial oils can reverse sun damage and have the added essence of herbs, cinnamon and clove, making it difficult not to lick your fingers! 

Lip Balms and Stains
If you’ve ever spilled a glass of red wine on the carpet or your clothes, you’ve experienced the power of tannins and sepivinol, which contribute to the staining power of new lipstick alternatives that stain your lips with a natural hue rather than coat your lips with a shade of colored pigment and provide a more natural look. Now the fresh look of shiraz can be on your lips!

Facial and Body Scrubs
We can’t argue with the ageless beauty that’s a credit to old-world wine country philosophies. Today’s scrubs are designed for all skin types and contain avocado, almond, flax, olive and apple combined with byproducts of wine grape skins and seeds. Many are sourced from historic California winery properties. Adding the vineyard-inspired oils to your body and face after exfoliation can provide instantly visible results. Be sure to read the ingredients list for any items you may be allergic to, such
as nuts.

Soaps
Grapeseed has been used medicinally for generations. When its whole seed or oil form, with astringent qualities, is combined with the antioxidants of wine, grapeseed bath soaps and facial cleansers provide the additional benefit of exfoliation and healthy pores.

Shampoo and Conditioners
Our hair needs love, too! Combined with vitamins, oils and more antioxidants, wine product extracts have been touted to promote healthy hair growth and address dandruff, dry scalp, thinning and brittle hair.  

Home remedies use various ingredients including egg, cucumber juices, coconut and olive oils. If you consider that today’s superfoods are good for us on the inside, then we can definitely entertain the value of enjoying the benefits of wine on the inside and the outside!

In the new year ahead, toast your health and enjoy all things in life with moderation. Cheers to 2020!

Sources: foodandwine.com, strokesmart.org, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and wideopeneats.com.