This amazing article was written by Dr. Halland Chen, an MD who currently practices in New York at the Vein Institute and Pain Centers of America.
After working hard for some time, a glass of wine can be a comforting incentive one can look forward to. Drinking red wine can be because of a celebration, whether there’s an actual occasion or just to celebrate life’s little pleasures. Some people drink wine for no reason at all.
Wine is a drink that is historically made for royalty and for those who want to feel like one after a glass or two. However, not all wines are created equal. Red wine, rich in resveratrol and other polyphenols, is better for health.
Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol found in plants. It is created as a defense against injury or when battling infections caused by bacteria or fungi. In wine, it is found on the grape skin which is included in the fermentation of red wine. Red wine contains 0.8 to 5.8 milligrams per liter, depending on the grape variety used.
Most traditional health benefits of red wine include its anti-aging effects, improve cardiovascular health, and prevent certain cancers such as that of the colon, breast, lung, and prostate. But red wine has more health benefits to offer, and research backs these.
9 Benefits of Drinking Wine
1. Promotes Mental Health
According to Spanish researchers, people who drink two to seven glasses of wine weekly are less likely to be depressed, compared to their counterparts. In another study made by researchers from Loyola University, moderate red wine consumption can also lower the risk of getting dementia.
They explained that resveratrol keeps blood platelets from sticking which improves circulation, especially to the brain. Resveratrol can also protect against cell damage and mental decline that comes with old age.
2. Stops Type II Diabetes in its Tracks
Animal studies done at the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that resveratrol can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin. It does so by increasing the enzyme SIRT1 in mice. Preventing insulin resistance meant lowering the risk of developing Type II diabetes. Researchers want further studies to confirm these results.
3. Maintains Healthy Skin
Researchers from the University of Barcelona reported that components in wine and other grape extracts could protect the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. UV rays wreak havoc when they activate reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon contact with human skin.
These ROS oxidize fats, DNA, and other large molecules which trigger other enzymes to destroy skin cells. Wine contains flavonoids that stop ROS production on the skin even when exposed to UV light. This lowers the incidence of forming premature wrinkles, sunburns, and blemishes.
4. Breathe Easy
Dutch scientists found that resveratrol, whether in red or white wine, can improve lung function considerably. However, those who have peer-reviewed this study thinks that this effect is not just due to wine’s resveratrol content but other active components, such as antioxidants, in wine that has yet to be identified.
5. Keeps Your Eyes Sharp
Uncontrolled growth of blood vessels in the eyes can cause blindness. Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are eye conditions that lead to this type of blindness. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine reported that red wine’s resveratrol content could protect vision.
6. Improve Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels
An IMMIDIET study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied adults in England, Italy, and Belgium which looked into their alcohol consumption. Their data showed that moderate wine drinkers have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids come from consuming fatty fish and inadequate levels, protect the heart. The scientists believe that red wine is like a catalyst that increases the level of omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Gym Benefits Without The Sweat
Resveratrol has been found to improve physical performance and muscle strength. It can also provide heart-healthy benefits similar to what can be gained through exercise. However, these are limited so continue the workout.
8. Prevents Tooth Decay
Drinking red wine can harden the enamel. This will prevent plaque from forming and limit bacterial growth. Polyphenol content in red wine can also reduce swollen gums and improve gum health.
9. Promotes Better Sleep
Aside from its alcohol content which can cause drowsiness, red wine also contains melatonin, which promotes deep sleep. But if sleep problems become a regular occurrence, see a doctor instead.
Ahead of caution, though, for those who want to gulp red wine down to the last drop. These health benefits come from drinking red wine in moderation. According to the National Health Service in the UK, men should not drink more than 4 units of wine a day and women should stop at 3 units daily.
A 250 mL glass of 12% red wine is about 3 units. A unit is equal to 10 milliliters of pure alcohol. Drink too much, and the risk of developing mental health problems, heart conditions, hypertension, liver diseases, and certain cancers increase.
If resveratrol’s health benefits are what you’re after but do not want to drink any alcohol, there’s good news. This polyphenol is not only found in grapes. Peanuts, mulberries, and cacao beans have variable amounts of resveratrol. Better yet, standardized extracts are available as supplements in the market.
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