Red Wine and Its Many Health Benefits

Yep, you read that correctly.  Red wine does have many health benefits, if drank in moderation of course. But just like anything else, it can have negative effects on the body if consumed in large quantities.  Studies have shown that moderate consumption of any alcohol improves cardiovascular health.  But red wine seems to be the most beneficial of all due to the antioxidants present in the skin of red grapes.

The American Heart Association recommends one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.  A drink is defined as one 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.  However, the AHA does not recommend for anyone to start drinking alcohol if they do not already do so.  If you do consume alcohol, do so in moderation.  Going above the recommended amount decreases the health benefits while increasing the health risks.  So stick to the recommended amounts for maximum benefits.

What are the benefits of red wine?  Well, it has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, plus slow down the progression of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s.  Red wine has been shown to prevent heart attacks and those who have suffered a heart attack may be able to prevent another one by drinking red wine.  In fact, many studies suggest that moderate amounts of red wine lowers the risk of heart attack for middle aged people by approximately 30-50 percent.  Studies have also indicated that red wine can raise the good cholesterol, HDL; while preventing the bad cholesterol, LDL, from forming.

Many doctors agree that antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols, which red wine is rich in, and a substance called resveratrol, have heart healthy benefits. The antioxidant resveratrol helps prevent damage to blood vessels and also prevents blood clots.  It has also been linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease.  Resveratrol is also thought to help fight cancer and diabetes.

Marijke Keet, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Bolzano in Italy, says that red wine helps maintain the immune system and she also suggests that red wine reduces stress and produces feelings of relaxation.  As we know, stress has negative effects on the body, and the calming effects of red wine can prove beneficial in aiding people to relax.

In addition to its excellent heart healthy benefits, red wine has also been shown to reducing men’s overall risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent and the risk of the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer by 60 percent. Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain found that each glass of red wine per day reduced the risk of lung cancer by 13 percent.  Red wine is also believed to lower the risk of breast cancer, but keep in mind that moderation is essential since drinking more than 1 or 2 alcoholic beverages per day appears to increase the risk of breast cancer in women.

Another health benefit of red wine is sleep.  Research shows that red wine contains melatonin, an antioxidant that   regulates the body clock and has anti-aging and cancer preventive properties.

There are a few varieties of red wine available, but it is the Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir varieties that have the highest concentrations of heart healthy antioxidants.

In conclusion it is evident that red wine is beneficial to your health, when consumed in moderation of course, so cheers to good health!









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