Tonight is one of the year’s biggest reasons to celebrate. Traditionally, this is of course done with a glass of bubbly in hand.
For me, there are few things that are as easy to enjoy as a glass of well-chilled Champagne (or Prosecco). Bearing in mind that it is an alcoholic beverage, I had to find out if there are any health benefits. And, the good great news is, there are plenty!
In 2007, the universities of Reading and Cagliari showed in a double-blind study, that a moderate Champagne consumption can help to cope with brain trauma, such as a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Due to the antioxidant polyphenols, it can prevent deterioration of the brain cells caused by such traumas. These antioxidants do not only prevent the brain cells from deteriorating, but all other cells benefit from the anti-oxidative powers as well. This means that the antioxidants bind to the free radicals in our body, and carries them out. Free radicals are often found linked to disease, weight gain and fatigue.
In 2009, research from the British Journal of Nutrition found that champagne has health benefits similar to those often attributed to red wine. The researchers gave a group either champagne or a control beverage with the same alcohol content. Blood samples were taken, and both groups showed blood vessel dilation and increased blood flow, but the champagne drinkers experienced a slower removal of nitric oxide from their blood. This means that sipping a few glasses of champagne may lower blood pressure and potentially even reduce risk of stroke and heart disease.
In order to make your Champagne drink even healthier, try adding berries! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries are particularly well suited for this. Or, mixing champagne with orange, grapefruit or cranberry juice also adds great antioxidants and makes a very tasty drink.
Champagne also contains trace minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and lithium, which is a natural mood regulator.
As long as it’s not overdone, it seems champagne can positively affect mind, body and soul. If the worst happens and you do overdo, drink a big glass of water before bed. In the morning, try food and fruit juice (and perhaps a painkiller) to help take the edge off.
For tonight’s big party, relax, enjoy and have fun!