Red Wine Health Benefits
Red wine is now widely considered to be a healthy drink when taken in moderation. It’s gotten a lot of press for being good for your heart. You may also have heard about a compound called resveratrol. Let’s take a look at some of these claims, and find out the true health benefit of drinking red wine.
Moderation Is Key!
The first thing to keep in mind when talking about red wine health benefits is that they only apply if you drink in moderation. That means up to one glass a day for women and up to two for men. “A glass” means five ounces of wine. No more than that! If you think you might not have the discipline to limit your drinking to this extent, then it would be better not to drink at all. Drinking too many will lead to health problems that are much, much worse than any potential gains.
Resveratrol is the compound in red wine that has been linked with a host of benefits according to red wine studies. Among other things, resveratrol might help to reduce inflammation and blood clotting, lower blood pressure and triglycerides, protect against cancer, increase longevity, decrease blood sugar after eating (be careful of this effect if you’re a diabetic), and reducing the fat stored in your liver. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant, which means that it helps clear your body of free radicals. There are all kinds of antioxidants health benefits. If you don’t take care to consume enough antioxidants, that means that your whole body is probably crawling with free radicals right now!
One thing to keep in mind, however, when we talk about resveratrol, is that most studies of this substance have used resveratrol obtained from supplements. This means that the resveratrol content used to produce the beneficial effects in the studies was much, much higher than what you will find in a glass of red wine. If it’s resveratrol you’re after, you’re probably better off taking a supplement than drinking glass after glass of wine for it (see “Moderation Is Key!” up above).
Red Wine Health Benefits: Your Heart
The best-known health benefit of red wine is its reputation for being heart-healthy. This is not unique to red wine, as some people think; actually, all alcoholic beverages can offer the same heart-healthy benefits if taken in moderation. However, red wine may offer additional benefits to your cardiovascular system; for one thing, the polyphenols in red wine are thought to help protect the lining of your blood vessels.
Red Wine Health Benefits: Weight Loss
Resveratrol supplements have been linked with increased metabolism, which may lead to weight loss. Now this does not necessarily mean that red wine will help you lose weight; in particular, alcohol has a tendency to lower our inhibitions about what we’re willing to eat. What that means is that a glass of wine might end up leading to some poor diet choices. But there is at least evidence that red wine might have some metabolic benefit.