Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Africa Maybe The Home Of The Most Healthiest Wine In The World

imagesJY5ROBSYIf you had any reservations about how healthy wine really is, a vineyard in South Africa is helping to convert even the most skeptical: The Audacia winery on the Western Cape has developed a wine made from rooibos and honeybush that may be the healthiest we’ve seen yet.

Traditionally used for tea, rooibos and honeybush have been grown in the region for centuries. Winery owner Trevor Strydom took this traditional crop and developed a new way to produce wine that replaces the traditional oak wood with indigenous rooibos and honeybush wood.

Here’s the exciting part: that antioxidant-boost red wine is so well-known for is actually increased in this South African variety, thanks to the rooibos itself. A study in Food Chemistry found that rooibos is not only rich in antioxidants, but also significantly increases our blood’s capacity to absorb the nutrient. This study found this boosts the body’s natural defenses too, and previous studies have linked higher antioxidant levels to reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease, among other benefits.

The higher antioxidant levels also help preserve the wine naturally. This means the rooibos-and-honeybush vino is free of a preservative by-product, sufites, which is found in most wines. And sulfites cause an allergic reaction in many people. Both plants also have low tannin levels, another compound found in some traditional wines that can irritate people.

As for the most important part—the taste—Audacia describes their vino with words we love to hear regarding any Merlot: a tobacco-like smokiness with hints of vanilla, cherry, and black pepper. And since rooibos tea is already a little fruity, this is a blend we’re dreaming of tasting.

The wine is currently only available through the winery’s website, but our fingers are crossed it gets picked up by American distributors soon.

And the mastermind behind this pumped-up variety, Strydom, is looking beyond just grapes. The unique taste and natural preservation abilities of rooibos and honeybush wood make them ideal for beer and cider as well. That means that the health benefits of all alcohol—at least the non-hard liquor variety—may one day be supercharged. Cheers to that idea!

Courtesy of Shape Magazine

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Drinks For The Weekend And Still Lose Weight? OMG!

Before you grab that drink this weekend, read this.

1. Calories. For most people the calories in the mixers of their favorite cocktails pose a far greater barrier to weight loss than the healthy cocktailsactual alcohol. Just 4oz of some daiquiri or margarita mixes can contain upwards of 35 grams of sugar (that’s 7 teaspoons of sugar)! Plus, they’re more than double the amount of calories in the shot of rum or tequila included in the drink (that is, if you’re only served ½ cup of mixer). What’s worse, the calories from mixers are the worst kinds of calories, simple and refined sugars. When they’re combined with the metabolic effects of alcohol, it gets even worse.

2. Alcohol content. One myth about alcohol is that it will make you fat. But the truth is, it’s the combination of alcohol and sugars found in mixers (or the bar food often consumed with alcohol) that causes problems. Alcohol does contain calories, but it’s safe to assume that no one gains a lot of weight by throwing back shots of straight vodka. Instead, it is the metabolic priority that your body places on alcohol (over carbohydrates and fats) that causes the problem. Your body wants to process alcohol before anything else, which has been shown to create a metabolic environment that is almost the opposite of the environment your body creates following exercise—one of high circulating levels of fat and inhibited fat burning.

While this may sound all doom and gloom, there are upsides to drinking alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption (1 drink per day for women) increases your HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, and studies show that people who have a couple drinks each week live longer. How can you get the best of both worlds?

1. When you drink, know your serving sizes. A glass of wine is not a full glass but 5oz (red wine glasses can hold 12-14oz).

2. Minimize the calories from mixers. Make margaritas with real lime juice, use diet tonic water, or even the naturally calorie-free club soda instead of regular tonic water and other high-calorie carbonated drinks.

3. If you are aggressively pursuing a weight-loss goal, corral any drinks to your splurge meals to reduce their impact on your overall fat burning.

~ courtesy of SHAPE and OMG

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