If you’ve been searching for an excuse to have a drink or two every day after a hard day of work, look no further. There have been some of reports on how drinking a moderate amount of wine on a daily basis can benefit our health. But as of recently, more and more research has been pointing out that the benefits of red wine are actually real, thanks mostly to the antioxidants found in the skin of grapes. Some of these health benefits include anti-aging, less chances of developing heart disease, and even weight loss!
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should become a wine drinker because of its health benefits. In fact, most doctors recommend that people stay away from drinking any type of alcohol if possible. If you must have some wine with your dinner or as an evening treat, keep it at a moderate level.
Wine 101: A fun introduction to wine will get you started and give you great insight into the amazing world of wines and wine tasting.
How much is considered “moderate”?
It is said that moderate wine consumption can be good for your health. But what exactly does “moderate” mean? There are various factors that come into play when it comes to determining this, including age, size, sex, and general state of health. Drinking too much in one sitting can be harmful to someone’s health, so it is important that we understand what “moderate” really means.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, alcohol should be consumed in moderation, meaning up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom says women shouldn’t drink more than 2-3 units a day, which equals about one large glass of red wine.
6 Main Benefits of Red Wine
Even though there are a lot of benefits that come from drinking red wine, I decided to pick the top six that have been either backed by research or experiments from scholarly sources. Cheers to a healthier life!
1. It’s good for your heart – The antioxidants in red wine, called flavonoids, have been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and increasing the production of HDL (good cholesterol). In a study conducted in Spain, healthy participants who consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine saw their LDL levels lower by 9%. The flavonoids and sapponins in red wine also protect your heart against cardiovascular disease by preventing the formation of blood clots. Other benefits for your heart include protecting the lining of blood vessels and lowering the risk of inflammation and clotting.
Certain wines are known to have more concentrations of flavonoids than others. For example, cabernet sauvignon is known to have the most flavonoids, followed by petite sirah and pinot noir, then merlot and red zinfandel. Red-wine tannins contain procyanidins, which protect against heart disease. It is known that wines from Sardinia and southwest France have more procyanidins than any other wines in the world.
2. It helps prevent cancer – Evidence from research suggests that drinking red wine in moderation can assist with preventing cancer. Resveratrol, an antioxidant that also helps protect your heart, kills cancerous cells inside your body by inhibiting their ability to function. It is also sometimes used with radiation therapy because it can penetrate cancerous cells and induce apoptosis. Apoptosis is a type of cell death that occurs when the cell dies. Cancer researchers are looking for ways to induce apoptosis because it’s considered to be the safest way to remove unwanted cells from a human body.
Another antioxidant found in red wine, called guercetin, is shown to help prevent lung cancer. Other studies have shown that your risk of colon cancer will reduce by 45% by drinking red wine in moderation. A study published in Harvard Men’s Health Watch reported that male drinkers were 52 percent as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as men who never drank red wine. With that said, alcohol is not good for cancer, so there is some debate regarding whether drinking red wine is really beneficial for treating cancer.
3. It can make you thinner – Certain studies find that people who drink wine daily have lower body mass than those who binge occasionally. Drinking red wine increases the amount of good bacteria levels in your body, which helps your digestive tract. The alcohol in wine may also encourage your body to burn extra calories for up to 90 minutes after you drink a glass.
The effects of piceatannol, a compound found in red wine, blocks fat cells from forming. Researchers are currently looking into more about how this compound can help people lose fat.
4. It controls blood sugar – The skin from red grapes may help diabetics regulate their blood sugar, according to research published in the journal Nutrition. This is due to the source of the natural compound, resveratrol, which also helps prevent cancer. Research supports that resveratrol also helps stimulate insulin secretion. Study participants were asked to take a resveratrol supplement once a day for three months and ended up having lower blood glucose levels than those who didn’t take it. Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Center reported that moderate wine drinkers have a 30 percent less risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to nondrinkers.
5. It may reduce the risk of depression – Although heavy drinking has been linked with mental health problems, drinking one or two glasses of red wine a day may work in the exact opposite way. Recent studies showed that moderate drinkers were less likely to suffer from depression than those who drank more or less. A sample group of 2,683 men and 2,822 women aged 55 to 80 years old filled out a questionnaire, which included their alcohol consumption as well as their mental health information. The men and women who drank two to seven glasses of wine per week were less likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Depression and heart disease share common mechanisms because they share similar protective and risk factors. Therefore, wine may work the same way to reduce depression as it does for heart disease.
6. It can even help you from aging – The anti-aging properties from wine have been talked about for hundreds of years. The resveratrol in wine has been proven to increase the life span of mice on high-fat diets. It is also said that procyanidins keep the blood vessels healthy, meaning it can also contribute towards a longer life span.
A Mediterranean diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, yogurt, olive oil and drinking red wine. Studies show that this type of diet is associated with longer, healthier lives compared to other diets around the world. Red wine isn’t probably the main reason for this, but it does add to the fact that it can make us live longer if consumed in moderation.
Want to Learn More About Wine?
Since you’re aware of the benefits of red wine, don’t be shy when it comes to becoming a wine connoisseur. You can learn about the major types of wine all around the world, as well as the secrets of wine stores and professionals.
Or take your passion for wine one step further by learning how to make your own wine at home. This course will tell you exactly what equipment to use, how much everything will cost around, and recipes to make your own delicious wine. Just remember to drink wine in moderation!