6 fascinating benefits of red wine
As a beloved drink, the benefits of red wine extend far past its luxurious taste. Its many possible health benefits include having plenty of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, vitamins, minerals, and fat-regulating properties. With that said, choosing red wine over other alcoholic drinks may be the healthier choice. So long as you drink in moderation, of course.
Drinking red wine is drinking fermented grape juice. It is made with grapes and undergoes several filtering stages, fermenting and aging before it is fully ready to be stocked in your alcoholic beverages cabinet. Take a closer look at what drinking red wine can do for you and your well-being.
Kinds of Red Wine
With more than a thousand varieties of grapes out there that can be used to make red wine, it’s little wonder that there are a dozen kinds of red wine. Some of the most popular ones are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz. The most notable difference between these kinds is its full-bodied taste, aftertaste, consistency, and smoothness.
Different kinds of wine are often grouped according to how they were made. This includes the variety of grapes used, the longevity of fermentation, type of alcohol, and other ingredients added. Other kinds of wine include Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Grenache, Malbec, Carménère, Barbera, and Cabernet Franc. There are more out there but are a little less known or favored.
Benefits of Red Wine
Before you decide to have another glass of red wine, note that any significant health benefit from this drink is still a debatable issue. However, some studies suggest consuming a moderate amount of wine with 12% to 15% of alcohol content can help prevent several diseases and medical conditions.
Moderation is essential, but too little consumed would also likely not give you the benefits it can provide. The lowered risks of acquiring many diseases may be prevented or treated with red wine, but it doesn’t mean binge drinking should be part of your routine. Here are some of the possible health benefits of red wine.
Rich in resveratrol and other antioxidants
Resveratrol is a plant compound primarily present in the skin and seeds of grapes, berries, and peanuts. Due to its abundance in grapes, it has an exceptionally high concentration in red wines. Its main benefit is it acts as an antioxidant. The many benefits of red wine, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing insulin sensitivity, and improving heart health, are attributed to this plant compound and other antioxidants like epicatechin, catechin, and proanthocyanidins.
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It may help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
Red wines are also known for their lipid-regulating properties. While more studies need to be done to prove that drinking red wine can burn fats, resveratrol reduces high blood pressure. High doses can help reduce the pressure exerted on artery walls by blood vessels when the heart beats, improving overall heart health and blood flow.
Certain types of red grapes that, when turned into red wine, can also lower harmful cholesterol levels (LDL) if taken in moderation frequently. This added benefit makes red wine help prevent blood clots and strokes usually caused by good low cholesterol (HDL) and high LDL.
Regulates blood sugar levels
The antioxidants present in red wine have also been shown to control blood sugar levels in diabetic persons, specifically those with Type 2 diabetes. One study concluded that drinking a glass of red wine with or after a meal “modestly decreases cardiometabolic risk” in diabetic persons. More clinical trials need to be done for more data to be made available. If you have diabetes or other glucose-related problems, consult with your primary care physician first.
Promotes gut health
Polyphenols present in red wine and grapes can improve the gut microbiota, contributing to a healthy gut and digestive system. Red wine compounds may also act as prebiotics, compounds that boost beneficial gut bacteria. Another study also suggested that red wine can increase the lowered risk of heart disease through its effects on the gut microbiome.
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Improves brain health
Experts have also suggested that moderate drinking of red wine can help slow down age-related cognitive decline, like the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This may be thanks to the beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties present in the fermented alcoholic drink. Additionally, it can also protect brain cells from damage and overall improve cognitive and brain health. It also has some potential anti-aging properties that could benefit the brain, heart, and skin.
Reduces risk of certain types of cancers
Properties of red wine, particularly the compound resveratrol, have been studied for its ability to prevent and treat cancer possibly. While the results have been a mix of positive and negative possibilities, studies have shown that resveratrol may fight against cancer cells, including breast, gastric, lung, colon, skin, and prostate cancers. It may fight against free radicals, inhibit cancer cell growth and affect its gene expression to prevent its spread.
Best time to drink red wine
In moderation, red wine can be a beneficial drink for you apart from enjoying its delicious taste and alcohol content. White wines are also acceptable, though they are made differently, without the grapes’ skin and seeds, thus their lighter color. Wines, in general, are considered healthy because they are mainly and wholly made with fresh grapes.
If you want to reap the benefits of this drink, moderate red wine consumption is a must. Not too much, but not too little either. The best time to drink your favorite red wine is basically whenever you feel like it! However, most people enjoy their glass after or with dinner. It goes well with most dishes and can help with digestion afterward.
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Is it okay to drink red wine every day?
Red wine drinkers know to moderate alcohol consumption if they want to reap most of the benefits and almost none of the risks. Excessive alcohol can lead to many diseases like liver cirrhosis, heart disease, gut problems, and excessive weight gain.
The Centers for Disease and Prevention’s official guidelines define moderate consumption of red wine as one (1) glass of wine per day for females and two (2) glasses of wine for males. One glass of wine is 5 ounces (oz) of 12% alcohol by volume. Alcoholic intake should be lowered accordingly.
After a long day, you may want to enjoy a tall glass of your favorite Cabernet over some biscuits and cold cuts. This is perfectly fine as an indulgence but be sure to know your limits. A glass of wine can not only help you relax but could overall have health benefits for your well-being. If you have any underlying conditions that may be triggered by alcohol content or any compound present in red wines, be sure to consult your doctor first before making changes to your diet.
It is ideal to also skip the drink for one to two days to cleanse and detoxify the body from drinking alcohol. You can even opt to make recipes with red wine instead of drinking it in a glass. This is fine and will give you the same benefits, not to mention some fun in the kitchen. If you are a wine connoisseur, you already know the best types of wine to have with particular recipes. Be sure to enjoy your drink, and remember that moderation is vital.