If you like a glass of wine with your meals or enjoy saving a delicious bottle for the weekend, you’ll be delighted to learn that wine can actually be good for your health. Provided you drink it in moderation, red wine, in particular, can provide a range of fascinating and surprising benefits. Here are eight of the most exciting.
1. It appears to improve heart health
Red wine is a source of compounds called procyanidins, which seem to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Meanwhile, according to a Harvard study involving over 11,000 participants, high blood pressure sufferers who enjoy drinking wine are around 30% less likely to suffer a heart attack. Regularly drinking moderate amounts of alcohol also seems to cut stroke risk by up to 50%, though the precise link between alcohol and stroke risk remains hotly debated by cardiologists.
2. It may reduce the risk of depression
A group of Spanish universities collaborated in an intriguing study that established a link between regular wine consumption and a reduced risk of clinical depression. Published in a leading medical journal, their research involved 5,505 participants between the ages of 55 and 80 and spanned an impressive seven years. Data was gathered via a questionnaire that asked for food and alcohol intake along with mental health assessments. Even when the researchers controlled for lifestyle factors, the study supported the theory that those who drink 2-7 glasses each week are less likely to suffer from depression.
3. It helps to maintain cognitive function
Although you may assume that alcohol is linked to cognitive decline, numerous studies show that people who don’t drink actually tend to experience a quicker reduction in cognitive function than those who drink wine. There is also encouraging evidence that a daily glass of wine can afford a measure of protection against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Red wine appears to contain compounds that promote flexible, open blood vessels that enhance effective circulation.
4. It increases your life expectancy
In ancient times, the wine was said to have anti-aging properties, and modern research has found credible evidence suggesting these old claims may be somewhat accurate. For example, a massive Finnish study of male participants found that wine drinkers had approximately a 34% lower mortality rate than men of the same age who preferred spirits or beer. It is theorized that the resveratrol in red wine helps to reduced unwanted inflammation in the body and promote effective insulin production.
5. It makes you less likely to develop certain types of cancer
Firstly, while most alcohol seems to increase the risk of developing breast cancer, red wine may actually reduce the risk. Specifically, the chemicals found in red grape skins seem to lower estrogen levels and raise testosterone levels, lowering the likelihood of malignant tumors in breast tissue. Secondly, according to a four-year study involving over 2,000 people, regularly consuming a moderate amount of drinking wine red may reduce colon cancer risk by an amazing 45%.
Also Read: The Surprising Health Benefits of Brandy
A further study conducted by British scientists at the University of Leicester suggested that drinking wine red might cut the rate of bowel tumors by closer to 50%. It’s also worth noting that recent Harvard research shows as much as a 52% reduction in prostate cancer risk in men who drink a moderate amount of drinking wine red.
6. It can help to keep your eyes healthy
According to an Icelandic study published in Nature, those who drink moderate amounts of drinking wine are over 30% less likely to suffer from vision-impairing cataracts than people who don’t drink alcohol. Meanwhile, wine-drinkers are over 40% less likely to develop cataracts than those who favor beer. Further, there is increasing evidence that red wine cuts the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is a particularly important health benefit for people over the age of 50.
7. It cuts the risk of liver disease
A recent study conducted by scientists at the UC San Diego School of Medicine found that drinking wine was linked to a 50% reduction in the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, anything more than moderate consumption is linked to a heightened risk of alcohol-induced fatty liver disease, so it is important to carefully monitor alcohol unit intake. Meanwhile, study participants who drank beer or spirits were four times more likely to develop this form of liver disease than the drinking wine.
8. It may prevent type 2 diabetes
Finally, those who drink a moderate amount of red wine are around 30% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who do not drink alcohol. This fascinating fact is supported by a twelve-year Dutch study involving 392,862 participants. It is currently hypothesized that the resveratrol in red wine boosts insulin sensitivity, combating insulin resistance that is one of the most common risk factors for type 2 diabetes.