We all have that friend who is obsessed with wine — the one who can actually taste notes
of blackberry and oak while we're proud of ourselves for recognizing that it's a cabernet.
Well, it turns out your wine snob friend may be onto something.
Wine has long been thought to be beneficial for our health, so long as it's consumed in
Usually red wine gets all the attention, but studies have also shown that white wine may
have the same health benefits.
Of course, it's not all sunshine and grapes.
If you usually enjoy a glass of wine after winding down from a long day, here's what
you need to know about how that daily glass of vino is impacting your body.
Enjoying a nightly glass of wine may lead to a longer life.
Research shows that regular wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower rate of mortality
than their beer or liquor-drinking buds.
And if you're living longer, you may as well look younger while you're at it, right?
You can thank the researchers at Harvard Medical School for this one.
The compound resveratrol, which is found in red wine, has been linked to having anti-aging
and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you're not a wine drinker, you can still reap the benefits.
In addition to finding this compound in red wine, you can also get it from eating grapes,
blueberries, cranberries, and nuts.
Resveratrol activates an anti-aging pathway in the body that leads to a longer lifespan,
so drink up!
However, this link is only found in moderate drinkers, so regularly drinking an entire
bottle by yourself might be more fun, but less beneficial.
"Doctors say a glass of wine a day can extend your life.
Another way your glass of wine can make you look younger is that it protects your skin
from the sun.
A Spanish study in The Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry found that the antioxidants
in wine can help prevent the chemical reaction UV ray exposure causes to the human body.
Flavonoids, the antioxidants found in grapes, can stop the chemical process that kills skin
cells and leads to sunburn.
So the next time you and your friends are enjoying margaritas on the beach, reach for
a nice red wine instead.
Red wine has long been thought to protect our hearts because it contains tannins, which
have procyanidins that protect against heart disease.
Tannins are the compounds in wine that are responsible for that dry taste.
To get the most procyanidin bang for your buck, stick with wines from southwest France.
These antioxidants in wine have been proven to raise our HDL cholesterol.
This is the good cholesterol, so we want that number to be high.
If you have high blood pressure, a nightly glass of wine may be just what the doctor
Of those dealing with high blood pressure, it's the moderate drinkers who are 30 percent
less likely to suffer a heart attack than those who don't drink at all.
If you've been having trouble managing your diabetes, relaxing with a glass of wine could
In fact, a nightly glass of wine could even prevent the condition.
Studies show that moderate drinkers have a 30 percent lower chance of developing type
2 diabetes and that having a nightly glass of red wine is also safe for most diabetics.
Just make sure not to exceed that limit.
"And look what I brought!
Our fictional BFFs Karen Walker and Olivia Pope might say otherwise, but less is more
when it comes to wine as medicine.
We all tend to feel a little more relaxed after a glass of wine.
The stresses of the day melt away as we sit at dinner with our friends and family, enjoying
good conversation and great wine.
It turns out those good feelings last way beyond dinner.
According to a study in BMC Medicine, moderate wine drinkers may be protective against depression.
Drinking two to seven glasses of wine per week is associated with lower rates of depression.
However, once your drinking goes from moderate to too much, the chances of feeling depressed
actually go up, because heavy drinking is associated with high rates of depression.
So, keep the good vibes flowing with a few glasses of wine per week.
We've all heard the research about red wine and heart disease prevention, but the cancer
news is pretty exciting, too.
Regular drinking usually puts people at a higher risk for cancer, but there's one exception
to that rule: red wine.
Moderate red wine drinking has been linked to lower rates of breast cancer.
The chemicals found in the skins of red grapes have been found to reduce estrogen levels
and increase testosterone levels in premenopausal women.
It's this shift in hormones that can lower the risk for breast cancer.
These magic little red wine chemicals are much higher in red grapes than in green.
So if you like to enjoy a cocktail with dinner, grab a bottle of pinot noir instead.
Too many glasses of wine can leave your brain feeling a little fuzzy, but one with dinner
is just right.
Having that nightly wine may even protect your brain from a blood clot or bleed.
People who drink one or two drinks per night have an eight percent lower risk of having
However, don't go crazy.
Heavy drinkers, having at least four drinks per night, have a 14 percent increased risk
of stroke than those who don't drink or only drink occasionally.
A glass of red wine with dinner may also put you at lower risk for dementia.
Moderate red wine drinkers have a 23 percent lower risk of developing dementia than those
who don't drink.
Aging out the benefits
Unfortunately, in addition to wrinkles and reading glasses, older adults have another
bummer to consider.
All of those benefits from red wine don't help the elderly.
In fact, even just one glass per day can be damaging.
Research has found that elderly women, averaging age 76, who have one glass of wine per day
show small reductions in heart function.
This is due to the increased size of the wall of one of the heart chambers.
So, enjoy it while you're young, kids!
Bottom line on bottoms up
While a nightly glass of red wine certainly seems like it could be part of a healthy lifestyle,
don't feel like you have to drink everyday.
Both the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
do not recommend drinking solely for heart health.
Plus alcohol can be addictive, and drinking too much leads to major health problems.
But if you can imbibe safely, it looks like there at least some benefits beyond the buzz
— so cheers to that!
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