Though I am an advocate for healthy living, I am known to enjoy glass of red wine a couple of nights a week. It’s my go-to after a long, stressful or crazy day, and I joke often that the health benefits of red wine include maintaining my sanity.
Well, it turns out that drinking a little red wine every day may truly be part of a healthy lifestyle. Yes, you read that right. Read wine is healthy. Of course, I am not at all disappointed that research backs up my personal preference, but who am I to argue with science?
Moderation is the key to getting the potential health benefits of red wine, because the risks associated with excessive drinking considerably outweigh the advantages.
Now fill your glass and get ready, because here comes the skinny on the health benefits of red wine consumed in moderation:
The Deliciously Fabulous Health Benefits of Red Wine
* There have been many reports saying that alcohol suppresses the immune system. However, unlike the other alcoholic beverages, that is not the case with red wine.
* Actually, the strong antioxidant activity of polyphenols in red wine can reduce damage caused by free radicals. So there.
* People who regularly consume red wine have better cardiovascular health than those who consume little or no alcohol. Resveratrol, a natural compound in red wine, inhibits the formation of inflammatory factors that trigger cardiovascular diseases.
There’s a caveat though. While a little red wine may be healthy for the heart, the rest of your diet and exercise habits are still vital to optimal heart health. In fact, one study showed that moderate wine drinking was only protective against cardiovascular disease in people who exercised.
* Red wine is a significant source of compounds that limit the damage which high HDL cholesterol can do to the heart, more so than white wine and other types of alcoholic beverages.
* You’ve always heard that drinking alcohol can damage the liver, right? Well, that may not be the case when it comes to red wine. A study out of Oregon State found that red wine has the potential to boost metabolism of fatty acids in the liver.
* Red wine may protect us from common food-borne diseases. It has anti-microbial properties that defend against food-borne pathogens without harming “good bacteria” in the gut. Drink red wine and avoid Salmonella. Sounds like a plan to me!
* Everybody is different of course, but research has found that people who drink wine in moderation are less likely to suffer from depression. This is precisely what I keep telling my family. Wine equals happiness (or something like that).
* The resveratrol in red may help with a decline in cognitive ability, dementia and memory loss. Moderate wine consumption is also associated with better performance on cognitive tests. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to stay sharp for as long as possible.
* Now I’m not saying that drinking red wine can help you lose weight, but it sure is worth noting that piceatannol, a compound found in red wine, is able to block cellular processes that allow fat cells to develop.
* Fighting an injury and can’t get to the gym? You may want to reach for a glass of red. The resveratrol component of red wine has been found to prevent the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle one one’s health. Red wine may not be a substitute for exercise, but it could minimize the damage until you can get back to the gym.
* Believe it or not, red wine could potentially help prevent cavities. But please do not start brushing your teeth with cabernet.
* Red wine is good for the brain, increasing levels of an enzyme known to shield nerve cells from brain damage.
* Contrary to conventional thinking about the link between alcohol use and cancer, some studies show that red wine may not be so bad after all. Moderate red wine consumption may actually protect against the development colorectal cancer, may reduce one of the risk factors for breast cancer, and may help to prevent head and neck cancer. It may produce more favorable outcomes for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients than non-wine drinkers. It may also lower the risk of Barrett’s Esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer.
* This is perhaps my favorite finding in my research about the health benefits of red wine, so I saved the best for last. Moderate wine intake is associated with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells.
Why is this so exciting, you ask? If there is anything I learned in my health coach training, it is about the value of Omega-3 fatty acids on our health. Omega-3’s are important for regulating emotions, maintaining sight, and rejuvenating skin – among other benefits. They aid in boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, regulating blood clotting, controlling heart health, and speeding up the healing process.
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Now don’t go taking up a red wine habit without consulting your doctor, especially if you have any of the conditions mentioned above. But if red wine is already on your list of indulgences, it is worth a toast. And make sure to keep it in moderation, okay?
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor do I play one on this blog. The information shared here is meant to be entertaining and informative. You should always talk to a medical professional before making any changes to your routine, especially if you have a recurrent health issue.
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