Resveratrol and Red Wine. Good for you? Avoid? I’m so confused! Let’s discuss it over a glass of red, shall we?

I have no business writing this piece. None. I light up when I read the articles that are pro-wine consumption. I’ll quickly flip the page when there is an article advising of the dangers of alcohol. What is a person to do???!!! Well, you’re in luck if you enjoy a glass of red once in a while because, as I write this piece, I have waiting for me a lovely Pinot Noir. My treat for staying faithfully on my healthy lifestyle of good whole organic food, juices, exercise, supplements, saunas and other detox methods. Today is Friday, it’s sunny out, I’m ever so grateful for all that I have, and so, I’m going to savour all the glory with a little glass of red.

So what’s the scoop? First of all, it’s only red wine that offers any cancer-fighting benefit. There is minimal benefit, if any, in white wine. The resveratrol is found in the dark skin of grapes (as well as blueberries and other dark-skin fruits). It has anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties. You can buy resveratrol supplements if you wish to enjoy the benefits without the toxicity of the alcohol. Worth considering, however, is that resveratrol is more bio-available and more readily absorbed by the body when consumed in the form of wine.

Like anything, the benefits diminish and, in fact, become toxic, when consumed in excess. The key to reaping red wine’s health benefits lies in the balance (I know, I know-I’m rolling my eyes and sulking too). One 4 oz glass. And no, you can’t not drink for a whole month and consume a full bottle. Nice try. How often? Well, if you can live without it at all, that would be recommended. Certainly, if you are just embarking on your healing journey, I would make a point of not having any alcohol for at least a year. I like to enjoy a glass or two a month; sometimes a little more – sometimes none at all. Here’s the thing with breast cancer though, especially ER+/PR+ such as what I have; wine consumption has been shown to increase the risk of reoccurrence. So, I’m walking a line here, but I’m also trying to enjoy the life I’m saving. There’s also something to be said for wine’s affect on reducing stress levels and releasing the “happy” hormone. So a glass or two a month and I don’t feel deprived. Of course, stay hydrated and be sure to drink extra pure water. Also, plan a detox as soon as convenient afterwards. Consider taking some milk thistle prior to enjoying so that your liver has some support. And, please, the organic rule when it comes to cancer, goes for wine as well. All that fermenting and sitting concentrated in a bottle can’t be good. Grapes are heavily sprayed and the pesticides reside in the very fibre of the fruit. It can’t possibly all be washed off. So where you are able to control it, be sure to select organic wines.

Alcohol is particularly detrimental to your liver. This is the problem with a cancer diagnosis. Your liver is the primary detoxification pathway and it is where all the dead cancer cells, parasites and other waste and die-off are processed for elimination. It is the hardest working organ in your body. Cancer patients’ livers are suffering. Add alcohol to that (and coffee – another contradictory substance) and you are placing an extra burden on your liver. If you are going to have alcohol, red wine is the only alcohol that is acceptable – and that is due to the resveratrol – not the alcohol.

If you are otherwise healthy, however, and are not dealing with an autoimmune disease, red wine can be cancer-preventative, as well as heart-disease preventative, when consumed in modest amounts. If you have a diagnosis, it’s important that you consult with your doctor and consider where you are in your healing journey, as to whether enjoying a glass will be harmless or detrimental.

Be reasonable in your choices. If you truly, truly enjoy wine, as I do, then don’t set yourself up to never enjoy a glass again for the rest of your life. Instead, plan it. Be really good with your programme. Stick to the diet, supplements, exercise, detox, mindfulness, and then once in a while enjoy a small glass of this little piece of heaven that life has to offer. Wine is, after all, in the Bible. Cheers to your health!