For National Wine Day: 15 Health Benefits Of Wine
Did you know that humans have been making wine for over 8,000 years? Archaeologists discovered a winery in Armenia that dates back to 4100 BC. Wine-making equipment was also found in an Egyptian tomb dating back to 3100 BC—around 1,000 years older than the Armenian find. Yup, our ancestors around the world have been guzzling this tasty alcoholic beverage for a very long time. When you take a sip of vino, you’re taking a sip of history. Some ancient myths state that in Medieval times, when the streets ran rampant with disease and plagues and the cleanliness of water couldn’t be verified, people just stuck to wine to be safe (must have been a very dangerous time to drive a carriage). While that anecdote might just be hearsay, there is no denying that wine has its benefits. In honor of National Wine Day, here are little-known health benefits of wine.
Reduces blood pressure
Okay, admittedly, it will have to be non-alcoholic red wine to really see the results, but studies have found that drinking this beverage regularly can reduce one’s blood pressure so much that it reduces the chance of heart attack by 14 percent. Good news: alcoholic wine also helps a bit in this department.
An international study spanning 14 countries found that regular wine drinkers face a significantly lower risk of developing dementia than those who don’t drink the sweet nectar.
Reduced risk of diabetes
Drinking wine a few days a week can reduce one’s chances of developing type two diabetes, according to one Danish study. While the study looked into all types of spirits, there’s no denying that there is less sugar in a glass of wine (1.2 grams) than, say, a vodka tonic, which can have 18 grams of the stuff.
Fight bowel cancer
Research has found that moderate consumption of wine could help the fight against bowel cancer. In fact, it may reduce the size of bowel tumors by 50 percent. A compound found in red grapes can get into cancer cells and interfere with tumor growth.
While red wine drinkers may need to add a whitener to their toothpaste, they can take joy in the fact that their drink of choice can kill the bacteria that cause cavities.
Prevent prostate cancer
Men who drink four to seven glasses of red wine a week are over 50 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who don’t touch the stuff. There’s a good reason to get your partner to put down the beer and share a bottle of vino with you.
Protect your skin
The polyphenols found in grape skin can inhibit reactive oxygen species, which play a large role in how and why our skin burns in the sun. Eating grapes can help fight UV damage, but drinking wine is more fun.
Prevent vision loss
Red wine is high in Resveratrol, a plant-produced phenol that can prevent vision loss. Its antioxidant properties can reverse the damage of oxidation in the lenses, which can cause issues like cataracts.
Fight heart disease
Moderate wine consumption could boost levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body. If you don’t feel like eating more fish, just grab a glass of merlot. Omega-3’s are important for the health of your blood cells and can reduce the chance of cardiac arrest and stroke.
Drinking five to 15 grams of wine a day—or one to three glasses—could actually significantly reduce one’s chances of developing depression, according to some findings.
Promote bone health
Wine is high in silicon, which is important for bone mineral density. Research has found that women who drink two or more glasses of red wine daily have a higher bone mineral density than those who do not. And, their BMD is higher than men who drink beer daily.
Reduce stroke damage
While wine can reduce the chances of a stroke, should a stroke occur, regular wine drinkers may suffer less brain damage, according to this study. It’s thought that resveratrol is at work here, too.
Reduce chances of breast cancer
While regularly drinking most types of alcohol can increase estrogen levels and increase a woman’s chances of breast cancer, red wine has the opposite effect. This dark beverage contains Aromatase inhibitors, which stop the conversion of androgens into estrogen.
A research team at the University of California, Riverside studied how moderate alcohol consumption can affect the immune system and it’s true—having a glass of wine at dinner may keep the doctor away.
If your doctor has been on your case about your cholesterol, try adding a glass of wine to your daily routine. It not only decreases bad cholesterol, but also increases good cholesterol and decreases Lipoprotein, a cholesterol-like particle.