wine tours and other cultural and themed activities. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience. ">Wine is engrained in our culture, and even more so in that of many European nations, and European wine tours have become a much sought after holiday choice for lovers of the delectable drink. Despite the fact that wine is alcohol and alcohol has been linked on several counts to ill health, wine has not lost any of its appeal. The Mediterranean people, for example, seem to thrive on it, as anyone who enjoys wine tasting on European wine tours will know. |
We have all heard about the benefits of drinking a little good red wine, but is this actually true or do we just tell ourselves that to make us feel less guilty? Recent research has solidified the claim that not only red wine, but coffee too, can have significant health benefits. Great news for lovers of wine tours in France and Italy, in particular, where the coffee is also amazing!
It is becoming increasingly accepted that not all bacteria are bad, and, in fact, the gut microbiome in our intestines, made up of trillions of microbes, can actually be of benefit to our health. When we consider that the microbiome is linked to so many of our bodily functions, such as metabolism, digestion, our mood and immune regulation, we can see how its state can affect our whole wellbeing. The efficiency of the gut bacteria in helping our body function depends on the diversity and the composition of the microbiome community. Diversity is key, as the larger the number of different bacteria, the larger the variety of vitamins and enzymes produced to in turn help our physiology.
Your Personal Microbiome
Not everyone has the same microbiome make-up. Lifestyle and genetic factors affect the diversity and the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut. A study from The Netherlands deduced that our gut microbiome has a strong correlation with many diseases, such as metabolic syndromes and inflammatory disease. It also concluded that lifestyle factors such as smoking, antibiotic use, diet and many more directly influence the composition and diversity of our microbiome.
What Did the Study Uncover?
Strong correlations were discovered between a healthy gut and fruit, vegetable, yoghurt, red wine and coffee intake. Drinking red wine and coffee helps keep the microbiome community healthy and also diverse. Great news for anyone looking at wine tours for their holiday this year!
As you might have predicted, however, it is not quite that cut and dry. It appeared that only red wine had the desirable effects on the microbiome, and white and rosé did not. It is considered more of an observation that a relationship between microbiome composition and alcohol exists, as it is not yet completely understood. Red wine and coffee both contain polyphenols (also found in tea and chocolate), which is thought to be the compound responsible for the positive effect on the bacterial composition seen.
Interestingly, there was also an observation that red wine consumption was correlated with an anti-inflammatory organism that helped prevent inflammatory bowel disease.
The idea of this research is not to advocate that drinking lots of red wine is good for you, but instead to make people aware of the relationship between foods that increase and foods that decrease your gut diversity. Less diverse equals less benefit, so for now, red wine and coffee should be enjoyed in moderation. Go ahead and get those wine tours booked!
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge holidays. Offering holidays to France and other great destinations, itineraries include wine tours and other cultural and themed activities. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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