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Let's Talk Wine

By Rachel Carver

Wine comes in many flavors and is enjoyed by many of us. Whether you prefer red or white, you may also wonder if there is such a thing as a healthier wine.

We have become familiar with terms such as "organic" and "handmade" that label foods and beverages. "Natural" is another familiar term in the wine world. Wine-makers now embrace low-intervention production methods. The increased focus on health causes consumers to find healthier alternatives to our favorite products, including wine.

What is natural wine, and it is it really a healthier option? Read on to find out.

What Is Natural Wine

Though grapes are the primary wine ingredient, more items are used to create this tasty adult beverage. Some wines may contain more than 70 legally allowable additives. No consensus exists on a natural wine definition, but many present it as a beverage without anything added ore removed.

Natural wine production starts with organic grapes. Pesticides and preservatives are not used. Natural wines are less adulterated, which means they closer represent the raw ingredients in the bottle. This does not impact the taste. But this traditional wine production has grown in popularity.

Is Natural Wine Healthier?

Natural wine is still alcohol. But people allergic to certain additives may have better luck with natural wine. Natural wine gives you less sulfites. However, sulfites are in canned soups, dried fruits, and other beverages, so they are not the reason for your headache the next morning. Drinking too much natural wine will give you the same unpleasant results as consuming too much conventional wine.

Polyphenols, micronutrients that naturally occur in plants and act as antioxidants, are found in all wine. Because low-intervention is typically used in the production of natural wines, they may give you more of these compounds. Most natural wines do not go through the fining process, which clarifies and stabilizes wines. Research suggests that wines with higher amounts of polyphenols may positively influence health.

The Bottom Line

Unless you are allergic to certain additives, you don't have to stop drinking your favorite conventional wine. However, if you want to limit your overall exposure to additives such as sulfite, natural wine might be your best option. Remember you will also need to read labels on products such as packaged meats to cut down on sulfite.

Whether you drink conventional or natural wine, consume it in moderation. Alcohol gives you about seven calories per ounce.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fresno, Calif.

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