Don’t just drink red Wine, soak your food in it
An interesting study was just published in The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal that looked at how adding red wine to a meal (by drinking and cooking with it) reduced the after dinner levels of cytotoxic lipid peroxidation products. “Cytotoxic lipid peroxidation products” is just a fancy way of describing some of the harmful byproducts of a diet high in meat and fried foods. One of the theories is that the polyphenols in healthy fruits and vegetables work within the digestive tract by counteracting the effects of bad foods before they are absorbed. The scientists recruited 10 volunteers (4 men and 6 women) and gave them each three versions of a turkey meal. The setup was as follows:
250 g of turkey
glass of water
250 g of turkey soaked in red wine after cooking
200 ml glass of red wine
250 g of turkey soaked in red wine before cooking
200 ml glass of red wine
It was a randomized crossover study which meant that all participants ate all three meals (three weeks apart). Levels of lipid peroxidation in the blood where measured using malondialdehyde (MDA), a carcinogenic initiator associated with the breakdown fats (MDA is known to cause cancer in mice and damage DNA in human cells)
The results of the experiment are shown in the graph below. Soaking the turkey in wine before cooking completely prevented any increase in plasma MDA (see this paper for levels of MDA in different foods). In fact, half of the individuals tested actually lowered their MDA levels below their pre-meal baseline with Meal C. This is good news because it shows how red wine polyphenols can offset some of the cancer risk associated with consumption of meat. It may also suggest that meal times may be the best time to take antioxidant supplements. So if you don’t have time to marinate your meat in red wine before you cook, you could probably get some benefit from drinking red wine with your meal and perhaps taking a few capsules of whole grape extract beforehand.
Incidentally, I’m not sure why they didn’t also test a meal consisting of a glass of red wine and plain turkey, because that’s seems like the most common scenario. I’m also glad the pre-soaked turkey gave the best result because dipping already cooked turkey in wine doesn’t sound very appetizing. Something like this grilled marinated turkey breast sound really good (although I’d recommend substituting steamed asparagus for the fried rice).