As if we need more excuses to drink wine! Although many of us have heard whispers about the health benefits of drinking wine, the average wine enthusiast doesn’t know much about positive effects of the fruit of the vine. Fortunately for us, a great deal of research has been done, and there are many more studies yet to come out about how and why wine is good for you. Today, we’ll cover what we know about how a glass or two in the evening can help you stay healthy.
Red is Love, Red is Life
Although we’re still awaiting the results of many studies about the health benefits of white wine, the general consensus around wine and health is that red wines pack the most positive punch. As with many fruits and vegetables, the healthy elements in wine occur mainly in the skin of the grape. So start stocking up on tannin heavy reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, or Syrah.
Among the most well-known and documented health benefits of drinking wine is its effect on the heart and the circulatory system. Doctors have strong evidence suggesting that red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease. We’ve all heard that red wine is high in antioxidants, but did you know that these antioxidants help to protect the lining of the blood vessels in your heart?
The good news doesn’t end there. Scientists believe that a chemical call resveratrol also protects your blood vessels on top of lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and preventing blood clots. Like antioxidants, resveratrol occurs in high concentrations in grape skins. If this is the case, though, why not just eat grapes or drink grape juice? Well, it’s not just the grape in wine that’s good for your heart. Studies have shown that moderate amounts of alcohol can also help by raising HDL cholesterol (the good kind), preventing blood clots, and protecting your arteries from bad cholesterol.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
The effects of wine on the heart have reached the status of party gossip; most of us have heard about this in one form or another. However, wine can do a lot more than that, and one surprising health benefit of wine is its ability to reduce the risk of cancer in moderate servings. As if they haven’t done enough already, the antioxidants in red wine also help to block the growth of oral cancer.
On top of preventing cancer, red wine may also play a role in treating mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos. Researchers found that the antioxidants that appear in red wine helped to make cancerous mesothelioma cells more vulnerable to attack, paving the way for more effective treatments.
Wine Cheers Us Up
Well of course wine makes us all happy, but studies have also shown that drinking wine can help lower the long-term risk of depression. Researchers found that people who drank “two to seven glasses of wine a week” were less likely to suffer depression. Be warned, however; drinking too much can actually increase your risk of depression.
It needs to be said that while drinking wine may have many great health benefits, one should not start binging in the name of medicine. As with all things, wine is only good for you in moderation:, a glass or two a day. Drinking too much can increase your risk of heart failure and raise your blood pressure to unsafe levels.
Not only is wine sophisticated, fun, and great-tasting, but it also has loads of health benefits. Remember to drink responsibly to enjoy these positive effects.
Nick Cesare is a freelance writer.