Recently, we wrote about the health benefits of dark chocolate, which sent positive shockwaves to our readership and blew your minds. We shined a light on the superfood qualities of the tasty treat, and people shouted from the rooftops, “I can eat chocolate and not feel guilty!”
Well, we’ve got more good news, so hold onto your hats: red wine can be healthy, too!
Go ahead, grab a bottle of pinot, merlot, malbec, or whatever varietal you prefer, kick back, and read about how it can improve your health.
Before diving in, we need to begin with the caveat that drinking too much wine is not healthy. Wine intake should be governed by many factors, including health history, age, height, and weight. When in doubt, ask your doctor.
Now let’s get to the good stuff.
Red Wine is Packed with Antioxidants
Wine derives from grapes, and grapes contain many antioxidants. Free radicals, which are bad because they attack your cells, are warded off by antioxidants (who knew that a scientific process could sound like a political revolution?). The antioxidant cast features resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins. It doesn’t matter that you’ve never heard of these and can’t pronounce them. What’s important is that respectively, they can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and dementia, and enhance the body’s response to injury, and combat inflammation and blood clots.
Let’s now break down how the crimson drink lowers these risks.
Apparently, drinking one to two glasses of red wine per day may lower the risk of heart disease. All credit goes to those awesome antioxidants that do the heart good in the following ways:
- Protect the lining of blood vessels in your ticker
- Reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels
- Raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels
According to Healthline, “People who drink approximately 150 ml (5 oz) of red wine a day seem to be at about a 32% lower risk than non-drinkers.”
But they are also careful to point out that higher rates of consumption dramatically increase the risk.
The jury is still out on the role resveratrol in red wine plays in mitigating the risk of cancers. More evidence in lab versus human studies bears this out. However, there are studies, including this one by New York’s Stony Brook University that found that imbibers showed lower risks of colon and prostate cancer.
More good news: other studies reported that drinking red wine could prevent dementia. What makes this more interesting is the link to heart disease, as the findings note:
“Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Because vascular disease is associated with cognitive impairment and dementia, we hypothesised that alcohol consumption might also affect the risk of dementia.”
Skin in the Game
What about white wine? Red wine is healthier because of its grape skins. During the fermentation process, white grape skins separate, while red grape skills remain intact with all their antioxidants.
At the end of the day, moderation is the name of the game, and if you don’t drink alcohol, health experts recommend not starting at all. The bottom line is that if you play your cards right, you can enjoy your favorite glass of red while reaping the health benefits.