Lots of us love drinking wine, but we’re also concerned about staying healthy. Luckily, it turns out that you can do both! We put together a list of some of the health benefits of drinking wine.
Antioxidants protect your heart
Polyphenols in both red wine and white wine have antioxidant properties. These can protect you against cardiovascular diseases and have anticarcinogenic effects. These polyphenols mainly come from the skins of grapes, making the levels higher in red wine, although rose wine will also contain some.
Wine can raise your omega-3 fatty acids
Usually found in fish, omega-3 fatty acids are believed to protect us against heart disease as they lower the level of triglyceride blood fat. Red wine appears to raise the blood level of omega-3 fatty acids when drunk regularly in moderation. These good fats can also relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce levels of depression.
Improvements in short-term memory
Resveratrol, one of the active ingredients in wine, has been shown in plants to fight off bacteria and fungi. It is found in the skin of red grapes and therefore only found in red wine. It has been shown to improve short term memory in participants asked to retain words over a short period of time.
Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Research has suggested that having one to three glasses of red wine per day can be linked to a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is because of the antioxidant compounds which protect brain neurons against damage and destruction. When the neurons are protected, they may be less susceptible to neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Whilst this is still very difficult to treat, anything that helps to prevent the problem seems like a great idea.
Help your gut health
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt are praised for their health effects on our gut bacteria. Wine is also a naturally fermented product, allowing it to help produce and promote the healthy bacteria in our gut. These bacteria help us with digestion, boost our immune system and can help us to stay at a healthy weight.
Protect against diabetes
Moderate red wine consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Another study also found that moderate alcohol consumption could reduce the risk by up to 30 percent. This might prevent diabetes but if you already have it you’ll need to be more cautious as alcohol will affect your blood sugar and could also interact with any medication you are taking.
Prevent vision loss
Resveratrol in red wine can also prevent vision loss caused by blood vessel growth in the eye, it has been found. Angiogenesis, the overgrowth of blood vessels, is a leading cause of blindness in Americans over 50. This research could change how people experience vision loss, including those who have complications associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Keep your teeth healthy
This might be one of the most surprising benefits on the list if you’re used to worrying about whether you have red wine on your teeth or lips. A Spanish study tested bacteria that cause dental diseases in various liquids and found that red wine was the best at removing the bacteria. You’ll still need to drink in moderation and make sure you’re cleaning your teeth, though!
Increase bone density
Your bones naturally become more brittle as you get older, putting you at risk of osteoporosis. This condition weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break. As you get older, this can create complications as healing becomes more difficult. The high levels of silicone in red wine increase bone mineral density, reducing that risk.
Prolong your life
Resveratrol, the chemical that helps with memory and vision loss, could also help us to live longer. It suppresses molecules that cause inflammation and stops compounds in the blood that interfere with insulin production. Combine that with the benefits listed above and it can all lead to a longer, healthier life.
We’ll certainly drink to these health benefits of drinking wine!