A glass of wine with your meal is a great thing, they go hand in hand. The wine compliments the food and together they become a wonderful culinary experience. Whether a dinner party at home or dining out at a restaurant, wine normally plays a part in the whole experience.
Whatever else we get from the wine that accompanies our food, does it help with digestion? Or is this just a myth?
Does Wine Help Digestion?
It is a common notion that wine does help with digestion, as well as having health benefits if consumed in moderation. There are also references to how it can help to digest our food. It can help, if only on a psychological level rather than a scientific one. The Mediterranean diet involves wine and all those people can’t be wrong.
Drinking Wine With Your Meal
Many of us like to enjoy a glass of wine with our meal, we may choose red, white or rose depending on the wine we prefer or the food we are eating. We will go to our home bar and grab a couple of bottles of wine for the table when we have family or friends round for dinner.
In a restaurant the culture is to choose wine to go with the food we are eating, it’s part of the dining experience.
Wine and eating go hand in hand and have done for centuries, their is an idea that wine does help us to digest our food. In Italy, Spain and France it would be hard to find a dinner table without wine on it. Is that a social thing, or do the Mediterraneans know the benefits of wine with food?
I am not a Scientist or Dietician, which means that I do not have the knowledge to say outright whether wine does or does not help with digestion. Having said that, we live in a modern world where information is easily accessible, so it won’t take much to find out the correct answer.
Or will it?
Wine And Digestion Research
I have the assumption that wine with a meal will help me digest the food, where I got that assumption is hard to pinpoint. I just think it is a general assumption in our society.
Does wine really help us digest food? I thought I would do the research and find out once and for all if this is truth or myth.
The people of the Mediterranean drink wine with their meals for a reason, so this seemed like a good place to start.
Whilst it is true that the people of the Med do drink wine with their meals, the reason why is vague. There are plenty of studies that explain the harms of alcohol, with connections to cancers and heart disease.
The governments of the US and UK advise against alcohol consumption giving us limits of safe daily consumption which amount to two drinks for a male per day and one drink for a female. There is plenty of studies that alcohol whether consumed through wine during a meal or not has many health risks.
There are not many studies that give alcohol or wine consumption with food any favorable outcome. At least not officially, but their are those that say wine does have benefits to health as well as digestion. This is mainly directed at red wine because it has more antioxidants and less sugar.
Red wine then, consumed in moderation with a healthy diet (like a Mediterranean diet) could have small health benefits, but not officially. It is said that it could have, but doesn’t mean it will have. I think those that study this subject don’t have a full understanding yet of the way wine and food effect our health.
It sounds like red wine is the best for our health as well as our digestion, but it is worth taking a look at rose and white too.
Red Wine And Digestion
It seems to be that if any wine helps with digestion at all, it is red wine. According to one study, out of all alcoholic drinks, red wine has the best positive impact on the health of our gut.
There are references to red wine being a positive for the health of our hearts, as long as it is consumed in moderation. As well as it increasing our levels of good cholesterol and helping against bad cholesterol.
As for the Mediterraneans drinking wine with their meals, I think although it may be perceived that it can help with digestion, it is more of a cultural thing. The fact that they tend to drink red wine mainly and moderately, along with a healthy diet is why it works for them.
Rose Wine And Digestion
When it comes to rose wine, which has gained popularity in recent years, their is no more evidence than that of red wine. Rose wine does have less antioxidants that red wine, but more than white wine, which figures. It is a very similar story to red wine, consumed in moderation it may have a small positive effect on your health, just not on the same level as red wine.
It has fewer calories, so can be seen as a better option if you are calorie counting. Although their is no real concrete evidence that rose wine is a healthy option, it seems to be the thinking that it has more benefits than white wine, but not as many as red wine.
It is in the middle of the road when it comes to any kind of positive benefits.
White Wine And Digestion
After what we have heard about red wine and rose wine it seems pointless to even look at white wine. It looks to have the least health benefits (if consumed moderately), as well as the least digestion benefits than rose or red wine. But maybe it is better than its two sister wines at certain foods.
An interesting article looking at how wine is better consumed with food from Wine Spectator does take some information from a study conducted by the British Medical Journal in which it references white wine and digestion. It states that white wine can help aid digestion when eating heavy food such as cheese fondue.
This means that while white wine may not be as effective as rose or red wine, with certain foods it may have the edge.
I am not sure their is a solid conclusion to this subject, all the information I found hinted towards some health benefits as well as some digestion benefits of all three wines. Obviously red wine seems to be the leader of the three, but their is no concrete evidence that their are any benefits at all.
There is plenty of advice that alcohol is bad for us, and we all know the effect it can have on our bodies if we over indulge and consume too much of it in one session. But drink it in moderation and the effect on our bodies can be seen as a positive one, according to some sources.
On a personal level I believe their is some truth in wine helping with digestion, both myself and my wife have a glass with our evening meal and it seems to stop any bloating. What is your experience with wine and food, share your thoughts below.
I think the Mediterraneans have got the balance right, a glass of wine with a healthy meal is probably not only good for the soul, but may also have a minimal health benefit and be a minimal aid in digestion. All in all that sounds pretty good to me, so does wine help digestion? May be, but no one knows for sure.