Daily Mail

Help your gut health... try out as many red wines as you can!

- By Victoria Allen Science Editor

It’S official, red wine is good for us – but variety is key if you want your gut to benefit, a nutrition expert has advised.

Decades of evidence has suggested red wine is good for the heart in moderation.

But to have a healthier gut, wine lovers should drink as many varieties as possible, including unfashiona­ble grape types, which contain different plant chemicals, according to tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiolo­gy at King’s College London.

He also suggests, to protect sleep, people should drink wine as an aperitif – or rather, British people could consider following a more Mediterran­ean way of life, having long lunches with wine instead of indulging later in the day, close to bedtime.

the scientist and author of Food For Life: the New Science Of Eating Well, also advises people to eat 30 different vegetables, fruit and other plant types a week, to benefit from the different compounds they contain.

He told the Wine Blast podcast: ‘My advice for wine-lovers is keep loving wine and still drink wine, primarily for the pleasure, but at the back of your mind think, could I be trying different bottles or varieties that might actually be healthier for me and that I might enjoy?

‘Diversity is also important – if you take the analogy from foods, having a range of different grape varieties in your diet means that you are going to be helping different gut microbes inside you and you will increase your gut health and diversity. So don’t just stick with the same wine. Get out there. try the hundreds or thousands of different grape varieties that we generally don’t enjoy.

‘Let’s get those rare ones back on the map again, because each of those could be helping you nourish really healthy gut microbes inside you and improve your health.’ A study led by Professor Spector’s team in 2019 found those who drank red wine had a wider range of gut bacteria. this was not seen for white wine, which may be because red wine has the grape skins left in for most of the fermentati­on process, so has high levels of polyphenol­s – plant compounds which are good for the gut.

For those who don’t like red wine, Professor Spector advised: ‘Put it in the fridge, as the Spanish do, and close your eyes – and basically tests show people can’t tell the difference at a chilled temperatur­e.’

However the benefits for the gut seem to come from drinking red wine in moderation, from one to two glasses, Professor Spector told the podcast.

He cautioned that alcohol is not good for the gut, so he would not advise non- drinkers to start having red wine.

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