Antioxidant Sangria is a delicious and refreshing summer cocktail to sip poolside with the free-radical fighting power of antioxidants + the benefits of a daily glass of wine.
Sip, sip, hooray! Today is National Wine Day! Also known as my favorite food holiday. Also known as every day. In honor of this very special occasion, I thought I’d share some nutritional wisdom to go with your glass of vino. So raise your glass to the benefits of wine, and then make this yummy Antioxidant Sangria (with your cheapest bottle) to celebrate!
I’m sure by now you have heard that drinking wine has some health benefits. That is very much true, and these claims are backed by research, but before I share them with you, there is a stipulation. All of these health benefits are from mild to moderate wine consumption, not from one glass a month, and definitely not from a bottle every day. To reap the benefits, the American Heart Association recommends that drinkers consume one drink a day (5 oz of wine) for women, or two drinks a day for men (10 oz of wine). Now without further ado, get pouring and reap the rewards!
While the research on some topics is limited, the scientific literature in other areas is extensive. To save you from going through and reading all of it, I’ll sum it up for you here:
- Wine, a fermented beverage made from the flesh and skins of grapes, contains alcohol (obviously), plus vitamins and minerals that may not be present in other fermented drinks. Woo! Wine also contains many polyphenols, including phenolic acids, stilbenes (the one you may have heard of is called resveratrol), and flavonoids. These compounds act as antioxidants, which protect against cell damage. In fact, red wine provides more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables, although the bioavailability of each is still unknown. (White wine, rose and champagne have small amounts of these compounds, too.)
- There is strong evidence that mild to moderate daily alcohol intake reduces all-cause mortality (death), and especially reduced mortality from heart disease, versus non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.
- Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, including wine, has been shown to protect against hypertension, atherosclerosis and heart attacks. In the case of wine, the cardioprotective effects are due to multiple mechanisms in the body, not only from the alcohol, but also from the polyphenols (antioxidants). Since heart disease is the number-one cause of death in women, this is super important, ladies!
- Even more awesome for heart health, moderate wine drinking has been shown to increase blood concentrations of omega-3’s (EPA and DHA) in patients with cardiovascular disease, comparable to consuming fish.
- Research on the neuroprotective effects of wine is still evolving, but in some recent studies, moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of dementia, and the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’ disease was significantly lower. This is thought to be due to alcohol’s cerebrovascular effects, as well as from the effect of antioxidant polyphenols, such as resveratrol present in red wine.
- Resveratrol is thought to protect against various neurological disorders in experimental models, including brain ischemia, seizures, and neurodegenerative disease models such as Alzheimer’s, Macular Degeneration and Parkinson’s Disease.
Whew! Those are some pretty awesome benefits! Of course, there are risks to drinking alcohol as well. Some studies have linked alcohol consumption to certain types of cancers, such as breast cancer, and you should never drink if you have liver damage, as alcohol can cause further damage. And of course, don’t drink and drive. There’s Uber.
Ok, enough medical talk. On to the awesome recipe. This Antioxidant Sangria combines the antioxidant power of red wine’s resveratrol with antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice and berries to produce a delicious, fruity wine drink that’s perfect for sipping pool-side! It’s the perfect sangria to kick off summer this Memorial Day! As if the health benefits weren’t enough, you now have a super tasty reason to enjoy all that wine has to offer. Cheers!
Antioxidant Sangria is a delicious and refreshing summer cocktail to sip poolside with the free-radical fighting power of antioxidants!
- 2 cups blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and diced peaches
- 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine (I like to use chianti)
- 1/2 cup triple sec
- 1/2 cup 100% pomegranate juice
- 1 cup club soda
- Place fruit in the bottom of a large pitcher.
- Add wine, triple sec, pomegranate juice, and club soda. Stir to combine.
- To serve, fill glasses halfway with ice. Pour sangria and fruit over the top. Garnish with more fruit. Cheers!