Beauty of Wine and Grape Juice

The presence and evidence of wine has been traced to the first and second millennium in China and from there, production of wine has been found to also exist during 5000-6000 BC in the Mid-East.  Wine evolved and technology began to advance during the Roman Empire as vineyards were cultivated and wine was stored and shipped in barrels.  Today, researchers provide us with the latest DNA results concerning the progress of the fruit and it’s spirit.

After much DNA research on grapes in the countries of Australia, France and Italy the studies have concluded that the next two-four years of wine production should be exceptional due to the optimal quality of the grape. “The cultivated heterozygous grape species, Vitis vinifera, has potential to become a model for fruit trees genetics after determining it’s genome sequencing”, according to the IASMA Research Center, San Michele all’Adige, Trento, Italy.   Agriculturalists will benefit from this research by quickly identifying and reducing the number of micro-organisms or parasites that are bringing harm to the plant, allowing the farmers to produce a more stable product.  The consumers can look forward to a higher quality wine, which will be more readily available.

Italian wines have consistently outpaced the French and Spanish wines over the past few years. Recent statistics released in a survey done in Los Angeles, CA have shown young Americans and women to perfer: Chianti Classico, Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige and Friuli), Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello.  However, countries that are competing for a place in the local cantina are: Africa, Argentina and Portugual.  All who have found ways to provide a table wine that will elegantly enhance the simplest to priciest of dinners.

              Recent information in the media presents the  medicinal benefits of wine and juice content of fruit (i.e. Minute Maid), which comes from a chemical compound called Resveratrol (also found in peanuts, soy, cranberries, blueberries, and Itadori tea which maybe a good substitute for red wine) linking it to possible human longevity.  What is known about resveratrol is that it is produced in the skin of red/purple grapes and it’s main purpose is to operate as an anti-fungal agent or an anitbiotic.  It transfers to the juice of the fruit during crushing and fermentation. It’s typically found in red wines, but not white wines. 

Resveratrol is a phenolic compound that can be found where grapes grow in colder climates such as: Northern CA, MI, Canada and North European countries.  This is because rainfall is more and sunlight is less, hence the need for resveratrol to fight against developing fungi.

Medicinal resveratrol has been evident when 1 glass of wine is consumed daily, permitting the blood cells to smoothly pass each other instead of sticking to one another and creating potential blood clots that lead to heart disease. According to the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute), Resveratrol is being studied to determine it’s effect on damaged DNA and how it may act as an anti-cancer agent. “It appears related to anti-oxidation, where resveratrol may prevent and repair damage to DNA associated with the initiation of cancer, as well as acting to prevent the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, both at the gene and cell level.”

One cup serving of grapes yields: 57 calories, 6 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 2 mg of sodium, 1 gram of dietary fiber and vitamins A and C.

One glass of red wine yields: 4 oz 85 calories, sodium 6 mg, total carbohydrates 2 g.

by: Kimberly Crocker Scardicchio

Global Literature Research

  1. Perspectives in Nutrition, Sixth Edition Wardlow, Hampl, DiSilvestro
  2. Fundementals of Anatomy & Physiology 6th Edition, F. Martini
  3. pubmed.gov PLoS ONE. 2007 Dec 19;2(12):e1326.
  4. http://www.awri.com.au/industry_development/wine_and_health/faqs/
  5. http://www.foodanddrinkeurope.com/news/ng.asp?n=66631-grape-genome-wine
  6. http://194.177.100.52/comunicati/doc/2350-gbChiusuraVinitalyUs07.doc
  7. Pubmed Jennifer Burns, Takao Yokota, Hiroshi Ashihara, Michael E. J. Lean, and Alan Crozier*Plant Products and Human Nutrition Group, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IBLS, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, U.K., Department of Human Nutrition, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Queen Elizabeth Building, Glasgow, G31 2ER, U.K., Department of Biosciences, Teikyo University, Utsunomiya 320-8551, Japan, and Metabolic Biology Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ochanomizu University, Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8610, Japan                 

Sleep for longevity, diet, beauty, health, memory

  After recently reading an interesting article on “The Benefits of Sleep”,  I reflected on the time that I lived in Italy.  Certain facts about various diets and their cultures should be embraced and put into practice .  Although diet is an important factor when it comes to longevity,  it also seems that other variables, such as sleep need to be considered as well. Is it possible that these populations within Italy, Costa Rica, Japan and Greece, which have been linked to longevity, diet, beauty, health and memory could know something about the benefits of sleep? 

Sleep is something valued and apart of their daily routines and according to the study an attribute to longevity.  The work day in Latin cultures begin between 8-9 am.  Lunch is at 1-2 pm followed by a “siesta”, with their workday being recommenced at 4-4:30pm.  They return home for a walk at 8-8:30 pm and a small dinner at 9-9:30 pm.  Of course, certain industrialized cities may require you to skip your siesta and to work  from  9 am -7 pm.  The purpose of sleep and reduced stress is valued nonetheless.

Sleep is also linked to proper nutritional intake.  For example, the two hormones affected by sleep deprivation are related to eating: gherlin, which tells you to eat and leptin, which tells you when you are full!  Lack of sleep will confuse the hormones and you will overeat, because of the decrease in leptin function.  Additionally, cortisol levels increase and your metabolism slows down.

Dr. Michael Breus PhD and author of “Beauty Sleep”, discusses the fact of sleep deprivation halting the nutrients level of activity in the skin, therefore, you wake up pale and washed out.  While sleeping, the growth hormone is performing tissue and cellular repair, allowing for a decreased amount of wrinkles and and attribution to looking refreshed.

Other studies have shown an 21% increase in mortality rates of women who did not get 7-8 hours of sleep.  Research reveals that decreased sleep is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.

Scientists have suggested that sleep allows for your brain to “sort out short-term memories into other areas so that it’s ready to take in more the next day. It maybe the way the brain rebuilds  and strengthens it’s circuits says neuro-scientist Marcos Frank PhD.

So what do you think about sleep and how does it positively or negatively effect your life and daily routines?

By Kimberly Crocker

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