Can Wine Help Strengthen Your Immune System

12.07.20  \\\  Posted by Jennifer O'Neill  \\\  Wine 101

Can Wine Help Strengthen Your Immune System? By Jennifer O’Neill

Immunity is on every health buff’s mind these days, with immune-boosting supplements expected to spike over 25% this year, reaching $3.3 billion in sales - as reported by Nutrition Business Journal. There are other scientifically proven ways to strengthen one’s immunity, of course, including consuming a healthy diet and working out regularly. If you are a wine lover, then you will probably already know a fair bit about resveratrol’s positive effect on human heart health. One question remains, however: can it perform a protective function in your immunity as well?

 

The Immunoprotective Effects Of Resveratrol

The polyphenol resveratrol activates Sirt1 - a type of enzyme that has various antioxidant, neuroprotective, cardioprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. It can stimulate the reprogramming of T cells (which attack viruses and bacteria) to boost the immune system. Resveratrol is found in abundance in red wine, as well as in a plethora of foods - including dark chocolate, peanuts, blueberries and pistachios. In order to benefit from resveratrol, you may need to do more than drink wine (i.e. resveratrol supplementation may be the way to go), say Harvard University scientists. However, they add that if you do wish to obtain your daily resveratrol quotient from wine, you should keep it moderate - i.e. women should have no more than one glass per day, while men can enjoy around two glasses.

 

The Mediterranean Diet As An Immunity Booster

In addition to enjoying wine, you also need to control your dietary intake for optimal immunity. Study after study has shown that the Mediterranean diet can help contribute to a well functioning immune system in many ways, owing to its high-fiber content (which helps create a healthy gut microbiome). It is also low in sugar and refined foods, which helps lower inflammation. In addition to enjoying meals made with lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, pulses, and healthy Omega-3 fats (found in fatty fish and extra-virgin olive oil) you should also try out a few superfoods. One study by University of Florida researchers found that consuming shiitake mushrooms (which are native to Asia) led to better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins. "If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in [your] immune system that are beneficial," said lead researcher, Sue Percival.

 

Red Wine And The Mediterranean Diet Go Hand In Hand

One effect that a healthy diet and resveratrol-rich wine or supplements have in common is the ability to fight inflammation. Chronic inflammation, which is linked to everything from heart disease to aging, results when the immune system overreacts to ‘self’ tissue. In order to stay healthy, human beings should avoid inflammation by controlling their blood sugar, exercising regularly, losing weight if they need to, and battling stress proactively. Keep stress levels low on a daily basis through natural practices such as spending time in nature and taking part in mindfulness-based activities like meditation and yoga.

 

Resveratrol has been found to strengthen the immunity, so a glass or two of wine a day makes an ideal complement to a Mediterranean -style diet. This diet helps battle inflammation, which is a sign that the immune system is reacting to one’s own tissue. Diet is only one part of the puzzle, which should also include an active lifestyle and a commitment to taking part in stress-busting activities.

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