There is evidence that drinking red wine may provide health benefits. If you don’t drink, health experts don’t recommend that you start drinking alcohol. But if you enjoy alcohol in moderation, red wine is worth considering. Red wine contains powerful antioxidants and many sources claim that drinking it has health benefits. However, drinking too much red wine can cause health problems.
Red wine has been part of social, religious and cultural events for centuries. In the past, people have speculated that red wine has health benefits, especially alongside a balanced diet.
In recent years, science has indicated that there may be some truth to these claims.
Although there are no official recommendations around these benefits, a 2018 study notes that drinking red wine in moderation has positive links with:
- heart disease
- certain types of cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
It is often said that red wine is healthier than white wine. The reason is because of the grape skins. Before most white wines are fermented, the skins are separated from the fruit puree and juice. With red wine, the skins remain throughout the fermentation process. Since many of the antioxidants in grapes are found in the skin, red wine contains more antioxidants than white wine.
Antioxidants are important for maintaining good health because they protect your cells from damage. The antioxidants found in wine are polyphenols, which are compounds found in plants. You may also hear some of them called flavonoids. One flavonoid that scientists are interested in is resveratrol, but red wine contains others.
A serving of red wine is about five ounces or about 150 ml. The nutritional value may vary slightly depending on the variety. On average, a serving of red wine contains:
- Calories: 125 grams
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
Red wine also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including:
Benefits of red wine
Enjoying a glass of antioxidant-rich red wine can do more than just help you relax after a long day and make dinner more delicious. To answer the age-old question of whether or not red wine is actually good for you, here’s what a dietitian and the latest research has to say about the known health benefits of drinking red wine, and how it works. can potentially impact your overall well-being.
- It improves heart health.
One of the most famous benefits of red wine is its ability to potentially improve heart health. Consumption of polyphenol-rich foods and beverages, such as red wine, has long been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Red wine has the power to protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart while boosting HDL, or “good” cholesterol, which helps your body eliminate bad cholesterol. (Bad cholesterol can significantly increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.) “Drinking wine can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol,” Stevens says. “[High LDL] can cause damage to arteries.
Resveratrol, a polyphenol in red wine, may reduce cancer risk, but this effect has appeared primarily in the lab and not in human studies. Some researchers say that red wine does not contain enough resveratrol to be effective. Still, those who drink red wine showed a lower risk of colon cancer and prostate cancer. It is possible that the reduced risk is due to other compounds in the red wine.
One study showed that light to moderate drinking may reduce the risk of dementia, but no type of alcohol was superior to others in producing this effect. Some research has indicated that small doses of alcohol can have a beneficial effect on the heart and circulatory system.
Some studies show that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. In one study, wine reduced the risk of diabetes in both men and women. Men who drank heavily, and even those who drank 1-3 days a week, had an increased risk of diabetes.
Negative health effects of drinking too much alcohol
While a moderate amount of red wine can have health benefits, excessive alcohol consumption can have devastating health effects.
- Alcohol addiction: Drinking alcohol regularly can get out of control and lead to alcoholism.
- liver cirrhosis: When more than 30 grams of alcohol (about 2 to 3 glasses of wine) are consumed each day, the risk of developing liver disease increases. End-stage liver disease, called cirrhosis, is life-threatening.
- Increased risk of depression: Heavy drinkers are at a much higher risk of depression than moderate drinkers or non-drinkers.
The French paradox
Red wine is often considered responsible for the “French paradox”.
This sentence refers to the observation that the French have low rates of heart disease, despite a high consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol.
Some experts believed that red wine was the food agent protecting the French population from the harm of these nutrients.
However, new studies have shown that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat do not cause heart disease when consumed in reasonable amounts.
The real reason for the good health of the French is probably the fact that they eat more whole foods and lead overall healthier lives.
NOTE: The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.
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