The French paradox
One only needs to look to the French to see how a regular glass of red wine can improve one’s overall health, longevity and sleek physique. Despite the fact that many French people enjoy a diet that contains high fat foods(including cheeses, pastries and chocolates) not to mention many French citizens still indulge in the unhealthy habit of cigarette smoking, they still manage to maintain a polished look and a long life span compared to the average North American. In the mid nineteen ninties the television show “60 Minutes” ran a documentary based on the study of French people of Bordeaux, France which examined their eating and lifestyle habits. It was believed that their regular consumption and love of red wines is what helped keep them slim and full of vitality, despite some of their other unhealthy lifestyle habits. They refered to this as “the French paradox”. It was believed that the red wines helped to break down some of the unhealthy affects of the high cholesterol foods in their diet. It was not just the drinking of red wine, but the fact that the French frequently enjoyed their red wine in moderation, drinking only one or two glasses of wine with their meals. After the show aired on American television and the coined term “the French paradox” became familiar, consumption of red wine rose up roughly 40%.
Antioxidant rich red wine
One reason for the positive health effects of drinking red wine was mainly to do with the antioxidants found in red wine. Red wines contain a Polyphenol antioxidant known as Flavinoids that help fight free radicals in the body. An accumulation of free radicals can cause one to age faster, get sick or cause cancer cells to grow. Although alcohol itself has a negative impact on the body the rich and numerous antioxidants in red wines counter balance the negative affects of the alcohol. The antioxidants found in grapes is greatest in their seed’s and skin’s. Both are used to create red wine. The antioxidants found in red wine is higher than that found in the grape. However, not all red wines rate the same when it comes to being rich in Flavinoids. As mentioned red wines have more antioxidants than the sweeter, lighter tasting white wines. Red wines that are slightly bitter are better than the lighter sweeter reds. For example, Zinfandels and Merlots have less antioxidants then the very rich Cabernet Sauvignon, petite Syrah and Pinot Noir. The secret to drinking wine for it’s positive health effects is just to have one or two glasses of wine a day, with only 4-5 ounces of wine per glass, enjoyed with meals. Interestingly, it is more healthy and effective to drink wine moderately, but daily than to binge drink or to be just an occasional drinker.
How red wine and grapeseed oil can improve your skin
Historically wines were often used as a disinfectant and to clean out wounds in the skin. But in recent research red wine has been found to contain such intense, strong flavinoids from both the grapeseeds and skins that it may actually protect your skin from sunburns and sun damage. Researchers at the Spanish National Research Counsel at the Barcelona University in Spain believe that they have found enough evidence to claim that the flavinoids in the grapeseeds and skins of the grape help to protect the skin’s cells from being destroyed and damaged by the sun. Researchers and chemist are now curious to see if they can find a way to put the flavinoids of the red wine and grapeseeds into pills or creams for sun protection.
Grapeseeds and grapeseed oil has been found to have a positive antioxidant affect on the skin and is now being used in many skin care products including exfoliants, creams and lotions.
Relax and enjoy Vinotherapy for your skin
Another way your skin can benefit from the rich antioxidant affect of the grapes and wines of the fall harvest is through vinotherapy(also called vinotherapie). Vinotherapy is another healthy wine concept that came out of France in the late 20th century. Vinotherapy was originally produced by a French couple who learned about the positive affects of the grapeseeds and skins of the grapes from a pharmacologist named Joseph Vercauteren. He discovered that grapes were rich in Polyphenols and that they had an anti-aging affect on the skin. The French couple who pioneered the Vinotherapy treatments still run their spa today in Bordeaux, France at “Les Source de Caudalie”.
If you are looking to try some Vinotherapies for yourself, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to travel to Europe to enjoy them. We have our own spas offering them right here in the wine country of Southern Ontario, along with many rich wines to taste and try at the local wineries. In the wine region of Niagara-on the-Lake the Shaw Club, located at 92 Picton Street, has a wine lovers special said to be “pleasing both to the palate and the body”. This vinotherapy package includes: Di Vine Red Wine Wrap, a Vinotherapy Facial and a Grape and Wine Pedicure. Afterwards you are welcome to enjoy a class of wine next door at Zee’s Patio and Grill. This package goes for $290.00. To make a reservation call: 905-468-5711.
For a slightly different atmosphere travel to Kingston, Ontario to The Rosemount Inn and Spa located at 46 Sydenham St. South. This spa also offers Vinotherapy treatments. Try there d ‘Vine Vinotherapy Facial, made from powerful grapeseed and red wine extracts, which also includes a “blissful” massage for the face, neck, shoulders and scalp for $120.00
If you would like to make it a week-end trip for two, try Rosemounts D’Vine Duos: for $840.00 plus tax enjoy two nights at the historic Inn, including a full breakfast each morning, plus yummy treats and tea. The D’Vine Duo includes the following Spa therapies for two: the Vinotherapy facial, a red wine pedicure and a relaxing scalp and shoulder massage. To find out more details go to their website at: www.rosemountinn.com.
Fall’s harvest season is upon us, so pick yourself up a bottle of your favourite red wine to go with dinner, or even better plan a week-end get away savoaring the reds of the season in Ontario’s wine country. Enjoy a relaxing Vinotherapy during your visit. Your skin and every cell in your body will thank you.