Polyphenols are responsible for some of the benefits of red wine. We’ll tell you what they are.
Polyphenols are chemical plant compounds present in some plants known, above all, for their antioxidant properties. This means that they protect cells against ageing, as well as reducing the production of free radicals. That is why it is considered one of the best anti-ageing substances that nature gives us.
There are many types of polyphenols, divided into two main groups, flavonoids and non flavonoids. They all have the same point in common: their very high antioxidant power. In addition, these bioactive compounds exert an anti-inflammatory action and help prevent the appearance of thrombus.
Red wine contains polyphenols, such as resveratrol (not flavonoid) and quercetin (flavonoid). It is the main reason why it is said that its moderate consumption (maximum, one drink a day) is healthy. Studies show that polyphenols are beneficial for the skin, circulation and heart, the prevention of overweight and diabetes, among others.
What foods contain polyphenols
As we explained, polyphenols are in nature. Some foods that contain them are:
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Olives and capers.
- Onion and garlic.
- Green, black and white tea.
- Cocoa (a couple of ounces of dark chocolate a day are very beneficial for health).
- Nuts and seeds.
- Forest fruits such as raspberry, cherry, plum, gooseberry, blueberry or blackberry.
- Vegetables such as red onion, broccoli or artichokes.
The polyphenols in red wine
Black grapes are also rich in polyphenols. They are found mainly in grape skins and seeds, i.e. in the skins. During the fermentation and maceration processes, in which the must is in constant contact with the skins.
In both phases, pips and skins transfer their properties to the must. This is precisely why the concentrate of polyphenolic substances in the wine is high. This concentrate is elevated during pumping over, which ensures that the skins that have formed the cap (which float on the must) are again in contact with the liquid.
Polyphenols are not only responsible for the fact that red wine is considered beneficial for health; they are also related to other characteristics, such as colour or astringency.
Learn more about Polyphenols
The main structural characteristic of polyphenols is to have one or more hydroxyl (-OH) groups attached to one or more benzene rings. Although they are primarily known for their antioxidant properties, most polyphenols also exhibit other biological activities potentially beneficial to health.
Polyphenols, which generally account for most of the antioxidant activity of fruits and vegetables, are classified into flavonoids (of which several thousand have been described in the plant kingdom) and non-flavonoids (for which several hundred have been described).
Within the health benefits it has been demonstrated that the consumption of polyphenols is inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antithrombotic and even hypolipemiant actions.
All these actions are clearly beneficial in preventing the development of atherosclerosis and its alterations associated with cardiovascular risk factors. Likewise, in several experimental studies it has been observed that a diet rich in polyphenols contributes to the reduction of tumour and inflammatory markers involved in the development of different types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
For some years now, a quality wine has been produced in Uruguay. A product that comes from the most important vineyard in the country and that we invite you to taste and discover. In addition, at Bodega Garzón you will be able to carry out diverse tourist activities, tour the winery and the production process of premium wines and enjoy a lunch in the restaurant with an incomparable view from the top of the hill.
The main polyphenols present in wine are tannins, anthocyanin and flavones.
The tannins come from the solid part of the harvest (stalk, skins and seeds) and from the wood of the barrels used during ageing. The tannins give the wine a marked sensation of depth, as well as greater longevity. They present a rougher and more marked flavour when young, which will soften with time; their sensation is attenuated by alcohol and acid elements.
Anthocyanin (anthocyanin pigments) is another polyphenol responsible for the violet colour of wines. On the contrary, flavones (flavonoid substances) are responsible for the original yellow colour of all wines (both white and red).
Young red wines, due to the clogging of the anthocyanin pigments that cover the yellow of the flavones, acquire this marked violet tonality. With time, anthocyanin disappears, while flavonoid substances remain impertérritus over time. That’s why wines for aging are acquiring those duller tones that tend to orange.