Does Wine Have Health Benefits?
No special occasion or event is complete without uncorking and sipping a glass of wine. Many look upon it as an elixir of youth. Wine, especially red wine, is considered the healthiest alcoholic beverage amongst all alcoholic drinks. But does it have health benefits? Let’s find out!
Reason for the Health Benefits of Wine
Wine is made from fermented grapes. If you are a part of the wine club or someone who enjoys a glass with your meal, you are sure to get your daily dose of natural polyphenol resveratrol. The compound is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Most of the health benefits of wine are attributed to this compound. Polyphenols are far more concentrated in darker foods and as such they are present in far greater amount in red wine, than white. Indeed, it is these polyphenols which account for a great deal of wines purported health benefits.
Health Benefits of Wine
Various studies suggest that drinking a glass of wine, especially red wine, can offer several health benefits. We highlight a few of the potential benefits of drinking wine.
One of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide is cardiovascular disease. A study in 2019 revealed that red wine could lower the risk of coronary heart disease. Polyphenol resveratrol is responsible for the cardioprotective effect of wine. Polyphenols, present primarily in red wine, can therefore promote a healthy heart, when enjoyed in moderation.
Polyphenol helps increase the good cholesterol in the body. This can protect against the build-up of bad cholesterol in the blood vessels and thus blocks fatal blood clots. These clots are responsible for causing heart diseases, including strokes, and their absence keeps the heart-healthy. Moreover, drinking wine also helps protect the endothelium or the lining of the heart’s blood vessels.
But the benefits of drinking wine turn damaging when one is not drinking in moderation, i.e., one glass for females and two glasses for males per day.
We all know our body has two types of cholesterol. One is good cholesterol or HDL, and the other is bad cholesterol or LDL.
A study published in Clinical Nutrition stated that red wine could help increase the good cholesterol level, i.e., the HDL in our body. It also reduces the bad cholesterol level, provided you drink it in moderation. It can keep our heart health better.
3. Antioxidative properties
Wine is rich in resveratrol. This compound is responsible for a great deal of the antioxidant qualities in wine. Most wines also have similar antioxidants like anthocyanins, catechins, epicatechins, and tannins like proanthocyanidins and ellagitannins. Wines crafted from darker grapes have a higher phenol content, therefore possess these compounds in greater concentrations. It reduces oxidative stress in the body by lowering the risk of body inflammation and blood clotting. This can prevent many diseases, including cancer and heart diseases.
4. Body Inflammation
The rich polyphenol content of wines is responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. It helps fight oxidative stress, free radicals, and body inflammation. Due to it, you also reap its anti-aging effects on the skin.
The resveratrol compound in wines is again responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and controlling diabetes. Scientists believe that the ethanol component of red wine might play a crucial role in glucose metabolism. However, it still needs more research and concrete evidence.
According to the National Cancer Institute, drinking alcohol regularly and heavily can cause a range of cancers like breast, liver, mouth, throat, and colon cancer. This is because alcohol produces toxins in the body, increases oxidation, and damages body tissues.
But wine stands apart from all other alcohols. Drinking it in moderation may prevent certain types of cancer. For instance, a 2012 study found that aromatase inhibitors (AIs) help reduce estrogen levels and increase testosterone levels in women nearing menopause. This can help in reducing the risk of breast cancer in females. Likewise, it can also help prevent lung cancer and prostate cancer as resveratrol is known to block the primary action of cancer aiding protein.
7. Liver Health
Alcohol is generally detrimental to liver health. But a 2018 study suggested that a modest intake of wine can help lower liver fibrosis in those who suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
However, researchers find the effect of wines on the liver complicated. They increase the level of antioxidants in the body and help in reducing oxidative stress. However, you must be cautious of overindulging as wines also increase the liver-damaging uric acid and triglycerides in the body.
Wines have flavanols that help in keeping blood vessel cells healthy. It, in turn, improves the blood flow to the brain and obstructs the development of harmful plague. Studies also suggest that resveratrol plays a crucial role in delaying age-related memory decline. Overall, wines aid in keeping the mind sharp and active.
Red wine is also known to reduce the risk of dementia and depression.
9. Common Cold
The antioxidants of the wines help fight the harmful effects of free radicals, which help treat and prevent the common cold.
Wines like red wines also exhibit anti-microbial properties. They help reduce the bacteria on our teeth which causes tooth decay, plague, and dental caries. You can build up a robust dental defense mechanism with regular brushing, flossing, dental visits, and a glass of wine. However, red wine is also known to stain your teeth. In that case, you can opt for porcelain veneers by the dentist in raleigh to whiten your smile.
The resveratrol antioxidant in wine helps prevent out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eyes. It also delays the deterioration of eye muscles due to aging. Overall, it helps in inhibiting age-related macular degeneration and treating diabetic retinopathy.
The anti-microbial properties of wine due to resveratrol can block the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Its effect is much longer than benzoyl peroxide. You can get a much faster result in eradicating acne when you drink a glass of wine and, at the same time, consult a dermatologist.
Moderate consumption of wine also helps you control your body weight. Resveratrol converts into a compound piceatannol that helps reduce the fat cells in the body. The compound fastens the insulin receptors of fat cells that block the pathways facilitating immature fat cells to grow.
Wine has several health benefits to offer. You can also reap its benefits by using it in preparing any food recipe. However, the benefits prevail, provided you consume them moderately and never exceed the limit.