We have all heard the classic rumours floating around that certain alcoholic beverages are ‘good for you’, especially when it comes to two popular all-time classics, red wine and Guinness.
So are the rumours true?, do these drinks actually provide any health benefits?
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that is naturally occurring in the skin of red grapes used to make wine. Studies say that polyphenols have been known to offer some protection against heart disease and high blood pressure, along with overall inflammation and immunity. Other traces of vitamins and minerals have been found in red wine, such as manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium which all have various positive effects on our health, if consuming the proper amount. Because the wine is quite concentrated in grapes, you will be getting a substantial number of antioxidants per glass, however you can also get these types of antioxidants in fresh concentrated (unsweetened) berry juice, without the effects of the alcohol.
Funny enough, back in the 1920’s Guinness was actually prescribed by Doctor’s to people who had low iron, including pregnant women. Guinness is made from barley malt which when eaten, is known for its high content of B vitamins including B6 and Folate, which are needed during pregnancy for healthy growth and development of the baby.
However, through the brewing process of this stout, the chance of absorbing an amount of these vitamins to affect your body in a healthy way is very low. The rumours about iron in Guinness are in fact true! A pint of Guinness contains about 3% of our recommended daily intake of iron, which is actually quite impressive for an alcoholic beverage!
But in comparison… 150g of cooked green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale etc.) contain about 15-20% of our recommended daily intake. So, if you are feeling low in iron, we don’t necessarily recommend reaching for a Guinness over some delicious green vegetables!
With the calorie content of over 120 kcals per glass for each of these delicious drinks, unfortunately if over consumption occurs, the calories and alcoholic content of these two beverages can trump any benefits they may have. But everything in moderation is key to an overall healthy lifestyle.
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