Is Wine Healthy? 5 Benefits of Red Wine

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Wednesday August 19, 2020

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Is that glass of Cabernet Sauvignon boosting your immunity, improving your bone health and preventing aging? For years, red wine has been touted as a healthy beverage, one that may even be key to longevity. Some studies even report that antioxidant compounds in red wine, like resveratrol, can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Yet is red wine healthy? Let’s take a look at some of the proposed benefits.

1. May Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

In the 1980s, researchers proposed a theory known as the “French Paradox.” The study analyzed why French people had lower levels of cardiovascular disease than other countries, such as the United States. France is known for a diet rich in animal fats, cheese and other cholesterol-filled foods. Many scientists theorized that the regular consumption of red wine must play a role in their good health. 

However, the healthy compounds in red wine look to be supportive in only moderate levels of consumption. The cultural relationship between people and alcohol also plays a role. Red wine may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it may also just be one piece in a larger puzzle. 

For instance, French people are more likely to drink lightly throughout the week, most often as an accompaniment to a meal. In other European countries, such as Ireland, cultural practices lean more towards binge drinking. In places where it is more culturally acceptable to drink large amounts of alcohol a couple of days a week, the benefits of red wine are less plausible.

2. May Steady Blood Pressure

Cultural attitudes towards wine drinking may also play a role in its benefits for blood pressure. When consumed in small amounts throughout the week, red wine may help steady blood pressure by impacting the blood vessels through anti-inflammatory processes. However, drinking too much red wine decreases the likelihood that these anti-inflammatory benefits will occur.

3. May Support Healthy Aging

Resveratrol is a plant compound found in red wine, grapes, peanuts and some other berries that contributes to healthy aging. Resveratrol supplements can decrease skin appearance issues, such as wrinkles, though the supplement amount is much higher than anything that can be consumed through food. That being said, the antioxidant nutrients in wine may slow the oxidative process that causes skin aging.

4. May Improve Immunity

Red wine alone may not improve immunity, but when consumed in moderation with a healthy diet it may contribute to a stronger immune system. Chemicals in wine, such as polyphenols, are anti-inflammatory forces that may reduce inflammation, which plays an essential role in improved immunity.

However, it is important to note that many studies that confirm the immunity boost of red wine also note the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Because drinking red wine is also a cultural preference, scientists have found that many subjects who consume red wine regularly may also be more likely to engage in other healthy habits, such as adhering to a Mediterranean diet, which involves eating more vegetables. 

5. May Improve Gut Health

Along with the benefits of cardiovascular health and immunity, red wine may also play a vital role in gut health. This fact is not altogether surprising since a healthy immune system and gut health go hand in hand. However, research demonstrates that red wine improves not only gut health, but actually has significant benefits for digestion, as red wine improves the diversity of bacteria in the gut. This process may explain why people who drink red wine regularly have a lower body mass index.

Do you want to gain some of the health benefits above? If so, pour yourself a glass of red wine. Just a little bit of this drink each week can offer significant rewards.

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