I’m a firm believer in removing foods or beverages in groups to determine the source of health concerns. This is especially helpful when it comes to allergies, food intolerance, unexplained fatigue, and chronic inflammation. You might think you have a problem with tomatoes or cheese when it’s actually the grains in the pasta you’re serving with it.
Though true allergic reactions to alcohol are rare, the symptoms may go ignored or attributed to another source. A flush that appears on the skin, an itching in your mouth or throat, runny nose, skin splotches or itching, hives, digestive upset, itchy or watering eyes, and congestion are common signs of alcohol allergy.
Such mild effects might make you think you’re coming down with a cold or having an allergic reaction to an environmental agent such as grass, flowers, or cleaning supplies.
New research looks at alcohol in relation to the worsening of other allergies. Exceeding the recommended consumption of (no more than) two drinks per day could aggravate your seasonal allergies to the point that you suffer from them throughout the year. It can also worsen respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis.
To Drink Red or White…That is the Question
In this particular instance, data shows that white wine may have less of an impact on those who already suffer from allergies than red wine.
You know my advice. Remove alcohol completely from your system for two solid weeks. Evaluate how you feel. Then add one drink per day back into your diet. If you see a return of the stomach upset or symptoms of common allergic reactions, then you have your answer.
Bear in mind that it could be a particular brand, red wine specifically, or another alcoholic beverage of choice that are causing your issues. You won’t know for certain unless you remove it entirely and add it back in slowly. You might not be able to tolerate red wine but have no issues with beer or hard liquors. The opposite may also be true.
Many people avoid alcohol for personal reasons or can’t tolerate the additives found in many of the products on the market. Scientists have determined that alcohol intolerance can be genetic so it’s important to know for sure and remove it from your diet completely.
The Benefits of Red Wine
As someone who doesn’t have an intolerance to alcohol and has a firm appreciation for a quality red wine, let me tell you the good stuff now!
Over the past decade, the incomparable health benefits from wine have been proven in one study after another. Naturally, everything (even positive things) must be consumed in moderation. Experts suggest men drink two drinks or less daily and women keep their consumption to one drink a day.
1. Protect your brain. Resveratrol content in red wine has shown benefit in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
2. Have a “mini” workout. Red wine helps your muscles (including your heart) in ways that mimic mild exercise. That doesn’t mean you should stop working out but you don’t need to obsess about working off the calories from a glass with dinner.
3. Creates an anti-cancer environment. The quercetin in red wine has shown to stimulate apoptosis (natural cell death) in cancer cells. This is even noted by the American Cancer Society and they typically hate to admit that food can be medicine.
4. Anti-aging in every sip. The polyphenols (including resveratrol) found in red wine help to “mop up” free radicals that run rampant in your body and speed up the aging process in your cells. One must be careful not to go too far to the opposite extreme since excessive alcohol (of any kind) will lead to body-wide inflammation…and rapid aging.
5. Helps your body burn fat. Mice in one study showed significantly less liver fat storage than mice who didn’t receive a daily dose of vino. Researchers attribute this lower fat measurement to the ellargic acids, which help your body burn existing fat cells and slow development of new fat.
6. Live longer when you choose wine. In one study that spanned almost 30 years, scientists discovered that wine drinkers have a mortality rate that’s 34% lower than those who regularly consume beer or hard alcohol.
7. Tannins for heart health. The procyanidins (found in tannins that give wine its’ lovely color) help to prevent dangerous blood clots. Undetected blood clots are a major cause of heart attack and stroke. Experts estimate that there is a 50% drop in heart event risk when you drink a single glass of wine every day.
8. Help control spikes in blood sugar. Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute’s chief of cardiology, Dr. James O’Keefe explained. “My patients who drink red wine in moderation tend to do better. Red wine also contains a lot of unique antioxidants that are hard to get other places. If you have a glass of red wine with your evening meal tonight, your peak blood sugar, if you measured it an hour later, would be about 30% lower than if you hadn’t had the wine. It makes your system more able to sop up the sugar and the calories that you’re consuming in the meal if you have a little alcohol before.”
If you experience an allergic reaction to red wine, you must remove it from your diet since on-going exposure will worsen your symptoms over time and raise inflammation levels.
However, if you tolerate red wine well (and enjoy it as much as I do) then you’ll be happy to know there’s a lovely little health pop in every sip!