Positive News on the Health Benefits of Wine

Sparkling Wine & Salad

Sparkling Wine & Salad

Contributed by Jenna Phelps – Although Millennials rarely drink wine for its health benefits, it’s reassuring to know that drinking wine in moderation promotes physical and mental wellness. Indeed, an article recently published in the scientific journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings highlights that a daily drink of alcohol for men and women, ideally red wine, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. This is good news, as cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the US. However, the researchers point out that this moderate dosage is the key to good health, as excessive intakes of alcohol increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and other dangers to health. So how does a modest amount of wine protect your heart and what other benefits can you gain by drinking within suggested limits?

Protecting your heart

According to Florida International University, drinking is beneficial to heart health in three ways. Firstly, red wine is rich in a protective substance called resveratrol, which increases levels of HDL cholesterol, the type of cholesterol that protects your arteries by removing fatty deposits. Not only that, but resveratrol increases the size of HDL particles, which confers even greater benefits to heart health. Finally, resveratrol and other components in red wine act as antioxidants, which preserve the health of your arteries, preventing narrowing. The alcohol content of red wine may actually increase antioxidant activity, so although companies such as the Health Food Post advises on the benefits of resveratrol supplements, taking this nutrient as a tablet may limit the benefits it offers. Although white wine has a lower antioxidant content, all alcohol raises HDL levels, so if you prefer a glass of white wine, it may still protect your heart.

Additional research suggests that resveratrol may promote a healthy circulation in other ways too. For instance, the Linus Pauling Institute explains that resveratrol reduces inflammation, which otherwise may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic health problems such as type 2 diabetes and dementia. This protective nutrient additionally reduces the chance of a blood clot forming, promoting healthy blood flow through your arteries, reducing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. Resveratrol also boosts nitric oxide production, needed to relax your blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure. As KwikMed advises that raised blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, additional measures that lower blood pressure are welcome. However, high intakes of alcohol raise blood pressure, so it’s important to keep to just a glass or two of wine at a serving.

Reducing your risk of diabetes

An increasing number of us in America have type 2 diabetes, which is a major cause of ill-health and early death. However, the condition is preventable through a healthy lifestyle, and moderate red wine consumption may additionally play a role in preventing this form of diabetes. Research from The Journal of Nutrition informs us that a high dietary intake of flavones and anthocyanins, two antioxidants found in red wine, reduce inflammation and improve blood sugar control, which may protect us from diabetes. Looking at anti-inflammatory diets that are rich in nutrient-dense foods, such as that recommended by Dr Weil, you see that they include red wine, so wine fits in well with a health-promoting diet.

Improving your mood

As one in ten of us now suffer from depression to one degree or another, there is a lot of interest in natural ways to boost our mood. A diet rich in oily fish, whole grains, fruit and vegetables, coupled with regular exercise can have a positive impact on wellbeing, and a glass of wine is possibly another useful addition. The University of Utah reports on a study that showed a daily drink of wine is linked to a reduced risk of depression. While this may be down to the impact that protective components of wine have on brain function, drinking socially may also explain the results, as social interaction is well-known to lift your spirits. As with other areas of health though, it’s essential to keep within sensible limits, as drinking heavily can worsen mood and have a negative effect on other aspects of mental health. Drinking moderately offers a range of health benefits, so you can remember this as you enjoy a glass of red.

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4 Responses to Positive News on the Health Benefits of Wine

  1. Pingback: Wine: As Wonderful for your Kidneys as for Your Heart? | Tuscan Wine Musings

  2. Pingback: Wine: As Wonderful for your Kidneys as for Your Heart? | Wine Stars

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