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Health Benefits of Wine and Cheese?

One satisfying way to celebrate nourishing the body is with a glass of red wine and some cheese. The health benefits of red wine are plentiful: it has powerful antioxidant properties that are derived from the red pigments in grape skins (members of a family of compounds called proanthocyanidins); it contains tannins that can help reduce the risk of heart attack by hindering the formation of blood clots; and studies have shown that red wine can raise levels of HDL, the protective form of cholesterol.

While I rarely drink red wine myself, I do think it's beneficial for some people. I recommend organic red wine, and limiting your intake to no more than 1-2 servings per day (if you do not drink alcohol, do not start for health reasons).

Cheese, I do enjoy. While I used to eat cheese sparingly (and with some guilt) because of its fat content and effect on cholesterol levels, research on its health benefits has led me to incorporate more cheese into my diet, as it’s a natural source of calcium and protein. Soft French cheeses tend to be higher in fat, so eat them prudently – healthier options include organic, natural cheeses such as Emmental (Swiss), Jarlsberg and true Parmesan. Just a small amount of cheese offers a big taste, so a piece or two should be satisfactory.

Why not enjoy some Eggplant-Walnut Pâté with your wine and cheese?

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Reader Comments (8)

Cheese also contains vitamin K, and that's beneficial for the heart and arteries.

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHector Corsi

You forgot the biggest health benefits of all: Satisfaction, relaxation, enjoyment, pleasure. There's nothing in this world quite like the pairing of a sultry wine and savory cheese. I'm no expert in endocrinology, so I can't tell you why, but I know being happy keeps me healthy, and that wine and cheese make me happy.

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua Lynn

Beer has been shown to have similar health benefits. The flavonoids in dark beers, in particular, are high in anti-oxidants. Additionally, it has been shown that those who drink 1-2 beers regularly have a lower risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Cheers

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoberto

Is there any concern about the acidifyiing nature of both the wine and cheese?

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I am a big fan of wine and cheese. I am glad to see the article on it's health benefits. A glass of red wine with dinner is a small pleasure that I look forward to. Add cheese to the mix and it now qualifies as of my favorite things to eat. I'll look for the article on red wine and chocolate next.

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Albers

Small amounts of a variety of organic cheeses can also help to re-seed gut flora.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCesca

But what if you are lactose intolerant? Then what? I LOVE cheese, but am finding even lactose pills inept in aiding in the digestion of cheese.

January 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Cheese also contains milk. Milk contains high levels of progesterone and estrogen. High levels of progesterone and estrogen increase the risk for prostate cancer. Milk consumption has also been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. This may sound surprising, but it's all true.

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurence
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