Old woman looking out of the window

Brain Decline and Resveratrol

At Resveralife, we’re already pretty impressed with what the amazing antioxidant resveratrol is capable of, although the topic of health benefits from consuming resveratrol has been hotly debated for years. Many claim there is not enough clinical research to suggest that resveratrol really does incredibly positive health benefits, such as aiding in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other age-related degenerative diseases. The opinion of the medical community may be changing in light of a large clinic study involving resveratrol and patients with Alzheimer’s.

The Study
Published in the medical journal, Neurology, the study solidifies prior suggestions that resveratrol helps patients with Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that resveratrol really does protect brain decline as a result of aging. The study was incredible in scale: 20 medical centers from all of the United States were used to produce these findings. In addition to attempting to determine the appropriate dose of resveratrol, researchers were also monitoring the safety of using this antioxidant in large doses. One group of study participants were administered high doses of resveratrol (enough resveratrol to equal the amount found in 1,000 bottles of red wine) in pill form while others were given placebo pills. All participants in the study had mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

The Findings
Researchers discovered that patients who took up to four resveratrol pills per day for a period of one year had higher biomarker levels in their spinal fluid than those who had received the placebo pills. The biomarker in question is amyloid-beta proteins, which is quite interesting because these biomarkers are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease when they are present in the brain. However, the higher level of amyloid-beta proteins were found outside of the brain, which is quite healthy. The study concluded that resveratrol may help to adjust the balance of amyloid-beta proteins in the body by reducing the levels in the brain and increasing level found outside of the brain.

Implications
While the results of this study are incredibly exciting, it is worth noting that much more research is required before resveratrol pills featuring this high of a dosage are available for all. Dr. Scott Turner, professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center, led the study and was optimistic about the results. “The study is encouraging enough that we should certainly go ahead and do a [larger] clinical trial because we showed that it is safe and does have significant effects on Alzheimer’s biomarkers.” There was only one-side effect present during this survey, and that was weight-loss. Because one of the main goals in the study was to determine the safety of taking resveratrol, researchers were pleased that weight-loss was the only noted side effect.

More clinical research is needed before high potency resveratrol and Dr. Turner is currently conducting another study on this antioxidant. It is likely that for those with degenerative diseases, resveratrol will be added to current medication rather than being the only thing used for disease management. Increasing your consumption of berries, peanuts, dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) and a nightly glass or two of red wine are ways that you can add resveratrol into your life. Enjoy some decadent dark chocolate or luscious red wine and add this powerful antioxidant to your daily routine.

Coffee and wine on the table.

How You Take Your Coffee Could Suggest What Wines You Will Enjoy

When it comes to picking out wine it can be overwhelming to decide exactly what wine varietal will be most enjoyable to your specific tastes. When it comes to your morning cup of coffee, it’s probably incredibly easy for you to determine exactly what suits you. In fact, your coffee routine is most likely second nature; you like what you like and you stick to it. Interestingly, the way you enjoy your coffee can actually help you figure out what wine varietals may be most suited to your palate preferences. There are three main components that guide your palate through a drink, both coffee and wine. Here, we share what these guides are and what wine you might like based upon how you take your coffee.

Your Palate
Your sense of taste is directly related to your sense of smell. Aroma, a term used both for coffee and wine, is an important aspect of your palate profile. You’ve undoubtedly heard the term body in reference to wine, such as a full-bodied red, but you might not be exactly positive what that means. The body of your drink, coffee or wine, is simply how your drink feels inside your mouth. You may change what type of body you prefer based on your mood, the weather and whether you are drinking wine to celebrate a big promotion or unwind after a hectic day. Lastly, acidity is an important element of your palate profile. Acidity may seem a bit difficult to determine, but it’s actually quite simple. If you were to pick up a piece of sour candy right now, would you like or not? If you would, you prefer drinks that are highly acidic, zesty and lively. If you would rather not pucker up with sour candy, you enjoy a light acidity.

Women having coffee in a bar.

Your Coffee of Choice
Black – If you enjoy a straightforward cup of black coffee, chances are you will enjoy a wine with an equally straightforward, strong flavor. Wines that feature spicey notes and a higher level of acidity are great choices to look to. Argentinian Malbec, Cabernet Franc or a Beaujolais nouveau are all wines that fit the flavor profile for a black coffee drinker.

Coffee with Sugar – If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you probably drink your coffee with a bit of sugar. Looking for sweeter wines is a good bet if you take sugar in your coffee. Some wines to start with are Moscato, Riesling or Zinfandel.

Coffee with Milk – If you take your coffee with milk, you enjoy soft, smooth flavors. When you’re looking for a wine that suits you, look for an aged wine with low acidity. Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon are two choices that have low acidity but still feature a smooth texture and flavor.

Espresso – Espresso features a thick, bitter flavor that suggests you would find wines with hearty flavors and high tannins pleasurable. Consider Chianti or Medoc wines if you enjoy a strong, bitter flavor.

Tea – Tea drinkers we have you covered too. Not everyone enjoys coffee so if tea is more your speed, look for wines that are dry and savory. A Sauvignon Blanc or Sangiovese are crisp, fresh and bright flavors that tea drinkers will appreciate.

Of course, when it comes to wine the most important rule is to drink what you like. However, if you find you’re having a hard time getting started finding wine varietals that you do like, this may be a fun way to experiment. Use this guide and see if how you take your coffee really does have an impact on the wines you prefer.

Glass of wine on a terrace during fall.

Summer to Fall Wines

The shift of one season into another is the perfect time to add some variety and change up your routine. Slowly, the days get a bit shorter and the air a little crisper. Fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy the changing scenery on your back porch with a relaxing glass of wine. With summer ending, and the weather becoming cooler, you may crave wines with a bit more body and substance than traditional summer wines have. Rose and white wines are popular during the summer and red wines are more commonly associated with winter. With fall bridging the gap, what wine varietals transition seamlessly from summer to fall? Below, Resveralife provides three suggestions for summer to fall wines.

Merlot
Though it is several months until winter, fall sees warm weather out and welcomes cooler temperatures. A smooth, round texture is characteristic of Merlot wine, which some experts consider to be the perfect “introductory” red wine for beginners. Merlot has very soft tannins, which is what is largely responsible for the wine’s smooth finish. Fruit notes typical of Merlot wines include blackberry, plum and some herbal flavors.

Cabernet Franc
One of the most popular wines worldwide is Cabernet Sauvignon, but this complex, highly tannic and full-bodied red can be a bit heavy for fall. Cabernet Franc is genetically the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and it is often overlooked. However, Cabernet Franc is the perfect summer to fall wine as it is a lighter, brighter and less tannic red wine than its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon. The main note in Carbernet Franc is often raspberries, though you may find leafy green, earthy or smoky aromas present as well .This is an elegant wine that smells like fall and is evocative of all the flavors and scents that define the fall season.

Oaked Chardonnay
Just because red wine tends to be what people gravitate to when cooler weather hits does not mean that you can’t enjoy a white wine during fall. Chardonnay tends to feature fruit flavors of lemon, pear, apple, pineapple, peach and passion fruit. An oaked Chardonnay is an excellent summer to fall wine as it is a rich, full-bodied white wine. In addition to the fruit flavors, oaked Chardonnays have flavors such as creme brulee, caramel, butter, caramelized sugar and pie crust. These flavors combined with the added richness and buttery texture of oaked Chardonnay make this wine one of the perfect summer to fall transition wines.

When it comes to wine, the “rules” can be a bit overwhelming, but there are guidelines that help you receive the most enjoyment possible from the wines you drink. Summer to fall wines tend to be heavier and richer than their summer counterparts, while still retaining some light crispness. Remember that the only real “rule” to drinking wine is that you should drink what you enjoy and what brings you pleasure. Experimenting with different wines during different seasons help broaden your horizons and may introduce you to wines that become your favorites.

Servers pouring red and white wine.

A Guide to Common Wine Varietals

The enjoyment of a great glass of wine is one of life’s simplest pleasures, though sometimes it may not seem simple to select your wine. Wines are available in so many varieties and have so many subtle, and not so subtle, differences that it can be downright overwhelming when you start to select wines. Often, when buying a Riesling or a Cabernet Sauvignon, you know what you are getting; which is wine produced using the Riesling or Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. But if you pick up a bottle with the word “varietal” on the label you may not be positive what it is that you’re choosing. Simply put, varietal means that the wine was produced using a specific wine grape. Further, in the United States, wine varietals indicate which grape is the dominant grape in the wine so that you have an idea of what flavor to expect. Some, but not all, bottles even include the percentages for every grape used in the blend. To make you more confident in your next wine purchase, Resveralife composed a guide to the most common wine varietals.

White Wines
Chardonnay – Wines produced using the Chardonnay grape are often medium to full bodied and complex. The most prominent notes in Chardonnays tend to be citrus fruits, melon, pineapples, peaches, butterscotch, butter and vanilla. There are other notes available such as apple, fig, pear, spice and hazelnut.

Riesling – With origins in Germany, Riesling is a grape that grows well in all wine districts. These wines are most typically fruity, fresh apple flavors are particularly prominent, and can be floral as well. Riesling ranges from dry to very sweet, with many having a semi-sweet taste with an acidity for balance.

Sauvignon Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc wines tend to be herbal and quite light. The herbal flavors often are reminiscent of grass or bell peppers. Sour fruits such as apple, pear and gooseberry or tropical fruits and blackcurrant, may also be present. Sauvignon Blanc wines tend to be crisp with a strong acidity.

Red Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon – One of the world’s most popular wines, Cabernet Sauvignons are full-bodied and complex. These wines tend to be a bit dry and firm. Flavors can range from currant, plum, black cherry and spice to olive, peppers, herbs, tobacco, vanilla and mint, to name a few. The oak barrels in which Cabernet Sauvignon wines are aged are responsible for vanilla or toasty cedar flavors the wine may have.

Pinot Noir – Another immensely popular red wine, Pinot Noir is fresh and delicate. These wines are smooth, rich and have soft tannins. The most prevalent notes of Pinot Noir wines are raisins with undertones of black cherry, raspberry and spice.

Merlot – Merlot is a supple and smooth wine with a round texture and very soft tannins. The popularity of this wine is caused by its ease of pairing (nearly anything can be paired with a Merlot) and its softness, which is not what one associates with many red wines. Wines produced using Merlot grapes feature cherry, black cherry, herbs, green olive and chocolate.

The wine selection process is a bit easier when you have a bit of background knowledge of common wine varietal. The label on a varietal wine will indicate which grape is the dominant grape in the blend, and may indicate the other grapes used as well. However, it is not required, and indeed it is illegal for a wine to label itself as a varietal is there is no dominant (75% or higher) grape used. When the word “varietal” is present on a label, it indicates what you can expect regarding flavor and finish. Branch out and try a different wine varietal for a new, and delicious, experience.

A Diet for Better Skin

When it comes to your skin, the old adage that “you are what you eat” is completely true. The link between what you eat and how healthy your skin appears is inextricable. All of the foods that you eat have an impact on the appearance, and health, of your skin. If you aren’t happy with your skin, before turning to completely new skin care regimens or the latest cosmetic trend to fake better skin, try modifying your diet instead. A well-balanced diet provides your body, including your skin, with everything that it needs to work at maximum capacity. Starting from scratch with a diet for better skin can be a bit overwhelming, so Resveralife is providing you with five of the best foods to eat when you begin.

Strawberries.

Strawberries
When you think of vitamin C the first fruit that comes to mind is probably an orange. However, strawberries actually contain more vitamin C per serving than oranges. Vitamin C is necessary in a diet for better skin because it is an antioxidant that fights against free-radical damage. Free radicals attack your skin by damaging the cells and breaking down collagen, resulting in more fine lines and wrinkles. Research has shown that those who eat foods rich in vitamin C experience fewer wrinkles and less dryness associated with aging than those who skip this vital vitamin.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
Chocolate can help give you glowing skin, but only if you are consuming dark chocolate with a high cacao content . Renowned skin expert, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, notes some of the benefits of dark chocolate saying, “…dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant.” Cocoa also helps hydrate your skin, making it more supple. Look for chocolate that is 70% cacao or higher to reap the benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth.

Pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is the quintessential fall flavor and in addition to being delicious, it can provide your skin with significant benefits. Like carrots, pumpkin gets its orange hue from carotenoids, which are pigments from plants that neutralize free radicals in the skin. Additionally, pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E and it contains enzymes that cleanse your skin. With vitamin E, the pulp from pumpkins is a great hydrator for your skin.

Walnuts.

Walnuts
Walnuts have several ingredients that make this nut a great choice when you want to put together a diet for better skin. Walnuts are the only type of nut that contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition the the omega-3s that walnuts provide, they are also high in copper. Copper is a mineral that boosts collagen production, leaving your skin firmer and smoother.

Green tea

Green Tea
The drink of choice when it comes to a diet for better skin, green tea is incredibly high in antioxidants. One of these antioxidants, EGCG, helps reduce redness in your skin. The antioxidants in green tea also increase oxygen flow to your skin and boost your circulation and research proves that inflammation in the body.

A diet for better skin contains a range of fresh produce in addition to lean meats and fish. While green tea is an excellent choice for a drink, don’t forget to drink your water as well to help remove toxins from your body. Get creative in the kitchen and enjoy foods that provide you with healthier, better, more radiant skin.

Fruit infused detox water

Delicious Detox Water Recipes

Drinking water is a great way to hydrate your body while getting rid of unwanted toxins. While pure water certainly helps to achieve this, you can increase your results by adding certain fruits, vegetables and spices to your water. Detox water, also known as infused water, has been gaining popularity for some time now and is not a beverage that is limited to luxurious spa experiences. Making your own detox water is ridiculously easy and your options for flavor combinations are limited only by your imagination. The benefits of a detox water include removal of toxins, better digestion process, your body naturally releases fat cells and it can improve your mood. To get the benefits of these concoctions, Resveralife has picked three of the easiest, tastiest and beneficial detox waters for you to try.

Lemon cucumber detox water.

Lemon Cucumber Detox Water
This flavor combination is a favorite among day spas, but not just because it tastes delicious. Lemons are excellent immune system boosters as they contain a high concentration of vitamin C. Adding lemon to your water increases water’s ability to clean the toxins from your body. Cucumbers are anti-inflammatories, meaning they reduce inflammation throughout your body. Because cucumbers are composed mainly of water, this vegetable helps keep you hydrated for long periods of time. To make lemon cucumber water all you need is a gallon pitcher, one whole lemon and a medium sized cucumber. Cut the lemon and cucumber to your preference (either wedged or sliced) and add to your pitcher. If you want to inject a bit more flavor, add some fresh mint leaves to the lemon and cucumber. Add ice to the pitcher on top of the fruit and fill with water, then allow it to steep in your fridge overnight. When all of the water is gone, you can refill the pitcher using the same lemon and cucumber about three times before you need to cut more fruits and vegetables.

Apple cinnamon detox water.

Apple Cinnamon Detox Water
This detox water not only helps flush harmful toxins from your body, it is also a great way to satisfy a craving for something a bit sweeter without resorting to sodas or fruit juices packed with sugar. Apple cinnamon detox water contains virtually no calories, as the calories that come from the apple are negligible. Cinnamon in the water helps stimulate your metabolism and aids your internal organs in cleaning themselves while apple provides essential vitamins and minerals needed daily. To make apple cinnamon detox water, thinly slice one apple and add to your gallon pitcher. Place a cinnamon stick in with your apple and add ice. Fill your pitcher with water. For the most flavor, allow to sit for at least one hour before serving. Like the lemon cucumber detox water, you can use the same apple slices and cinnamon stick around three times.

Grapefruit tangerine detox water.

Grapefruit Tangerine Detox Water
Grapefruit, the quintessential diet food, really is incredibly beneficial to your body and it helps completely detox your body. Tangerine is an excellent source of vitamin C and it adds natural sweetness to your water. If you find you need a bit more sweetness, consider adding strawberries which will additionally provide you with vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties. Slice the grapefruit, tangerine and strawberries and place at the bottom of your gallon pitcher. Add ice then fill with water. Reuse the fruit two to three times before replacing with freshly sliced fruit.

Detox water is a refreshing, tasty way to increase your water intake without getting bored by glass after glass of plain water. You can create any combination of detox water that you like, such as lemon ginger, raspberry blueberry, mango tangerine…whatever sounds good to you. Drink up and detoxify with these delicious recipes.

Woman looking at her phone in a beach.

5 W's of Digital Detox

When was the last time that you took a break from all digital devices and just turned everything off for 24 hours? Chances are you don’t remember. Computers, smartphones, tablets and watches, among others, keep you constantly connected no matter where you are and what you’re doing. There are constant demands for your attention in the digital age and constantly responding to every notification, feed update or e-mail is not only overwhelming, it may be doing more harm than good. If you really can’t remember the last time you put technology away for an entire day, it’s time for you to consider a digital detox.

What is a Digital Detox?
A digital detox is pretty much what the name implies; unplugging from all digital technology for a set period of time. All devices (computers, tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc…) are switched off so you can enjoy some time away from the screens and focused on the other areas of your life that you may neglect. The amount of time you spend on a digital detox is up to you, but most experts recommend that you spend at least 24 hours away from all of your digital devices. It can be jarring to go from being updated on everything by the second to being completely screen-free, so start with 24 hours and work your way up to longer periods of time.

Woman working on a tablet.

When Should You Digital Detox?
The frequency of how often, and for how long, you participate in a digital detox is completely up to you. Realistically, there are times when being away from your work computer or your smartphone just isn’t an option, so pick a day where you know that you don’t have any obligations. If you have kids, then you may feel uneasy about keeping a phone off all day if kids are out of the house. If this is the case then either plan to have your kids spend the day with someone you trust implicitly, or make the detox a family event and spend some quality time reconnecting to one another.

Who Needs a Digital Detox?
Let’s face it, modern society is swept up in constantly checking social media accounts, news and entertainment sites, playing games or texting no matter where people are or what else is happening. Everybody can benefit from a digital detox now and then, especially you.

Beautiful resort.

Where do You do a Digital Detox?
The beauty of a digital detox is that you don’t need to go anywhere at all. You can keep technology off for 24 hours in the comfort of your own home and rediscover that book you’ve been meaning to read or tackling a home improvement project that you’ve been postponing. While some people think that digital detox is just a fad, there are others who take the idea very seriously. There is an increasing number of hotels, resorts and spas that are dedicated to providing a soothing, luxurious atmosphere that is completely free from digital distraction.

Why do a Digital Detox?
While staying connected every waking moment may seem like a productive way to spend your day, doing so can actually have adverse effects. When your attention is divided among so many different types of news, information and alerts, you are actually decreasing your attention span. A digital detox allows you to have conversations that reach a conclusion instead of just stopping because your phone is going off every five minutes. Additionally, a digital detox is an important way to make the loved ones in your life feel cherished. Spending time not staring at screens and actually making contact and allowing yourself to fully listen and pay attention during conversations shows those around you that you do value them. But perhaps most importantly, a digital detox gives you time to unwind, relax and recharge so that when you do return to work, you are returning more productive than before.

The idea of shutting everything off for 24 hours can be super overwhelming, but it provides so many benefits. To get the rewards a digital detox offers, practice resistance and leave everything off. A true digital detox does not allow “just checking one e-mail” or tweeting about your experience. Further, practicing a digital detox is not a once and done thing. You should aim to do so every few weeks in order to allow yourself to fully experience life and to return to your digital world with a fresh perspective.

Red wine and food.

Top Malbec Wine Pairings

Malbec is a lively, entertaining red wine with origins in France. However, you are probably more familiar with Malbec as a product of Argentina or Chile. Argentina is credited with “saving” Malbec wine as the environment and climate of Argentine vineyards is perfect for Malbec grapes and they flourish when planted there. France, and other wine regions like Napa Valley, still do produce Malbec wines, and many of them are excellent. Due to the different growing conditions and soil, the taste of Malbec wine varies greatly depending on the region in which the wine was produced. Argentine and Chilean Malbec wines are famous for their intensely fruity, luxurious Malbec wines while French Malbecs are more commonly referred to as earthy or green wines. Still, no matter what Malbec region you select a wine from, there are plenty of food options for Malbec pairing. Here are some of our very favorite, and most delicious, Malbec pairings.

Charcuterie Platter

Appetizers
Malbec can take you through your entire meal from appetizers and hors d’oeuvres to dessert despite the region. If you plan on serving a Malbec with a light, fruity taste, then you could prepare a traditional charcuterie platter or serve some smoky, cured beef as a starter. Cheeses that pair with all styles of Malbec include Manchego, Iberico, Taleggio and Cashel Blue. You can also serve with farmhouse cheddar or a mellow blue such as Stilton.

Lamb dish

Main Courses
This is where Malbec truly shines. There are so many options when it comes to pairing Malbec with your entree. Malbec is excellent red meat and darker poultry meat. It also pairs well with earthier flavors, like a brisket, as well. One of the most popular pairings with Malbec is lamb. Try lamb shanks, a lamb stew or a spicy lamb curry. Beef is another frequent choice of meat to pair with Malbec and you have virtually unlimited options. Serve Malbec with a juicy hamburger, a hearty steak or serve with a cozy roast beef. If you want to enjoy Malbec with a super simple dinner you can make with little preparation, consider serving spaghetti and meatballs of American style spaghetti bolognese. Another option for a beef dinner that requires a bit of prep but is easy to throw together at the last minute is steak fajitas. Use spices cumin, smoked paprika and garlic to further enhance this Malbec pairing.

Dark chocolate truffles

Desserts
There is some debate over whether or not Malbec pairs well with chocolate, but many seem to be of the opinion that chocolate is a great dessert when drinking Malbec. Some Malbec wines feature hints of cocoa and milk chocolate, but milk chocolate is not a great pairing with Malbec. Stick to darker chocolates, especially those with a 70% or higher cacao content. Dark chocolate truffles are also an excellent choice for a decadent dessert. If you are looking for something a bit more unique than chocolate, consider making a plum compote. This fruit concoction echoes the dark fruits found in Malbec. You can serve plum compote with a slice of cake, a dark chocolate ice cream or on it’s own with a bit of vanilla spiked whipped cream.

While Malbec may not be the first red wine you think of, it is a red wine that deserves your attention. Pairing Malbec is quite easy with a bit of imagination and this wine has the ability to carry you through and entire meal. Of course, the above are guidelines based on what flavors work best with Malbec wines, but the best pairing for you is one that you thoroughly enjoy. Have fun experimenting with bold flavors and different styles of Malbec wines to create the perfect pairing for you.

Purple grapes in a vineyard

Purple Foods for Longevity

Traditionally, the color purple is associated with royalty and not food. How many times in the past week, or even month, have you enjoyed a naturally purple food? The answer is probably not many, if any, meals included purple foods. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggests that Americans are not eating enough of this royal-hued produce. Why include purple foods in your diet? Foods that are naturally purple in color are colored this way due to chemicals known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are believed to provide health care benefits for your eyes, heart and slowing the aging process. Additionally, anthocyanins soothe inflammation in your skin and body while also fighting off free radicals. Interested in experiencing these benefits for yourself? The following foods are easy (seriously) to incorporate into your diet and may increase not only the longevity, but also the quality, of your life.

Purple cauliflower

Purple Cauliflower
Purple cauliflower is actually a variety of broccoli that when cooked will turn green. This purple vegetable provides a high concentration of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have also been linked to aiding in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and neurological conditions. In addition, purple cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and B vitamins. If you can’t find purple cauliflower in your local grocery store, check health food stores or farmer’s markets to locate it. Break florets off for a colorful addition to your salad, roast them in your oven with garlic for a flavorful side dish or simply wash and eat it raw on its own.

Purple carrot and carrot juice.

Purple Carrots
These may be a bit more difficult to locate than purple cauliflower, but if you can find them definitely pick some up. You may have to make a trip to a specialty health food store or a farmer’s market, but these vegetables not only contain anthocyanins, they also contain pro-vitamin A carotenoids. Pro-vitamin A carotenoids provide benefits in the form of weight control and glucose (blood sugar) control. In fact, one study suggested that individuals with high levels of pro-vitamin A carotenoids had half of the risk of diabetes as those who didn’t. Replace orange carrots in your favorite soup, making carrot fries or munching on them as a snack are great ways to enjoy this purple vegetable.

Plums on a table

Plums/Prunes
Plums and their dried counterparts, prunes, are an excellent way to sneak some anthocyanins into your diet. In addition to containing these helpful chemicals, plums are also a great source of vitamins A and C. Plums also are a great source of dietary fiber, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. A recent study indicates that eating plums (or prunes) regularly may also help lower LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) levels in your body. Plums and prunes are widely available and should be a sweet and easy way to incorporate purple foods into your diet.

Purple foods may seem exotic and perhaps intimidating, but this could not be farther from the truth. In addition to the foods listed above, there are purple varieties of potatoes, kale, cabbage, onions and even peppers. Increasing your intake of naturally purple foods adds years to your life while providing tasty options for your meals.

Red wine by the fireplace.

Top Malbec Wines

It seems that wines come and go in popularity and one wine that is still enjoying a celebrated status is Malbec, particularly Argentine Malbec. The Malbec grape has its origins in France, like many grape varietals, though it is the fruity flavors of Malbec from Argentina that is currently being highly revered by wine enthusiasts. Malbec often features strong fruit flavors such as:

  • Blackberry
  • Black cherry
  • Blueberry
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberry

Secondary flavors include:

  • Black pepper
  • Cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Gravel
  • Green stem
  • Leather
  • Milk chocolate
  • Mocha
  • Molasses
  • Tobacco

Malbec Wine
Malbec is now most frequently associated with Argentina, but the grape did originate in France. It was a commonly used blending grape in Bordeaux’s top wines, but was not the easiest grape to grow in that region. Malbec grapes respond poorly to extreme weather or temperature and have little to no pest resistance. The first Malbec planted in Argentina was in Mendoza by a French botanist wanting a taste of home. Argentina is credited with having “saved” Malbec because the grape flourishes in this environment. Part of what makes Malbec such a popular wine is that it pairs well with such a wide variety of foods, it has a medium acidity and it does not have a long finish like that of a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you aren’t sure where to start with Malbec wines, here are our top picks:

Trapiche 2006 Vina Federico Villafane Single Vineyard Malbec (Mendoza Region)
This Argentine Malbec is one of the greatest values when it comes to high-end, luxury Malbec wines. That being said, it is still pricey at $50 per bottle, but you may want to consider the splurge for such a decadent wine. The Trapiche 2006 Vina Federico Villafane Single Vineyard Malbec provides an intensive burst of black fruits, such as black cherries, at the onset and is followed by very subtle finishing flavors. This Malbec is a lush, ripe wine that also features hints of cola mixed with the black fruit.

Hess Collection 2012 Small Block Series Malbec (Napa Valley)
Again, this Malbec hailing from Napa Valley, California is not a low price point wine. This Malbec costs $55 per bottle, but like the Malbec listed above, you may not want to write this Malbec off on price alone. The Hess Collection 2012 Small Block Series Malbec is a rich wine that provides wonderful flavors of blueberry cobbler, blackberries and a bit of licorice at at first with little acidity and very soft tannins. The finishing notes of this Malbec are vanilla and chocolate with a hint of spice.

Jean-Luc Baldes 2008 Clos Triguedina Les Galets Malbec (Cahors)
While Argentine Malbec heavily features opening fruit flavors, Malbec wines produced in France are often quite different. The Jean-Luc Baldes 2008 Clos Triguedina Les Galets Malbec has a very mineral-like flavor and texture that mingles with black fruits. At $25 per bottle, you will definitely want to try this French Malbec.

Malbec is a wine that everyone can enjoy. It often features low to medium acidity and softer tannins than other red varietals. Malbec from Argentina has strong, dense flavors of dark fruits while French Malbec is often more earthy with flavors described as green stem, black pepper and spice. No matter what your mood or meal is, there is sure to be a Malbec that fits perfectly.