We have probably drunk red wine at least once at some point in our adult life. Whether it’s just drinking for occasion or drinking for fun, there’s something about that glossy red liquid that gets us going.
For any wine enthusiast, drinking the rich liquid is more than just its taste. The texture and flavor would matter to them as well. Since its production in the early centuries, red wine was used as a form of treatment for many health problems. It was believed by medieval monks that they lived longer through their moderate and regular consumption of red wine. Even the French were known to be healthier than most because of their regular red wine consumption.
There are many different types of red wine available in the market. Among the types of red wine available, the popular ones include Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The largest producer and exporter of red wine are France, Spain and some parts of the United States.
When it comes to our health, science has been debating extensively the health benefits pointing to drinking red wine. In recent years, doctors now seem to agree that red wine can help in promoting good health.
What good things can we get from red wine?
While it is good to drink red wine regularly, it is important that the health benefits coming from it should be consumed in moderation. Moreover, drinking red wine should only be allowed for people at a legal age. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are also not advised to drink red wine due to the alcohol content.
Nevertheless, the many health benefits found in red wine is contributed by the presence of resveratrol. Resveratrol is a kind of compound that plants secrete in fighting off fungi and bacteria. Not only that, resveratrol also protects plants against ultraviolet radiation (UV Rays). Resveratrol comes from the outer skins of red grapes. Not only is it found in red grapes, but cranberries, blueberries also contain resveratrol. Many studies have shown the association between a boost in cardiovascular health and prevention of some cancers with resveratrol. So, is drinking wine good? Below are a range of benefits we can gain from drinking red wine.
- It helps in lowering blood pressure and promoting healthy blood vessels
Some scientists in the United Kingdom found in 2006 that red wine contains procyanidins. Procyanidin is a compound that maintains healthy blood vessels. It is also said that the traditional way of fermenting red wine contained higher amounts of procyanidin. Therefore, drinking them would be healthier if taken moderately. While strong red wine can be relaxing for some people, it is also found that non-alcoholic can help reduce blood pressure. This makes non-alcoholic a more healthy option.
- It helps in boosting cardiovascular health
Resveratrol has been suggested by researchers that it can help in improving heart health. Also, it effectively reduces the risk of heart diseases like stroke. Although red wine may not always be the ideal way to consume resveratrol, it still is one way to keep your heart healthy.
- It helps in increasing omega-3 fatty acid levels
Omega-3 fatty acids are found mostly in fish. However, red wine is also found to contain omega-3 fatty acids as well. Drinking red wine would help increase its levels in the red blood cells and plasma.
- It helps in lowering the risk of Type-2 diabetes
Some studies have shown that consuming red wine with moderation decreases the risk of Type-2 diabetes. It is believed that the ethanol content in red wine contributes to regulating the production of glucose. However, it is still important for people with diabetes to consult with the doctor before consuming red wine.
- It helps in reducing risks of several cancers
Risk of cancer diseases including the breast, colon, ovary, and prostate will significantly decrease if you consume moderate amounts of red wine. This is also because of the resveratrol content in red wine.
- It helps in maintaining eye health and prevents loss of vision
Eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are two of the leading causes of blindness for most people ages 50 and above. A finding published in 2010 show that resveratrol content in red wine also helps in preventing vision loss that is caused by an uncontrollable growth of blood vessels in the eye.
- It helps in preventing the development of dementia
Moderate red wine consumption is also found to reduce the risk of developing dementia. The reason for this is because of resveratrol. Since resveratrol helps in lowering the viscosity of blood platelets, this effectively provides a good supply of blood to the brain.
- It helps with reducing the symptoms of depression
Since many have attested to the relaxing effects of red wine, consuming it at moderate levels regularly can also help reduce the symptoms of depression and other mental health. Of course, change in lifestyle habits should also be taken into consideration.
- It helps in promoting skin health and protects against severe sunburns
Resveratrol is said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Just like it protects plants from ultraviolet radiation, it works the same way with human skin. It was found that oxygen species (ROS) becomes activated once UV rays get into contact with human skin, effectively harming it. The flavonoids in the grapes of red wine hinder the oxygen species formation in the skin that is in contact with sunlight.
How much is too much?
Even though drinking red wine has its pros, drinking too much can also lead to other health problems and even addiction. The suggested dose of red wine per day should be:
– 1 to 2 glasses a day for men after meals
– 1 to 1.5 glasses a day for women after meals
When you drink red wine at an excess, you increase your risk of serious health problems including liver and pancreas diseases, kidney failure, stroke, high blood pressure and obesity due to the high levels of alcohol.
When you have questions about the risks and benefits of drinking red wine consumption, it is better to consult with your doctor first. This is especially important when you currently have an underlying health condition.
So, here’s to drinking to your health!
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