Happy New Year! Was everyone as ready to ring in 2021 as we were? The great thing about going into a new year is that many people reflect on the past year and what they would like to improve upon in the new year. Many of us vow to be healthier through diet and exercise, which is great! As part of that healthy regime, we will share some of the health benefits of wine. While drinking too much alcohol has bad effects on our health, drinking in moderation can have some nice benefits. If you want that glass of wine with your dinner, do not feel guilty!
First, what is a moderate amount of wine? Clinically, it is considered one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men. The proper pouring size is 5oz. Ladies, life is not fair sometimes and this is one of those moments since guys get double the amount we do.
On to the benefits! Wine is rich in antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage that is caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. Both red and white wine have antioxidants but red wine has higher levels.
Chronic inflammation increases the risk of heart disease, autoimmune disorders and certain cancers so it is best to avoid this as much as possible through diet, exercise and stress reduction. Red wine has higher polyphenol antioxidants can help reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol and metabolic diseases. Red wine also has a compound called resveratrol. This compound helps with cholesterol by decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol).
An interesting study that has been done in animals shows that the flavanols in wine may sharpen the mind and delay cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s by supporting healthy blood vessels. In turn, this improves blood flow to the brain and helps prevent harmful plaque. However, more studies need to be done since this has only been studied in animals.
Wine can benefit our mental health as well. We know wine makes us happy! An occasional glass of wine may reduce the risk of depression. However, excessive drinking can have the opposite effect so keep moderation in mind. Wine can reduce stress by relaxing our busy minds as well.
As we age, our bones get more brittle so it is important to take care of them before that happens. While drinking milk for calcium is an option, we prefer drinking red wine for silicon. Silicon increases bone density and reduces the chances of osteoporosis. May help you fall asleep as well as a glass of warm milk too!
Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that resveratrol activates a protein that acts as an anti-aging agent. The interaction increases overall health, thus promoting longevity. If a decreased mortality rate is not enough reason to drink a glass of wine, then we do not know what else is!
A very important thing for us to note and you to consider is that all of these benefits are with moderate drinking of wine. Excessive drinking takes these benefits away and in some of the cases, makes them worse. We want everyone that enjoys wine to do it safely and not fear having a glass as they are being healthier in the new year. If you do not drink wine, do not start for these benefits.
Have a toast to your health!