When it comes to healthy choices, alcohol is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. But could wine actually be healthy? Thankfully, yes, and enjoying a glass of wine can be part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Emerging research suggests that drinking wine in moderation — about one to two glasses per day — offers several benefits.
Check out the following research-backed health benefits of wine.
1. Cardiovascular Health
The top health benefit of drinking wine is cardiovascular protection. Studies have found a J-shaped relationship between wine intake and cardiovascular risk. This means that moderate wine drinking—one glass per day for women and up to two glasses per day for men—is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. The polyphenol resveratrol found in red wine may help protect the lining of the blood vessels in the heart. However, it should be remembered that heavy drinking damages the heart.
2. Reduces the risk of depression
A study carried out on middle-aged to older people showed that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol daily keeps away depression. People who drink red wine are less likely to be depressed than people who don’t. Heavy consumption of wine, however, was associated with a higher risk of a depression diagnosis.
3. Protects against Alzheimer’s Disease
The antioxidant resveratrol found in red grapes that helps your heart also works to help your brain by protecting it against age-related mental declines, such as memory loss and poor mood. Red wine can also be used as a preventative measure for Alzheimer’s Disease and stop it from progressing further in people who already have it.
4. Fights off cancer
Regular and moderate consumption of red wine can effectively reduce the risks of certain types of cancers such as basal cell, colon, ovarian etc. Scientists used a dose of resveratrol on human cancer cells and found that it obstructs the key action of cancer aiding protein.
5. Boosts The Immune System
Red wine contains naturally occurring compounds called polyphenols, which are found in the skins of berries, specifically grape skins. There are different kinds of polyphenols, including antioxidants like procyanidins and resveratrol, each of which has its health benefits. Resveratrol enhances the body’s ability to create anti-inflammatory molecules, leading to an improvement in the immune system. In addition, this antioxidant helps healthy gut bacteria to flourish by stimulating T-cell production and enhancing the body’s immune response.
6. Increases Bone Density
As you grow older, your bones become brittle. While you could boost calcium levels in your body by drinking milk, sipping on a glass of chilled wine is another, more relaxing way of increasing your calcium intake. Red wine contains a high silicon level, which improves the density of minerals in your bones. Apart from increasing mass, the mineral also reduces the chances of bones becoming porous.
7. Reduces the Risk of Stroke
Moderate consumption of alcohol, wine included, can prevent blood clotting. Interestingly, wine is a natural blood thinner and could aid break up any blood clots that could cause a stroke. However, this lowered risk of blood clots benefits women more than men. To be more specific, red wine contains phenols, which act as natural blood thinners – much like aspirin – and that is thanks to resveratrol. According to a study conducted by John Hopkins University’s Medical Centre, the findings show that the resveratrol present in the skin of red grapes could help prevent stroke when the fruits are turned into wine.
There’s little doubt that wine has many health benefits, but those benefits only apply if you drink wine in moderation. It provides antioxidants, may promote longevity, and can help protect against heart disease and harmful inflammation, among other benefits. Interestingly, red wine likely has higher levels of antioxidants than white wine. Still, more research is needed to understand better which types of wine provide the most benefits. However, it’s important to remember that drinking wine is not healthy for everyone, nor necessary and drinking in moderation is key.
Are you figuring out what wine to match your beloved local hawker favourites like laksa, chicken rice, bak chor mee and others? Join us at our upcoming “Eat Hawker. Drink Wine!” virtual workshop on 26th Jun, Sat at 5.30 pm and learn how to pair hawker food with wine!
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