As a wine merchant, we are passionate about wine. Not only is it the world’s greatest drink, meant to be sipped, savoured and celebrated – it also carries some health benefits. Whilst excess alcohol consumption can cause health issues, drinking wine in moderation (defined as no more than 5 large glasses of wine per week by NHS England) gives you some great health perks alongside experiencing a whole world of enjoyment.
Red wine is high in the compound resveratrol - found in grapes and berries. If you choose to drink red wine, you can enjoy health benefits including a reduced risk of heart disease.
Note: moderation is key – drinking more than the recommended limit leads to dangerous health conditions.
The benefits of Resveratrol
The chemical compound, found in the skin of red grapes and other berries, has well-researched health benefits and is a known antioxidant. According to the University of Buffalo, New York, it helps prevent inflammation associated with many serious health conditions including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Some benefits of red wine include:
Whilst red wine is infamous for the marks it can leave on your mouth moments after drinking it, research performed at the Spanish National Research Council and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explored red wine’s ability to actually improve dental health. The study found that dipping bacteria, associated with cavities, gum disease and tooth loss, in red wine led to the elimination of bacteria.
HDL cholesterol is good for you, working to reduce your risk of blood clots and increasing your body’s ability to detect insulin and glucose. Red wine consumption increases your HDL cholesterol. More than 100 studies link moderate drinking of wine (and other alcohol) to a reduction in heart attack risk. If moderation is exceeded, however, this no longer applies.
A meta-analysis of research in Diabetes Care from March 2005, found that there was a 30% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in moderate alcohol consumers. Further to this, researchers from Boston University found that doses of resveratrol helped reduce aortic stiffness in people living with Type 2 diabetes. The findings were discussed at Peripheral Vascular Disease Scientific Sessions in Minnesota.
Research from the European study IMMIDIET found that moderate wine consumption was associated with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect against coronary heart disease.
A new study published in the US found that women who drank a glass of red wine each week had better fertility than women who did not. Conducted by Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, the study found that women who consumed red wine had better ovarian reserves than those who did not. Again, this only applies when consumed in moderation.
Ultimately, the question of whether red wine is good for you is one still not proven – although the benefits above do provide promising indicators that moderate consumption is healthy.
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