Wine drinking is as old as the hills. People have been consuming wine for approximately six to eight thousand years. Throughout history, wine (or vino) has been used during celebrations, religious ceremonies, for healing and to comfort the elderly. You may wonder about the health benefits of wine. So, what happens to your body when you drink a glass of wine?
Studies found that moderate wine drinking, one to two glasses a day, has positive health benefits for your body. The emphasis is on moderate, which means 5 ounces a glass. Doctors recommend you don’t overindulge in this favorite drink. Overindulging in alcohol leads to disease and other health problems.
Fourteen potential health benefits of drinking wine
It’s thought that drinking vino provides you with a long list of great benefits. But should you drink red wine or white wine? Red wine is the healthier of the two wines because grape skins are left in during the fermentation process of red grapes. The white variation’s fermentation process doesn’t include grape skins. Grape skins contain antioxidants that protect your cells. Here is a list of the potential health benefits you receive when you drink a glass of vino.
Remember, also, that moderation when drinking this fermented grape juice is an essential practice. Too much of a good thing can cause damages that far outweigh any possible benefits you’d receive otherwise.
1 – Heart health improvements
Drinking wine helps reduce your chances of getting any kind of cardiovascular disease or having a heart attack. Light drinkers or those who don’t drink vino at all, are more likely to die early compared to moderate wine drinkers. In part, this is due to the wine’s ability to dilate your arteries and increase your blood flow. This dilation lowers your risk of blood clots or damage to your heart.
2 – Fights cancer
Wine contains cancer-fighting properties. Some researchers suggest that drinking a moderate amount of wine will slow the progression of specific types of cancer cells. This outcome may be because this fermented juice contains phenols, to slow the growth of prostate cancer and liver cancer.
3 – Lowers cholesterol
Wine boosts your HDL, which is the good cholesterol, and it blocks the LDL, which causes damage to the lining of your arteries. It’s thought that drinking vino may boost your HDL as much as five to fifteen percent.
4 – Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis causes the thinning of your bones, making them brittle and weak. If you have osteoporosis, you are prone to frequent breaks and fractures in your hip, wrist, or even your spine. Osteoporosis happens when your bones aren’t creating new bone growth. Some studies suggest that moderate drinking of red wine encourages bone mineral thickness in both women and men.
5 – Brain health
Studies found that drinking red wine combined with a healthy diet such as a Mediterranean diet may slow down age-related neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Red varieties set off chemicals that stop stress and damage to your DNA in your brain.
6 – Better weight control
Some researchers suggest that drinking wine can help you control your weight.
However, studies are inconclusive (but worth mentioning).
It’s thought that it may help you burn extra calories. This thinking has been challenged recently. A total understanding of wine and weight control is still being discovered. Any time you drink alcohol, you are taking in extra calories. An average glass of red has approximately 125 calories per 5 ounces or one glass.
While an average glass of white has about 120 calories per 5 ounces, some people suggest you look at the sugar content of your wine. The higher the sugar content, the higher the calories.
7 – Fight off disease
Drinking one glass of wine a day is thought to help your body fight off infections, especially those in your gut. Helicobacter pylori a bacteria that causes gastritis, stomach problems, and ulcers. Wine guards your gut against this type of bacteria’s growth. It can also help protect your gut from salmonella, contamination of foods.
8 – Lowers blood sugar
It’s thought that premenopausal women who drink at least two glasses of wine a day are less prone to type2 diabetes. It also helps glycemic control and improved insulin resistance.
9 – Helps you live longer
Drinking helps you live longer, especially if you also eat a healthy Mediterranean diet with lots of vegetables, fruits and fish, nuts, and whole grains.
10 – Helps you feel happier
Moderate wine drinking improves your overall mood. Even the ancients knew this. An ancient psalm says the following about wine:
He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. Psalm 104:14-15.
This could be because the experience is relaxing and often you’re drinking wine during a meal with friends or family. Whatever the reason, drinking a glass of wine is an enjoyable experience that can gladden your heart.
11 – Wine improves your vision
Wine contains resveratrol, which comes from the skin of grapes used in winemaking. Red wine contains more resveratrol than white wine. Resveratrol can prevent vision loss. It lowers inflammation and reduces oxidative stress, which affects the balance of free radicals and antioxidants of your body. It can help fight common vision loss especially as you age including
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
12 – Reduces the chance of a stroke
Drinking moderately can prevent blood clots since vino is a natural blood thinner. Thus it can break up blood clots and prevent a stroke. The phenols and resveratrol are act as the blood thinners in wine.
13 – Improves your skin
Wine contains a lot of antioxidants that can help your skin by slowing down the growth of bacteria of acne. Antioxidants have a rejuvenating effect on your skin, making it brighter, and elastic in appearance. Drinking vino also stimulates your blood flow, which can prevent wrinkles.
14 – Protects your teeth
Believe it or not, drinking fermented grape juice may help fight bacteria found in your mouth. Polyphenols in vino slow down decay-causing bacteria and plaque, which turns into cavities. Of course, drinking wine doesn’t negate the need for twice-a daily brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist twice a year.
How to choose the healthiest wine
Drinking vino is healthy as long as you choose to drink moderately and eat wisely. So, how do you choose the healthiest wine? Here’s a list of the dos and don’ts of choosing the healthiest varieties.
Choose a red wine
Since red wine has more antioxidants, you’ll get more health benefits from choosing it. Choose wines with the most resveratrol because they contain the thick-skinned grapes. Petite Sirah or Cabernet Sauvignon are two reds high in resveratrol.
Look for a lower alcohol level.
Wines range between nine to sixteen percent alcohol level. Interestingly enough, because the alcohol originates from grape sugar, the more alcohol, the higher the sugar content of the batch. So, drinking a lower alcohol level means the vino has a lower sugar level. Riesling and Italian Moscato are examples of lower alcohol products.
Buy a sustainable farm wine.
When you buy a sustainably farmed wine, you know you’re getting a variety that wasn’t made from grapes sprayed with pesticides or other synthetic chemicals. These products also don’t contain sulfites. Sulfides are a natural by-product of winemaking. They help persevere and stabilize the beverage. Sulfur is used in winemaking to prevent bacteria or yeast growth. The United States Department of Agriculture requires organic wines to be labeled as “no added sulfites”. When you see the label that says,” USDA Organic Seal” on the bottle label, you will know it has lower sulfites.
You already know that too much alcohol is detrimental to your health. Everything from blackouts to seizures to vomiting and killer headaches results from over-drinking. But drinking too much vino can also cause mental problems, heart problems, liver damage, pancreas problems, and certain kinds of cancer.
When it comes to drinking any alcoholic beverages, remember moderation is key. When you drink moderately plus eat a healthy diet, you maximize the health benefits of the vino. Wine boosts your heart, brain, and stomach health. It also helps you feel happier and live longer.
With so many great benefits, no wonder drinking wine is such a widespread habit. So, gather around your friends and family for a hearty glass of your favorite variety made from the best grapes, the lowest alcohol levels, and from an organic farm. As the ancient writer says, it’s sure to gladden your face.