The Mediterranean diet is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids from vegetable oils or saltwater fish. Another important ingredient of the Mediterranean diet are red grapes in the form of red wine, which is regularly drunk but moderately to the meal. The moderate consumption of red wine for eating is among the French for "savoir vivre". The red wine phenols from the red wine and the vitamins from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can neutralize free radicals and thus protect against vascular changes. The ingredients of the Mediterranean diet thus play a significant role in the health of the cardiovascular system. Mediterranean cuisine is heart-healthy enjoyment - even in Germany.
French people feast and like to "sin" for their lives. One would assume that this "lifestyle" has a negative impact on health. Corn non, quite the opposite: The risk of heart attack in France for men and women between 40 and 69 years is only half that compared to other countries. Even though the French eat the same fatty food and even smoke more cigarettes compared to the rest of the Europeans.
This phenomenon (lower mortality rates from cardiovascular disease compared to other industrial nations, although the risk factors such as cigarette smoking, high-fat diets are comparably high) is called the "French paradox". Here the question of the "why" comes up. Can the dietary vision be scientifically substantiated?
The answer is as bright as it is paradoxical: It is the regular red wine consumption, which should ensure "good-hearted" health. C'est vrai! The French drink on average more red wine than we Germans do - but the decisive factor is the daily amount of moderate alcohol consumption. With the same amount of alcohol consumed, menstrual infarction rates in Belfast are more than four times higher than those of the French. Decisive for the positive health effects of red wine should therefore be a regular but moderate enjoyment and of course the red wine per se.
What makes red wine an elixir of life?
It has long been suspected that moderate red wine consumption is beneficial to health. At the beginning of the 90s, two researchers began to provide scientific proof. In 1992, the two French scientists Renaud and de Lorgeril found in a field trial that red wine has a preventative health effect, for example, in terms of arteriosclerosis (arteriosclerosis).
Since then, researchers have been working tirelessly on the ingredients of red wine on an international scale and have now discovered more than 500 components, including proteins, sugars, acids, tannins and colors, minerals, trace elements, and flavorings and bouquet substances.
Red wine phenols - a reason for the French paradox
But which ingredients gave the red wine the myth of a long and healthy life? It is above all the bioactive red wine phenols which make up 0.2% of the red wine but only 0.01% of the white wine. Whilst white wine is made from the pressed juice of the grape, the rich red of the red wine is produced because all the grapes, including the peel, are mashed. So the health-promoting substances from the shell and the cores of the red grape come into the glass - well then: A votre santé!
What are phenols?
Phenols belong to the group of phytochemicals. This substance class is a product of the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. Phenols consist of an aromatic ring system to which one and, in the case of polyphenols, at least two alcoholic groups are bonded.
Due to the production process of red wine, in which the crushed grapes remain in contact with the grape juice in the "mash fermentation" for several days, it comes in the red wine to an enrichment of the polyphenols contained mainly in the grape skins and pips. In contrast, in the production of white wine, the grape juice is squeezed directly and then fermented separately. Red wine therefore contains much higher concentrations of polyphenols (1500-4000 mg / l) than white wine (200-500 mg / l).