The French diet is riddled with fatty substances: croissants, croque-monsieur, and foie gras are all famous Parisian dishes. With a culture so well-versed in bread and cheese, how can the French boast the lowest risk of coronary heart disease in the developed world (apart from Japan)?
Known to nutritionists as ‘The French Paradox’ (because these statistics, prima facie, make no sense), what are the Parisians getting right?
Leading scientist from the Institute of Health and Medical Research at Lyons, Dr Serge Renaud, suspects, like many oenophiles before him, that the answer can be found at the bottom of a glass. Many experts are now beginning to believe that red wine is the secret to protecting your cardiovascular system and staying healthy.
Should There Be Red Wine At Every Dinner Table?
Rewind to the 18th century, and doctors had already recognised the beneficial effect of vino on angina (a painful heart condition). If you were suffering from heart disease during the US prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s, the only way you could secure yourself a glass of red wine was through a medical prescription.
Now, the evidence is mounting. According to studies, those who drink a glass (or two) of red wine every day, live longer. Packed full of antioxidants, it’s thought that the natural component in red wine, resveratrol, can improve the elasticity of the skin, and slow down the aging process. There’s a link between this antioxidant and the growth of new cells.
Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes and can vary in concentration, depending on the wine. If you’re a white or rosé wine drinker, resveratrol levels are next to non-existent in these bottles, so think before you uncork.
As doctors delve further into the benefits of this beverage, the reasons behind the French Paradox become clearer. In a country where red wine is commonplace at every dinner table, it’s hardly surprising that the French are in such good health. If the research into the miraculous benefits of red wine is true, the ‘French Paradox’ isn’t paradoxical at all.
Each new breakthrough brings good news: red wine helps with digestion, sleep, and libido… just to name a few. Although we may have a romantic notion of the Parisians as beret-wearing individuals with a baguette under one arm and a cigarette between their fingers, we have much to learn from their passion for red wine.
How Much Should You Drink?
Just because vino has health-boosting qualities, it doesn’t mean you should become a bottle-a-day person. Stick within your daily recommended amount of units: 2 – 3 for women, 3 – 4 for men. This roughly equates to one large glass of red wine if you’re female, or two glasses if you’re male. Drinking too much wine can reverse the health-giving properties, so always drink in moderation and preferably with a meal to mitigate the alcohol absorption.
We've collaborated with drinks suppliers Vivas Wine to bring you this post on JustLuxe today - visit for great drink supplier advice. Then, head over to the comments section and let us know if you like to drink red wine (in moderation!) for its amazing health benefits.