In addition to bringing out the flavor in food, and being delicious on its own, red wine is strongly linked to a variety of health benefits. Studies have shown that drinking wine in moderation — a glass or two a day — can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.
Have you ever wondered why people living in certain regions of France have a relatively low occurrence of heart attacks, despite their high-fat diet? Their heart health may be linked to red wine that many French people drink with meals. Experts have identified a potential link between red wine and health, identifying some specific health benefits that appear to be linked to moderate consumption of red wine.
Some of health benefits of red wine include:
Antioxidants: Its antioxidant content may be one of the biggest health benefits of red wine. Antioxidants are molecule compounds that repair cell damage caused by harmful oxygen byproducts in the body. Some research has found that antioxidants can help reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration and diabetes — and red wine is full of them.
The skins and seeds of red grapes carry a particularly powerful antioxidant called resveratrol. When red wine is made, the skins and seeds are fermented in the grapes' juices, causing red wine to have high levels of resveratrol.
Cancer prevention: Resveratrol has also been shown to minimize the risks of some types of cancer. It helps prevent DNA mutations that could lead to cancer, and it prohibits new blood cells from encouraging cancer growth.
Heart disease and stroke prevention: Resveratrol may help reduce the risk for heart disease and strokes. It has blood-thinning capabilities, which helps prevent blood clots from forming. In addition, resveratrol lowers levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, also known as "bad" cholesterol) in the blood, preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
While red wine has plenty of health benefits, overindulging can be harmful. Drinking wine excessively is linked to alcohol abuse, which is associated to a variety of serious health issues, including:
"Moderate" drinking has different meanings for different people, and it varies by culture. In the United States, however, drinking wine in moderation generally means one glass of red wine a day for women and one or two glasses for men.
Healthcastle Nutrition (2011). Antioxidants. Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://www.healthcastle.com/antioxidant.shtml.
LovetoKnow Corporation (2011). Red wine benefits. Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://wine.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Red_Wine_Benefits.
Mayo Clinic (2010). Red wine and resveratrol: Good for yur heart? Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089.
information on health-related topics, not medical advice, diagnosis or
treatment recommendations. Please consult your physician if you have questions