We’ve all heard that red wine can have a positive effect on your body if consumed in moderation, but those positive effects might go deeper than you thought.
When consumed responsibly, the benefits of red wine can far outweigh the negatives, but the key to that is moderation. Drinking too much alcohol too frequently will certainly have a negative effect on your body and can be extremely dangerous when overused for prolonged periods of time.
The definition of moderation, in this case, refers to one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women and up to two 5-ounce glasses per day for men. So, if you’re a bottle of wine a night type of person, the negative impacts of the alcohol may start to outweigh any benefits you might receive from the red wine.
Why Can Red Wine Be Good for Your Health?
The main reason that red wine can be good for your health is because wine is produced from grapes, which have high levels of antioxidants.
But wouldn’t that mean white wine would have health benefits too? Not necessarily.
Most of the antioxidants found in grapes are in the skin and when making white wine the skin of the grapes are usually separated from the mashed fruit and juices. In red wine, however, the skins are left in the mixture throughout the entire fermentation process. This allows for those antioxidants to be more prevalent in the red wines when compared to white wines.
Antioxidants are the key to why red wine can be beneficial to your health, but in what ways to antioxidants help our body?
1. Red Wine Can Help Improve Heart Health
Polyphenols, which are an antioxidant found in red wine, have long been associated with lower risk of heart disease. Combine these antioxidants with the ethanol (alcohol) found in red wine and researchers have noticed positive effects on the heart and circulatory system.
Drinking red wine can help boost the good cholesterol in our bodies while decreasing the bad cholesterol at the same time. However, just like we stated before, alcohol in large quantities can do more damage to the heart than good.
In addition to helping with overall heart health, red wine has also been shown to help lower blood sugar levels temporarily which may help those with diabetes, however it should not replace proper blood sugar monitoring and safety.
2. Wine Can Help Reduce Cancer Risks
Resveratrol, which is a protein found in the skin of grapes, has been shown to help block a specific protein in cancer cells which allows them to thrive. Therefore, a glass of red wine a day could help to starve cancer cells before they have a chance to replicate further.
The research into this is still being conducted and some researchers say that there isn’t enough resveratrol in a glass of red wine to really have any effect on cancer cells, but red wine drinkers have been shown to have a lower risk of certain types of cancers, so it can’t hurt!
In addition to resveratrol, studies have shown that the aromatase inhibitors in red wine may reduce levels of estrogen in the body and increase testosterone in those females approaching menopause, which may reduce risk of breast cancer.
3. Red Wine Can Boost Cognitive Ability and Memory and Fight off Viruses
In addition to helping with overall heart health, the polyphenols and resveratrol in red wine have also been shown to help improve short-term memory as well as boost your cognitive abilities.
In addition to helping out with basic memory functions and cognitive processing, red wine may also help lower the risk of dementia. However, there is a fine balance between drinking in moderation and drinking too much when it comes to positive effects on dementia as too much alcohol can also increase your risk of the disease. And it should also be noted that other alcohols, not just red wine, also showed a reduced risk of dementia.
Red wine can also help fight off certain viruses that try to attack your body due to the antioxidants found in wine. These antioxidants have immune-boosting properties and can also help improve gut bacteria.
4. Reduces Risk of Eye-Related Issues
As we get older our eyesight begins to naturally deteriorate in most people but drinking a glass of red wine a day may help reduce the effects of these degenerative issues.
Resveratrol in red wine can help with circulation within the eyes as well reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. This can help reduce the effects of eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
Red Wine in Moderation Can Be Good for Your Health
While alcohol, in general, in moderation can provide some health benefits, red wine seems to have quite a few scientifically backed studies showing that it can indeed help in many ways.
The antioxidants in red wine can affect your body in positive ways as long as you remember that moderation is key. If you’re a female, then one 5-ounce glass of wine a day is considered ok, and if you’re a male, then up to two 5-ounce glasses of red wine a day will provide you benefit.
If you over consume red wine it can lead to many negative affects on your body and your health so it’s very important to not take this knowledge and use it as an excuse to drink more red wine every night. Liver damage, heart disease, stroke, and even certain types of cancers can be exacerbated by an overindulgence of alcohol.
There is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy, but as long as you consume in moderation, the benefits typically outweigh the negatives when it comes to drinking red wine.