National Drink Wine Day 2017 is here. But there are more reasons to enjoy wine, especially the red variety than just the flavor. According to the American Heart Association, one to two glasses of four ounces of wine a day benefits heart health immensely.
Wine benefits health when taken in moderation. Dr. Elizabeth Mostofsky of Harvard University says that drinking small amounts of alcohol, like red wine, increases HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the long term.
Red wine also contains antioxidants like resveratrol, which is found in the skin of the grapes. Resveratrol is a phytoalexin, a chemical produced by plants to create a defense against infections. It is beneficial for health as it reduces inflammation and also improves skin health.
Before we discuss how much wine is recommended for good health, let’s discover how healthy wine really is by taking a look at all its benefits.
10 Wine Health Benefits to Know for National Drink Wine Day
Moderate consumption of wine contributes to total well-being. Recent studies show that wine helps in weight loss and prevents cancer. It also boosts immunity, has anti-aging effects, and more.
1. Improves heart health
Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, increases the levels of high-density lipids (good cholesterol) and lowers the levels of low-density lipids (bad cholesterol).
Resveratrol also enables the easy flow of blood by preventing blood clot in the arteries. Medical researchers also assert that wine may increase the levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which has good effects on the heart and facilitates blood circulation.
2. Promotes longevity
The tannins present in red wine have flavonoids like procyanidins, which neutralizes oxidants and free radicals. Moreover, procyanidins lowers the risk of heart diseases. Therefore, wine decreases overall mortality and encourages longevity.
3. Boosts immunity
A British study found that people who drank one glass of wine daily have an 11% less chance of stomach infections caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
These stomach infections include gastritis, ulcers, and stomach cancers. Meanwhile, a Spanish study also confirms that food poisoning caused by salmonella can be reduced by a glass of wine a day.
4. Improves mental health
A tall glass of wine is supposed to slow down brain cell degeneration and improve memory. Dr. Tedd Goldfinger at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, explained that wine prevents blood clots and blood vessel inflammation, both of which are linked to cognitive decline and heart disease.
It is also found that wine can reduce the risk of mental disorders, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Inhibits cancer
Due to the presence of antioxidants like resveratrol and polyphenol compounds, red wine has the potential to prevent the development of cancers, like colon and breast cancer.
6. Reduces diabetes risk
Supposedly, red wine is low in carbohydrates, which means its glycemic index is considerably low (less than 15).
Furthermore, red wine hardly tampers with blood sugar levels, thus keeping the insulin level normal. This reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, since it prevents any sudden disturbance in blood pressure.
7. Anti-aging properties
Loaded with antioxidants and polyphenol compounds, wine has anti-aging effects. The antioxidants eliminate damaging free radicals from the body. Flavonoids like proanthocyanidins, protects collagen (a protein found in the skin), and thus improves skin health.
8. Helps in weight loss
Another beneficial compound found in red wine is piceatannol, which has the capability to block the process of fat cell formation.
According to a study conducted at Purdue University, piceatannol tampers with the timing of gene expressions, gene functions, and insulin action during adipogenesis (a process in which early stage fat cells become mature fat cells). This means that piceatannol can delay or completely prevent the adipogenesis process.
9. Strengthens bones and teeth
Studies show that people who drink a glass of wine regularly have greater bone density in the hip region, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis, a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone density.
Additionally, the grape extract in red wine removes certain bacteria from teeth, inhibiting dental diseases like cavities and gingivitis.
10. Enhances eye health
Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine, shelters the blood vessels from harm. Wine reduces the risk of cataracts, a vision loss condition that comes with old age.
Now, that we know the various ways wine can improve our overall well-being, let’s take a look at how much wine is required to gain health benefits.
How Much Wine Is Good for Health
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, and despite its related health benefits, it should be taken in moderation. Regard it as medicinal, and avoid getting drunk on it.
The motive is to reap the health benefits of wine, not to get drunk unnecessarily. The important component to factor in, is the quantity. Keep the intake at one or two glasses a day to improve health.
Women are more susceptible to the intoxicating effects of wine than men. This is because women have lower body water content and different levels of stomach enzymes. Therefore, wine consumption for women is lower than for men.
A study by the National Health Service in the UK revealed, “Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day.
Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.” One unit equals 10 milliliters or eight grams of pure alcohol. A 250-milliliter (large) glass of 12% red wine has about three units of alcohol. A 175-milliliter (medium) glass has about two units.
So now we see that a glass of red wine with your dinner daily will not only help you to enjoy the meal optimally, but also brings tremendous benefits to your health. However, do not get carried away and help yourself to a third glass. All the wine health benefits are applicable only when wine is taken in moderate quantity.
Enjoy National Drink Wine Day and cheers to good health and to a long healthy life!
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