Italy is considered the home country of wine, one of Italians' favorite alcoholic beverages.
Wine is not simply considered a drink in Italy, but it is part of local habits and culture, especially when sitting around the table. A lot of people in Italy decide to drink a glass of wine a day whether at lunch, dinner and even as a drink during the ubiquitous aperitivo.
Alcohol is usually not considered an appropriate ingredient in a healthy diet, but unlikely many other drinks wine is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it is considered to have many beneficial properties that can help people to prevent specific problems; obviously, we are talking about little amounts, a glass or two depending on age, sex and health condition of the subject. Red wine is always preferred to white.
Benefits of wine
Some experts still debate on the benefits wine can bring to people's life: there are those who underline that, together with positive factors, there are also many negative ones, especially if consumed in great quantity. However, here is a series of beneficial features contained in the so-called Gods' nectar:
-Wine is anti-ageing. This property is given by the presence of resveratrol in grapes: it catches radicals, which are one of the most damaging mechanisms for cells, before they become active.
-Wine is also good for the protection of the heart as it stimulates production of good cholesterol, activated through flavonoids. It also has a strong antioxidant effect, which can prevent arteriosclerosis.
-Wine helps circulation thanks to a high presence of potassium that regulates blood stream and invigorates blood-vessels.
-Wine is a support in the fight against viruses. Tannins make it a great antibacterial and antiviral drink, as they stimulate the immune system.
-Wine prevents the inflammatory processes responsible for osteoporosis thanks to caffeic acid.
-Wine protects the stomach thanks to the presence of polyphenols that ensure the protection of the gastric mucosa from ulceration, and the promotion of digestive juices.
The range of benefits to health brought by wine is quite high. It goes from cancer prevention, to the protection of heart and brain; moreover, its anti-ageing properties are renowned and it is for this reason that there are cosmetics made from wine.
Medicine and science have discovered the important features of the best loved alcoholic drink in Italy, but the elderly, in the end, always knew that: in the past, the elderly would drink a glass of wine both at lunch and dinner, maintaining that: il vino fa buon sangue (wine makes good blood). It may have been popular belief, but this old saying has been now proven by science.
Certainly, wine is not the only alcoholic beverage consumed in Italy, but people truly like going out and enjoy a good glass in wine bars all over the country.
Wine, like all the alcoholic drinks, must, however, be consumed with moderation and one or two glasses will do. In fact, its good properties can turn out to be positive and beneficial on condition that it is not drunk in excessive quantities.
In vino veritas, in wine rests the truth, is a famous Latin saying meaning that if a person is tipsy will certainly tell the truth; we could say in vino salus, in wine rests health, but never drink too many glasses!