Monday, June 25, 2012

Wine as Skin-Protecting Sunblock?

With the official start of summer last week, a lot of the news this week focuses on protecting skin from the sun's harmful rays. Wine lovers, and grape lovers in general, still have a new reason to celebrate. In addition to vino's already known ability to help fight Alzheimer's disease, prostate cancer and cavities, according to an article last year on MSNBC's Body Odd, this grape-based alcoholic beverage also helps protect skin from sunburn.
How Does it Work?

Normally, the sun's ultra-violet rays hit the skin and activate enzymes that kill skin cells. Grapes contain a compound, commonly called flavonoids, that stops this sun damage caused by a chemical reaction within skin cells. These flavonoids are found in wines made from grapes and other grape products.

Sources of Sunburn Blocking Flavonoids
  • A glass of vino: Make sure you drink vino made from grapes and not some other fruit if you are sipping it for its sun-blocking benefit. For the best effect on your overall health, consume only moderate amounts.
  • Spiked punch: If the taste of vino is a little strong for you, mix a glass of your favorite grape wine with your favorite fruit juice for a lighter flavor.
  • Grape juice: For an non-alcoholic alternative, enjoy a glass of grape juice either plain or mixed with soda water for a sparking beverage.
  • Mixed into foods: If you want to stick with vino, but do not care to ingest the alcohol content, consider recipes involve cooking with wine. Cooking removes the alcohol content but leaves the flavonoids behind.
So, enjoy your favorite vino in moderation, or opt for non-alcoholic alternatives, but go ahead and slather on your favorite high SPF sunblock anyway.