Say all you want about goat yoga or whatever is all the rage these days; red wine is still the best de-stressor. Take it from us, nothing beats a glass of red wine after a long, grueling day of work. Long the drink of ancient feasts, celebrations, and even religious rituals, red wine has cemented itself as a liquid therapist of sorts, and for a good reason: this tempting libation has some surprisingly incredible health benefits.
But wait a minute–surely you’ve heard that alcohol isn’t great for you. After all, who hasn’t woken up bleary-eyed and foggy-headed after a fun and late night? Like other alcoholic drinks, red wine can be damaging in excess, and may lead people to ask the question: is red wine good for you? Like many other foods and drinks, consuming red wine in moderation may help you more than hurt you. Read on to learn more about the incredible advantages this drink can offer you.
Pumped full of antioxidants
If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what an antioxidant is more than a few times. You see them on food and drink labels everywhere touting their health benefits, but this is no accident. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that prevent inflammation and oxidative stress that can cause cellular damage. Oxidative stress is when there aren’t enough antioxidants to fend off the free radicals floating about and damaging your cells. Fortunately, red grapes are loaded with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that isn’t found as frequently in white grapes. These antioxidant levels are what makes red wine better than white wine, as their higher levels of antioxidants may contribute to the prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, both of which are linked to oxidative stress.
Keep your heart healthy
Again, the idea of drinking red wine to maintain heart health might strike you as counterintuitive. However, research shows otherwise: people who drink red wine in moderation are at lower risk for heart disease. Not only that, but the high polyphenol levels in red wine lower your risk of developing metabolic disorders, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. However, be mindful of your red wine consumption if you’re on blood pressure medication; the wine might lessen its effectiveness. Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption might do more harm to the heart than good, putting you at a higher risk of developing heart disease as well as an increased risk for higher blood pressure. That’s why it’s crucial to limit yourself to a glass or two a week, as any more might start to hurt you.
Resvera-what? Chances are you’ve never heard of this word, but you should know what it is. Resveratrol might help you lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and also help repair damaged blood vessels. Red wine is chock full of this resveratrol, which is found in the skins of red grapes. But the jury is still out on whether or not the resveratrol found in red wine has these concrete health benefits. Even so, consuming resveratrol doesn’t have any adverse effects, and like polyphenols, red grape skins contain way more resveratrol than white grape skins. However, some doctors argue that you can get the resveratrol you need without having to drink red wine; grape juice will also suffice.
Keep your gut happy
We’ve all been there: hanging over a toilet at three in the morning and bringing up the night’s dinner and drinks for a second time. In these moments, your body, and least of all your stomach, is not happy. However, consuming red wine in moderation may do your gut some good. Newer research suggests that the polyphenols found in red wine can promote the health and growth of the microbiota in your digestive system. Microbiota is the zillions of bacteria that help you digest food properly. Without it, you’d be very, very sick. Moreover, a healthier gut translates to improved overall health, especially for your heart. Suddenly, a glass of red wine is starting to look like the most fabulous workout ever.
While there’s still a lot of research to be done on whether red wine is truly healthy for you, the early results look promising. We want to remind you that a healthy amount of red wine is one to two glasses per week. Any more than that could start damaging your liver among other organs, so don’t get too pour-happy just yet. Hopefully, you’ve learned a little something about the benefits of red wine today, and as always, Salud!