Wine, in particular the red variety, has been studied in depth over many years with remarkable conclusion suggesting it may encourage a longer lifespan, shield against certain cancers, improve mental health, and offer benefits to the heart.
However, drinking any alcoholic beverage in excess can lead to serious health problems associated with it; therefore you should limit your red wine consumption to no more than your unit guideline amount per day.
The NHS notes that “Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day. Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.” One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. A 250ml (large) glass of 12% red wine has about 3 units of alcohol. A 175ml (medium) glass has about two units.
Wine has a long history as an early form of medication, being recommended variously as a safe alternative to drinking water, an antiseptic for treating wounds, a digestive aid, and as a cure for a wide range of ailments including lethargy, diarrhoea, and pain from child birth. But as medical research has improved vastly over the years, we now know more about the role of moderate red wine consumption for our health.
For example, a glass of red wine with your evening meal could decrease a person’s likelihood of having a stroke, heart attack, as well as other diseases; it might also be good for the brain and quite probably increases longevity, say medical experts.
Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant compound known as resveratrol. Resveratrol protects your heart and arteries against the effects of saturated fat in your diet, so drinking red wine daily can help guard your heart and prevent cardiovascular disease.
The flavonoids and sapponins in red wine also help to look after your heart from cardiovascular disease. When consumed in moderation, the alcohol in red wine increases your levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, helps prevent the formation of blood clots and can help to protect your arteries from the damage caused by “bad” LDL cholesterol.
In addition to resveratrol, red wine contains a number of other antioxidants, which can slow the signs of aging and prevent a number of degenerative illnesses like type 2 diabetes. Drinking one or two glasses of red wine each day can help protect you from many of the diseases of the elderly, such as osteoporosis.
Standard consumption of most alcoholic drinks increases the risk of breast cancer. However, red wine intake has the opposite effect, researchers from Los Angeles found.
In the Journal of Women’s Health, the scientists discussed that chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes decrease oestrogen levels whilst increasing the testosterone levels in premenopausal women – which results in a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
The authors also highlighted that it is not just the red wine that has the beneficial compounds, but its raw material – red grape. They suggested that when women are choosing an alcoholic drink to consume, they should consider red wine.
The study shocked numerous researchers. As most studies point to a higher risk of breast cancer from consuming alcoholic drinks, because alcohol raises a woman’s oestrogen levels, which supports the growth of cancer cells.
Red wine, even non alcoholic red wine, hardens your enamel to prevent tooth decay. Hardened enamel is more resistant to the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. The polyphenols in red wine can also prevent gum disease, and even help to treat it by reducing inflammation in the gums.
While wine consumption appears to be good for the health, drinking too much can lead to countless health problems. It is important to keep within the recommended guideline amount when consuming wine of any variety.