The long history and tradition of drinking wine together with the extensive culture that has developed around this delicious beverage places it at the top of the respected list of the oldest, favorite and most popular drinks in the world. You can never go wrong with a good glass of wine, whether on a date, at a dinner party or just having a glass by yourself on the couch.
Although every wine lover has his favorite type, red or white, many still ask themselves: Beyond the tastes, what are the differences between these two types? And another equally important question arises: Which type of wine is healthier? In this article, we’ll do our best to provide you with an answer by listing all the health benefits of both types of wine to help you work out which one is the best.
The main differences between the two types of wine are the winemaking process and the grapes that are used to prepare them: Red wine is made from red grape varieties, which are shiny and heavily pigmented, while for white wine lighter green grapes are used.
The fermentation of the two different types is also a significant difference: while the white wine is produced by extracting the juice from the grape and fermenting only it, in red wine the juice, peels, and pips (seeds) of the fruit itself are fermented, this is what gives it its dark red color. The fermenting process affects not only the color of the wine, but also its components and active ingredients.
Grape peels and pips contain a substance called tannin, which has many antioxidant properties, and because red wine is fermented with both the peel and the pip, the tannin concentration is much higher than in white wine. Tannins enable the natural preservation of wine and give it unique health benefits, although many health benefits can also be attributed to white wine as well.
1. Reduces the risk of developing cancer
The antioxidants present in red wine fight infections and protect the various cells in our bodies from dangerous substances, such as free radicals, which may cause cancer. Studies have shown that people who drink red wine regularly, in measured and reasonable amounts, are at a reduced risk of developing several types of cancer. In a study of 2,000 subjects, those who drank a moderate amount of red wine were 45 percent less likely than the control group to develop colon cancer.
2. Contributes to heart health
Because red wine contains large amounts of tannin, it has properties that protect the heart from diseases, similar to the effect of aspirin. Tannin is a very effective antioxidant, and within our body, it prevents the accumulation and calcification of fat in the arteries. This keeps the blood vessels clean and reduces the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.
3. Helps the body control sugar levels
Red wine contains a substance called resveratrol, which has several health properties, including the ability to help the body control the level of insulin secreted from the pancreas, which allows your body to lower the level of sugar in the blood and to control it.
Therefore, consumption of red wine reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30 percent, according to a study conducted in the Netherlands a few years ago. In addition, measured consumption of red wine was found to also be beneficial for those with diabetes in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing the amount of sugar in their blood, thus alleviating the symptoms of the disease.
4. Prevents flu and colds
Sick? Have a cold? In this case, too, antioxidants in red wine, which help your body fight bacteria and viruses, may also help you get through flu season free and clear. In a study of 4,000 subjects at Oxford University, those who drank a measured amount of red wine every week for one year were 40 percent less likely to have the flu or a cold than those who did not. Scientists say drinking wine reduces the effect of various infections on the nose and respiratory tract, helping the immune system fight viruses.
5. Beneficial for improving memory and preventing Alzheimer's
The resveratrol in red wine can strengthen your ability to maintain a sharp memory over time. This active substance has been shown to inhibit the development of a protein called beta-amyloid, which is a significant protein found in Alzheimer's patients’ brains. So the longer you hold off its development in the brain, the better. In order to maintain good memory and brain functioning, experts recommend drinking red wine, solving crosswords and putting together puzzles.
1. Slows aging processes
Believe it or not, but different tests and studies have shown that drinking white wine restrains and slows aging processes in our bodies. Scientists who have studied the effectiveness of white wine in heart health have found that drinking it causes the activation of a gene called sirtuin 1, which helps curb various age effects and strengthens our body's health and vivacity. So, if you want to stay beautiful and young, pour yourself a refreshing glass of white wine every so often.
2. Reduces hangover symptoms
Usually, when we drink large amounts of alcohol we may wake up the following morning with unpleasant side effects of headaches and nausea, commonly known as a hangover. On the other hand, drinking white wine, even in large quantities, puts you at a much lower risk, because white wine contains a much lower concentration of congeners, chemicals that are present in wine that are to blame for hangovers
3. Has anti-bacterial properties
White wine and the alcohol contained in it have anti-bacterial properties that prevent infections and diseases, and in the past, there were even cultures that used to use this wine to disinfect wounds and bruises.
The substance called resveratrol which is found in wine in measured amounts, weakens and reduces the effect of various infections on the body, does not allow the oxidation of bad cholesterol, thus preventing the blood cells from sticking together and forming blood clots that can cause a heart attack
4. Helps to lose weight
White wine has fewer calories than red wine and has been shown to have weight-loss properties, according to a study conducted in Germany in 2004. The study found that subjects who followed a low carb diet and incorporated white wine were able to shed more weight than those who avoided the drink. A diet which allows for 10 percent of its calories to come from white wine was found to be as effective for weight loss as a diet in which 10 percent of the calories consumed came from drinking natural juices.
5. Contributes to lung health
Red wine is found to be beneficial to heart health, and it turns out that white wine is good for the lungs. Researchers at the University of Buffalo in the United States conducted a study of 1,555 people and found that those who drank white wine had the healthiest lungs. Although red wine contains more antioxidants, it seems that the anti-oxidants that exist in white wine, even if only in small amounts, are better for maintaining the health and cleanliness of our lungs.
After learning about both white wine and red wine's health benefits, we need to talk about the big question: Which is the healthiest and most recommended type of wine? The answer that has been most popular among wine and health experts around the world has been specifically red wine. The active ingredients in this wine, including tannin and resveratrol, as well as its nutritional composition, which contains less sugar and more iron, magnesium, and carotenoids, have made this wine seem much better than white wine.
However, in recent years it has become clear to researchers that white wine does not necessarily fall short of the health benefits of red wine, and even if the amount of antioxidants is significantly less than the amount in found red wine, the effects of these two types of wine on the cells of the body is almost identical.
Firstly, choose the taste and texture that you prefer. In addition, look at the health benefits of each type of wine, as noted above, and decide which ones are more important to you. Whether you choose white wine or red wine, as long as you take care to consume no more than one or two glasses a day, you will gain a significant boost to your health. Just remember that drinking wine and alcohol of any kind should be done in moderation.