Let's cut to the chase: You clicked on an article about detoxing your body from wine. Whether you enjoy a nightly pinot noir or two (or five), or you went extra-hard on the white zin at that bachelorette party, you're in the right place. Here's everything you need to know about how and why to give your system a break from Big Grape.
Reasons to Detox Your Body From Wine
As feisty great-aunts everywhere like to say, "Variety is the spice of life." In addition to switching things up for your palate, wiping your body's wine memory with a cleanse is excellent for your overall health. Here are three of the biggest benefits of detoxing:
Alcohol is awful for your sleep. While you try to power down for the night, your body's hard at work attempting to shuttle all that riesling out of your system for good—spelling low-quality slumber for you.
Wine and other alcoholic beverages are full of empty calories adding up quickly and stealthily. The more you drink, the more likely you are to hit pause on your health goals and welcome a plate of 11 p.m. cheese fries.
Like all grown-up drinks, wine zaps your body of water. Let yourself get dehydrated, and you can look forward to symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and dry skin.
Having One Glass a Day
If, like Stanley Hudson, you enjoy a nightly glass of wine with your stories, you've justified this because you’ve heard a glass a day is good for you. In some ways, it is: mainly if you're talking about what red wine does to your body, including its positive effects on both heart and gut health, and particularly if you're actually talking about a single glass per night.
The powers that be consider five ounces of wine "a glass." When most adults crack up a bottle, it's rarely for a single glass, and even if it is, one glass a day can easily become two. As the pours become more generous, so do the calories and other health hazards, including damage to your brain and other organs.
As noted above, wine is also terrible for your sleep, even if you stick to a tiny nightly tipple. Your body treats any booze like a hostile foreign invader, and it wants to get it O-U-T, whether you're trying to catch some Zzz or not.
Detoxing from Red Wine vs. White Wine
When you drink wine on the regular, your body begins to form a chemical dependency on it. Yank it out of the equation, and your body may issue a variety of responses boiling down to "WTH, man? Where'd the wine go?" Fatigue, irritability, nausea, and anxiety are all common reactions.
It makes virtually no difference what color wine you're drinking, either. The more wine you enjoy, white or red, the wiser it is to give your system a break and hit the "reset" button with a detox.
Red Wine and Histamines
If you often get a headache after a glass of red wine or two, you may be allergic to histamines, and detoxing from red wine can help. Histamines are the chemicals your body cranks out when encountering something you're allergic to, like cats or pollen. They're also what triggers sneezing and wheezing.
Your body produces histamines naturally. Certain foods and beverages contain them, too. If you're histamine intolerant, eating and drinking items that are extra-high in histamines—like avocados, spinach, tomatoes and the 2005 Mia-Mateo Grenache you've been saving for a special occasion—can trigger a negative physical response. Headaches are common, for example, as are various forms of various digestive upset.
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Wine Hangover Prevention
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How to Enhance Your Self-Detox
Whether you're a red wine or white wine drinker, you can improve your results with these simple self-care steps.
Focus On Hydration
As we lightly touched on early, healthy hydration helps your body flush out toxins since the kidneys and other organs need H20 for optimal function. Water also provides electrolytes that support the body's fluid balance and facilitates multiple aspects of detox, including bowel movements, urine, and sweat.
You know you need enough water, but how much is actually sufficient? Most sources recommend eight 8-oz glasses of water each day. You can also drink a third of your body weight in ounces each day. In other words, a 180-lb man would ideally consume 60 ounces of water daily.
Keep Up A Well Balanced Diet
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to support a healthy detox. You'll get extra mileage if those servings contain:
- Brussels sprouts
Dietary fiber is also a detox must-have. Good sources include whole grains, seeds, nuts, and fruits, and veggies. Don't forget the lean protein to ensure sufficient digestive enzyme levels. In addition to adding these elements to your diet, try to reduce your intake of sweet, fried and processed foods.
We hate to say it but lower your intake of salty foods when you want to cleanse your system. Sodium causes water retention, so your body isn't flushing out those toxin-filled fluids. However, you can reduce this effect by consuming foods with lots of potassium, such as potatoes, bananas, spinach, and squash.
Take Your Vitamins and Minerals
Add antioxidant-rich foods to your diet when you want the best possible detox. You can consume ample amounts of zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E with choices like green tea, coffee, veggies, berries, cocoa and nuts. You can also take supplements that contain these antioxidants for an extra boost.
Prebiotics are also important. These substances, found in foods such as oats, garlic, asparagus, tomatoes, onions, bananas, and artichokes, keep the immune system healthy and support detox systems. Easy enough, prebiotic supplements also provide a similar effect!
Wine is delicious, but good health is something to savor even more. Indulge intelligently and detox regularly, and you can look forward to many more years of malbec and merlot.