Though wine continues to be enjoyed today and is projected to be consumed for celebrations to come, the fermented drink dates way back into 4100 BC. And while its consumption was predominately based on custom and culture, the wine industry booms today not only based on tradition, but its touted ability to promote good health. In fact, the curiosity of wine and health sparked after the French demonstrated lower disease risks despite their high consumption of red wine. Though their active lifestyles and smaller portions also contribute to longevity, researchers set quest on definitive studies, which ultimately surfaced the renowned resveratrol, a potent antioxidant protecting cells against damage.
Benefits of Drinking Wine
1. Reduces Heart Disease Risk
With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the U.S., halting the rising statistics is needed now more than over. Health experts do recognize lifestyle choices and changes can prevent or reduce such risk, with moderate red wine consumption even showing to reduce risk by up to 30 to 50 percent and lessening the risk of heart attacks.
2. Maintains Cognition
Although excess intake impairs brain function and clarity, moderate alcohol consumption may unfold a different story. Moderate drinkers, or “winos,” are associated with better cognitive function, along with reducing their risk of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Protects Against Stroke
Red wine has not only shown to reduce the risk of stroke (up to 50 percent!), but protects the brain following one. In animal and observational studies, resveratrol has shown to protect the brain against stroke damage, which further supports the brain-protective properties provided by red wine.
4. Supports Gut Health
The polyphenols found in red wine have shown to maintain and improve gut health, primarily by balancing gut bacteria, stimulating healthy bacteria and inhibiting the bad. A healthy gut is further impacted by a nutritious, fiber-filled diet with an adequate intake of fluid.
5. Lowers Diabetes Risk
Compared to other forms of alcohol, wine products may protect against diabetes, even up to a 15 percent reduction risk! Alcohol can also help manage and reduce blood sugar. But with that being said, the concept of moderation is significantly important; the greater intake of alcohol, the greater risk for severe hypoglycemia.
6. Encourages Longevity
A glass a day may keep the doctor away… The potent antioxidant properties of wine may help preserve cell life and resist against damage, ultimately reducing disease span (or a life filled with disease) and encouraging longevity.
But in order to obtain such benefits…
The consumption of wine and its pouring to health benefits can be a slippery slope, as some researchers suggest above all, not drinking is the safest drink. But if you are to drink, the concept of moderation cannot be stressed enough, as excess alcohol consumption has adverse health effects including liver damage and increased cancer risk. To reduce the risk of such consequences, recommendations suggest…
…choosing red over white wine.
Although enjoyed similarly, disparities lie between red and white wine. The red and purple grapes used in red wine production contain a greater supply of resveratrol compared to the green grapes used to make white. In fact, white wine has even shown to increase skin cancer risk.
…sticking to recommended servings and portions.
Men are encouraged to moderate intake to two drinks per day, while women should limit their consumption to one. And when mentioning drinks, the serving size is not the bottle’s entirety, but a 5-ounce pour from it…
Like food, wine should be chosen based on quality ingredients, including the location in which ingredients flourish from. Learning and researching more about brands and their vineyard origin can tell you a lot about the wine, as wines produced in a cool and moist climates are shown to produce grapes with greater resveratrol content.
Even with the inclusion of alcohol, a healthy lifestyle should not be discounted, and should consist of a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management.