Are Natural Wines Actually Healthier?

You may have heard the term ‘natural wine’ more and more recently. But is it just a buzzword, or are natural wines actually healthier? Let’s find out.

What is Natural Wine?
Although natural wine is currently trendy, it’s been around for millennia. In its simplest sense, natural wine is fermented grapes without any additives. As some wines can contain up to 70 different additives (which are legally allowed), natural wine better represents the wine itself, although it may or may not alter the flavor.

Natural wines should also start with organic grapes, with no pesticides or herbicides sprayed during the growing and production process. While some sulfites may be in natural wines, as they are a byproduct of fermentation, natural wines tend to have about 10% of the sulfites found in conventional wines.

Benefits of Natural Wine
If you are in the 1% of the American population sensitive to sulfites, natural wine may be a better option for you. Plus, as alcoholic beverages are not required to put ingredient lists or labels on their products, it’s difficult to know just how many additives are in a bottle of conventional wine.

However, all wine contains antioxidants called polyphenols, and there is no evidence that natural wine contains more of them than conventional wine. Similarly, all alcohol can cause adverse health effects and chronic diseases if over-consumed, whether natural or not.

The Bottom Line
If you want wine closest to the source (the grape), natural wine may be a better option. However, the health benefits are likely negligible unless you are sensitive to sulfites or other additives used in wine-making. Whichever bottle you choose, ensure you are drinking in moderation.

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