Right now, as you’re reading this, trillions of bacteria are thriving in your gut. These little companions outnumber your own cells-you’re actually more bacteria than you are human. Feeding the good bacteria in your gut can give you some glorious health benefits: staying lean, feeling happy and even being more social. For example:
- Mycobacterium Vaccae, a bacterium that’s naturally in the soil around you, significantly increased happiness in lung cancer patients who took it as a probiotic.
- A diverse gut biome can boost tryptophan. Tryptophan turns into serotonin, the brain chemical that enhances mood. No surprise that a balanced gut can reverse depression and anxiety.
- Diverse gut bacteria can also increase your metabolism, and even affect social skills.
Wine and the Microbiome
Natural wine is alive, which means it’s rich with precious bacteria and compounds that strengthen your microbiome. To name a few:
- Polyphenols, the antioxidants that give red wine its color, feed good gut bacteria.They also remove harmful bacteria to make room for the new ones to grow.
- Flavanols, protect brain cells from dying in people who drink moderate red wine and ward off Alzheimer’s Disease in mice.
- Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grape skins, makes mice leaner by fostering a balanced gut. Resveratrol, gets a lot of attention but the reality is most red wines have nearly undetectable amounts of it. Wines that have the most are Malbec, pinot Noir, Petite Syrah and St. Lsurent.
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a wild yeast that gives wine a spicy, fruity flavor. It’s good for more than just taste: S. cerevisiae also increases absorption of zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron through your intestinal wall. Commercial wine sterilized to get rid of most native yeast, but you’ll fine an abundance of S. cerevisiae in natural wine.
- Probiotic bacteria, also form in wine while it ferments. Commercial wines are filtered to get rid of nearly all bacteria and sediment, but natural wine keeps those beneficial bacteria in.
Can Wine Damage Your Gut?
It can, although the harmful compounds are lower in natural wines.
Sugar, can feed the harmful yeast Candida and other pathogens in your gut. Sugar hurts gut bacterial balance and decreases brain function in mice, too. Dry wines that are left to fully ferment have less than 3g of sugar and won’t cause bloating.
Alcohol, is a toxin for your gut too. It increases gut permeability (leaky gut), which can cause gut inflammation. Try to find lower alcohol wines to avoid negative effects.
Acetaldehyde, is a fermentation byproduct that increases intestinal permeability and makes you feel hungover. During the final steps of fermentation, yeasts use up acetaldehyde as fuel, and bacteria break it down.
The Healthiest Wine for Your Gut
The healthiest wine is real wine grown in accordance with nature. Look for the following:
- Organic Grapes, grapes grown organically have more polyphenols and antioxidants than conventional grapes do. Grapevines produce antioxidants as a natural way to protect against microbes and pests.
- Natural Wines, commercial processing techniques, like extreme filtration, damage or remove many of the good compounds in wine. Manufacturers often replace them with artificial coloring and lab created yeast strains.
- Low Sulfites, sulfites kill bacteria to stabilize a wine. The lower the sulfites, the more alive a wine remains. You can see the difference under a microscope-low sulfite wine is vibrant with a diverse spectrum of wild bacteria and yeast.
- Sugar Free, Low Alcohol Wine, sugar and alcohol are the two biggest toxins in wine. Try to find the driest, lowest alcohol wines possible.
Courtesy Dry Farm Wines