Health Benefits Of Wine
Wine is good for you. This could be the greatest news that wine lovers have ever heard. It’s been known for some time that red wine is good for heart health. But, in recent years, more and more health benefits have surfaced. Now, it’s up there with the greatest superfoods and can’t be denied as one of life’s great gifts.
It should be noted that wine is only good for you in moderation. You can’t go and drink a bottle a night and expect to live forever. There’s loads of different advice on the internet about how much wine is good for you. One article suggested drinking a couple of glasses a week, whereas one suggested that you can drink a bottle a day. We would suggest sticking to the suggested units of alcohol per week and avoid drinking a bottle a day. So, open the wine cooler, grab a glass, and start getting healthy. Here are 20 amazing health benefits of wine.
1. Makes You Live Longer
Yeah, you read that right. Drinking red wine makes you live longer. A US study found that drinking a glass of some type of wine a day can cut your risk of life-shortening diseases by 25%. Sure, there are hundreds of things that will reduce the risk of life-shortening diseases, like exercise and vegetables, but none of them are as fun as sitting down with a glass of wine at the end of the night. The key is all about regular and moderate consumption. Binge drinkers are definitely not going to live forever.
2. Improves Your Short-Term Memory
A substance found in red wine called resveratrol has shown signs of improving short-term memory. Resveratrol, which is also found in dark chocolate and red grapes, is one of those wonder-substances that has all sorts of amazing qualities. It improves our heart-health, lowers blood pressure, and much more. Drinking wine is more associated with not being able to remember things, than improving our memory. But one glass a night could actually help you remember where you placed that electric wine bottle opener, so you can get up and pour yourself another.
3. Helps Reduce Acne
Before you start pouring wine on your face, wine isn’t the best thing to stop acne or other skin conditions. If you have acne, wine isn’t going to solve it on its own. But it could help. Again, it’s resveratrol that is the magical ingredient here. It suppresses the growth of acne-causing bacteria. It also works alongside other compounds found in wine. The research is in its early stages and some doctors say that you need to ingest resveratrol from a different source, so it doesn’t get metabolized in the body.
4. Reduces Risk of Depression
This one is a bit of a gray area. The fact that red wine reduces the risk of depression comes from a Spanish study, that followed over 5000 people for seven years. The study found that the participants – aged between 55 and 80 – who drank two to seven glasses of wine a week were less likely to develop depression than non-drinkers. The important things to notice here are the ages and amounts of alcohol. This isn’t conclusive proof that wine reduces depression, but it shows that having a few glasses a week can be good for you.
5. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
You need to look after your heart. There’s no two way around it. And, there’s nothing new about the information that red wine reduces the risk of heart disease. This has been around for ages. The substance resveratrol, found in red wine, stops platelets in the heart from sticking together, which reduces the risk of clotting. Aspirin is thought to do the same thing. Red wine also contains lots of anti-oxidants, which may help prevent coronary artery diseases. Looking after your heart isn’t normally very fun – you often have to give up red meats and chocolate, amongst other tasty treats. So, you’ll relish sitting down to a glass of wine at the end of the day.
6. Improves Your Eye Health
Ever heard the expression: “blind drunk”? Well, that takes on a whole new meaning when you learn that drinking red wine can improve the health of your eyes. When you grow old, sometimes the blood vessels in your eyes can get damaged. Resveratrol – the magical substance found in wine – may be able to protect them against damage. A study investigating the effects of resveratrol on mice’s eye health showed positive benefits. No study has been conducted on human’s yet, but it’s nice to dream.
7. Lowers Risk of Cancer
Light drinkers – who only drink a small amount but regularly – are at lower risk of cancer. Of course, the fact that excessive drinking can lead to cancer has been known for a while. But, if you are a light drinker, you could be lucky! A study, conducted by the University of Belfast, found that drinking one to three drinks a week can lower your risk of cancer, but with every extra drink, the risk increases. Most health services are wary of letting out information like this because it can encourage people to drink excessively.
8. Stops You Getting A Cold
Red wine contains flavonoids that prevent our bodies from getting illnesses like the common cold. Flavonoids are metabolites that are often found in plants. They have amazing antioxidants that stop us from getting illnesses. Plus, they have loads of other awesome health benefits like improving heart and gut health. This is more of a preventative measure than a cure for the cold. If you start getting the sniffles, we don’t recommend running to the shop and buying a bottle of red.
9. Lowers Your Cholesterol
Research has shown that alcohol – and red wine in particular – can raise levels of good HDL cholesterol by up to 15%. The reason red wine is so effective at lowering your cholesterol is that it contains antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol. People go to amazing lengths to sort out their cholesterol and there are many drugs on the market that supposedly do it for you. But drinking red wine as part of a healthy, balanced diet could be one of the best things for it.
10. Reduces Stroke Risk
We’ve already talked about the fact that red wine reduces HDL cholesterol. Well, that’s directly linked to strokes. People of all ages can get strokes, but they are most common in people aged 60 and above. This can be for many reasons, and high cholesterol is a big one. Your doctor should be able to advise you on your levels of LDL (good) and HDL (bad) cholesterol. Then, you can start to improve it by drinking a glass of wine every night. If you’re worried about your cholesterol, you should consult a doctor before self-prescribing.
11. Regulates Your Blood Sugar
Like most of the things in this list, it seems counterintuitive that red wine regulates your blood sugar. That’s because it’s well known that excessive alcohol intake can cause your blood sugar levels to drop to dangerous levels. In fact, red wine contains natural antioxidants that slow glucose passing through the small intestine and eventually into the blood. This is an important part of regulating blood sugar. Apparently, tea can also help. So that’s a cup of tea in the morning and a glass of red wine in the evening.
12. Stops You Getting Diabetes
This one sort of ties in with the last. High blood sugar is one of the characteristics of type 2 diabetes. Drinking one glass of red wine a day makes you less likely to get type 2 diabetes in the first place. But if you are already diabetic, it can help you reduce the risk of heart disease. While you may be able to control the symptoms of diabetes with diet and oral medication, it’s likely that you will end up having to inject with insulin.
13. Makes You Stronger
Studies have suggested that drinking small amounts of wine regularly can actually make you stronger. A study in Spain found that people that exercised at least twice a week were stronger when they were regularly consuming red wine and white wine. That doesn’t mean it’s going to have the same magical effects that Popeye found when he wolfed down the spinach, but every little helps. It also makes your bones stronger (read on for more information).
14. Can Stall Dementia
Dementia is one of the scariest things out there. The thought of losing your memory is terrifying for most people. So, when you hear that red wine can offset dementia, you’re going to be grabbing the bottle. A recent study showed that wine has an effect on our glymphatic function (the way the brain removes harmful toxins). These toxins are linked to dementia. The study showed that when mice were given a moderate amount of alcohol daily, their glymphatic function was more efficient at removing the toxins.
15. Increases Omega-3
Omega-3 is one of those buzzwords you hear a lot in health ads. That’s because we need this fatty acid for good cardiovascular health. It’s most commonly found in marine oils, which is why tuna and other fish are great sources. But, if you’re not a fish lover, then you can get that essential omega-3 from wine. It’s a careful balancing act though because too much omega-3 can cause high blood sugar, bleeding, low blood pressure, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
16. Makes Your Bones Stronger
This one isn’t actually exclusive to wine. Beer has also been proven to have a positive effect on the health of your bones. A study conducted in 2004, showed that beer and wine have nutritional value to our bone health because they contained silicon and phytochemicals. Again, these benefits only happen if you drink in moderation. Excessive drinking causes bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis, which will more than negate the benefits. If you are serious about strengthening your bones, we’d stick to that glass of milk for now.
17. Prevents Tooth Decay & Gum Disease
A new study, in 2018, has suggested that red wine can fight off tooth decay and gum disease. That’s because it contains a compound called polyphenols, which kills harmful bacteria in the mouth. That’s because this compound is an antioxidant. The wine reduces the bacteria’s ability to stick to the teeth and gum, which could cause dental plaque, cavities, and tooth decay if left untreated. Having said that, red wine can still stain teeth and the research is in its early stages. So, don’t go brushing your teeth with a merlot just yet.
18. It’s Good for Your Gut
Gut health is really important. That’s why you constantly hear adverts for probiotics and other healthy-gut supplements. But what about red wine? A Spanish study suggested that drinking a daily glad is really good for the bacteria lining your large intestine. That’s because it balances out the good and bad bacteria found in the colon. This healthy balance of bacteria helps you digest food, regulate your immune function, and reduces the risk of blood clots.
19. Protects Against Sunburn
Alcohol and sun don’t mix together well. If you’ve had a few too many, it’s easy to forget to apply sunscreen, and you might not even feel the heat of the sun on your bare shoulders. So, it might come as a surprise to find out that red wine can protect the skin from the damaging effects of sunburn. You might remember us talking about flavonoids, the magical metabolite that can stop you getting a cold. Well, they are also the culprit for protecting against sunburn. Still, don’t forget to apply sunscreen. Red wine alone isn’t enough!
20. Makes Us Age Better
The first health benefit we talked about on this list was the fact that wine can make you live longer. Amazingly, it can also make you age better. It contains antioxidants that basically get rid of damaging free radicals, which play an important role in us getting older and the diseases that come with that. Red wine has a higher concentration of these antioxidants than the actual grapes that it’s made from.