What a great question and it’s one that I get asked on a regular basis so let’s have a quick discussion about the health effects of red wine because many of the people I know are always looking for more reasons to enjoy a nice glass of red.
There is some good news, because red wine really does provide you with a host of health benefits, but, just remember to limit yourself to no more than five glasses a week and certainly no more than two glasses a day.
Like most things……..moderation is the key to get the full benefits from your tipple which is rich in antioxidants, like resveratrol and proanthocyanidins – these are thought to be responsible for the health benefits from drinking red wine in moderation.
5 Incredible Health Benefits of Red Wine.
And before you start, here are another 13 reasons you need to drink more wine.
1. Red Wine Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Red wine contains a variety of active compounds that contain properties to protect your heart health, including quercetin, polyphenols, and resveratrol.
There have been numerous studies looking at how moderate enjoyment of red wine can be beneficial to various aspects which relate to heart disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, resveratrol can prevent blood clots from forming, raise healthy levels of cholesterol, and help prevent the damage that bad cholesterol causes arteries.
And according to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, found that Quercetin promotes heart health through reducing inflammation, and regulating blood pressure.
2. Red Wine Aids in Fighting Bad Cholesterol
A study from Copenhagen’s Royal Veterinary and Agriculture University found that the level of wine consumption was directly related to the level of good cholesterol, with participants seeing an improvement of 5% after enjoying red wine in moderation.
Additionally, Australia’s Curtin University completed a study that discovered that regularly drinking red wine could reduce the level of bad cholesterol, specifically in postmenopausal women.
3. Red Wine Helps Fight against Free Radicals
Free radicals build up in your system and cause a variety of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, neurodegenerative diseases, and more.
Red wine contains antioxidants that counteract the stress caused by free radicals. This certainly doesn’t mean that the more you drink the better the results.
These antioxidants bolster your immune system, and reduce the risk of a variety of serious health problems.
4. It Can Assist with Diabetes Management
Red wine can reduce the speed with which glucose passes into the bloodstream through the small intestine.
This helps with the prevention of blood sugar spikes that type 2 diabetes causes. When consumed in moderation, red wine can form part of a diet plan for those with type 2 diabetes.
The reason that red wine is so much more effective than white wine is because red wine contains over ten times the number of polyphenols.
5. Red Wine Helps Prevent Weight Gain
The grapes that are used in red wine contain piceatannol, and this is similar in structure to the compound resveratrol. However, what piceatannol does is block immature fat cells from growing. Where it is present, it prevents cell development from progressing.
It’s so effective at this because it can destroy these fat cells early on in the process, thus preventing the accumulation of fat cells and gains in body mass.
By binding to the insulin receptors that are located in the fat cells, and then blocking insulin from controlling the cycle of those cells.
Additionally, it blocks the activity of insulin to activate fat formation genes.
6. Helps in the Prevention of Dementia
The Mediterranean diet has long been known for its vast health benefits. Red wine is central to the diet, and according to the National Institute on Aging, those who follow it reduce the risk of dementia by 48%.
There has been more research completed on red wine as an effective preventative measure for Alzheimer’s.
It is resveratrol that is highlighted as the key compound in red wine that can prevent or slow down the progression of dementia.
This is because of its ability to reduce inflammation, and serve as a protectant to neurons.
Why The Ingredients of Red Wine are the Key
The reason red wine is so beneficial to health is due to its ingredients, it’s the flavonoid content which boosts your health.
Quercetin is known for its ability to impact heart disease, chronic disease, allergies, high cholesterol, diabetes, skin disorders, gout, stomach ulcers, eye issues, cancer, and cognitive impairments.
Resveratrol is another key compound, and it is known for its ability to support the health of cells and tissues, protect against diabetes, promote circulation, fight oxidative stress, protect against cancer, prevent premature aging, and improve energy.
And here’s another article I wrote that’s sure to interest you: How to Fight Ageing by Drinking Red Wine.
So in the end, what’s the best red wine for your health? Here is a healthy red wine list with the 6 top choices.
I’ll drink to that!
In closing, whether you wish to drink red wine or not is something you must decide for yourself.
To balance what has been offered above and give you the choice of whether or not to occasionally imbibe in a relaxing glass of your favourite drop of red, you might also like to read this article from the Huffington Post titled What Your Moderate Drinking Habit Is Doing To Your Health. Also make sure you watch the video at the start of the article, it is quite sobering and offers some food for thought.
My Final Words: The Other Side of the Story
Going full circle, and just to contradict some of the research I unearthed in what has been said above, I now need to spoil your fun and give you Dr Gabe Mirkin’s view on the risks of consuming alcohol…….in any quantity. I know, where’s the fun in that you may ask?
I have been following the good Doctor for many years and I have a great respect for the advice he offers so I recommend you have a good read of his views and then make your own considered decision about your next tipple or three.
Here are Dr Merkin’s recommendations:
“Many people have the mistaken belief that it is safe for women to take up to one drink per day and for men to take up to two drinks per day. Almost 30 percent of North Americans drink more than that. The studies listed above and many more show that no amount of alcohol is “safe” or beneficial. Whatever you decide about your own consumption of alcohol, do not base your decision on bad information from the alcoholic beverage industry.”
In this article I have tried to offer an expansive view (both sides) of a subject that is more than often treated as a (wild) celebration rather than a serious blight on the fortunes of many humans. Anyone who has lived with an alcoholic in their family will tell you it is not an easy road.
Changing colour now to another popular beverage I have taken a fancy to as I have matured, and that is Scotch…….as in a good single malt.
Recently I was flicking through a few of my favourite fitness sites and the heading of one article in particular took my fancy – it read: Why It’s Time You Started Drinking Whiskey.
It caught my eye immediately. Who doesn’t like a nip of good Scotch occasionally? And when you consider that it may even be be good for your health is even more reason to have a little tipple.
In the end, I believe life is all about finding the right balance…….what are your thoughts?
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
P.S. Help a friend get the most out of their life…..like and share. Thanks.