Can you get enough resveratrol from grapes and wines, or is supplementation a must? The self-checklist
You must have heard that having a glass of red wine provides several health benefits. It is because, along with the alcohol content, red wine also has a significant quantity of a compound known as resveratrol. This compound has gained considerable popularity as researchers have conducted several studies to establish its health benefits. Many studies have revealed that resveratrol can benefit humans when consumed in appropriate quantities. So is a bowl full of grapes or a glass of wine sufficient to get enough resveratrol to reap its health benefits. Let's find out.
What is resveratrol, and how does it work?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in several plant species, especially red grapes. It belongs to a group of compounds known as polyphenols and is known to have antioxidant properties. Resveratrol in grapes is mainly found in the skin and seeds. It acts as a part of a plant's defense mechanism to protect against harmful fungi, microbial infections, ultraviolet radiation, and injury.
Resveratrol is said to be benefit humans owing to its antioxidant properties. Excessive free radicals produced in the body can cause damage to tissue, proteins, and DNA. As an antioxidant, resveratrol works against these free radicals by scavenging them or facilitating their decomposition.
What is the amount of resveratrol in grapes and wines?
Red grapes and derived products like juices and red wines contain the highest amount of this polyphenol compared to other foods. It is because the skin and seeds of grapes are allowed to stay longer in the juices during the red winemaking process. In the case of white wine, the skin and seeds are removed much earlier. Therefore, less resveratrol gets incorporated into the wine. So, if you want to derive its benefits through food and plant sources, red wine must be your choice. Pinot noir is a type of red wine with highest resveratrol content of 0.27mg/ 100ml. St. Laurent is another one.
However, if you think that you can get the required daily dose of resveratrol just by drinking wine, you are mistaken. Even a wine with highest resveratrol content won't be enough. The amount of resveratrol in wines is much less compared to what you need daily. For example, a liter of red wine contains around 12.59 mg of resveratrol. It means you will have to drink about 40 liters of red wine daily to get a regular dose of 500 mg of this antioxidant which is definitely not recommended.
If you wish to start resveratrol supplements, do not forget to talk to your doctor about it, as large doses can cause unwanted side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Moreover, resveratrol can interact with certain medications like blood thinners and lead to complications. So, let your doctor know about all the medicines you are on. Unlike drugs, the FDA does not regulate supplements, and one cannot be sure of the amount of resveratrol present in a supplement. So your best bet would be to stick to natural sources of resveratrol like red grapes, peanuts, pistachios, blueberries, and red wine. Drinking wine in moderation is the key! Safe amount for men is 10 oz per day, and for women, it is 5 oz. Please note that pregnant women and people with heart ailments must avoid alcohol consumption in any form.