The Health Benefits of Wine

The Health Benefits of Wine

Wine is certainly one of history’s most versatile beverages. In addition to its recreational usage, it’s been used to sterilize against bacteria, as an alternative to water, and even as medication. Granted, modern science has made wine obsolete as nature’s cure-all, but it can nevertheless be a welcome complement to the contemporary diet. A growing body of evidence suggests that drinking wine, in moderation, might have some surprising benefits.

1. Helping the heart

Plaque buildup in the heart's arteries can often cause a blockage there, which is one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease. Research suggests that chemicals in red wine can actively limit the growth of plaque by relaxing the heart's arterial walls to make it harder for harmful compounds to stick to them. Furthermore, drinking one or two reasonably sized glasses of wine a day might also boost your level of HDL cholesterol, the “good cholesterol,” by as much as 12 percent, while moderating the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

2. Bone density

The loss of bone density during aging, particularly after menopause, is one of the most serious threats to a woman’s health. A study conducted in 2012 showed that moderate wine consumption might slow down the rate of bone loss for middle-aged women. The results were only correlational, which means they haven't been confirmed to be true, but it’s a promising sign for those who already include wine as part of their daily regimen.

3. A simple pleasure

For many people, drinking a glass of wine with the evening meal is an enjoyable, relaxing experience to have by yourself or share with a loved one at the end of the day. It’s one of the little things to hold onto and escape from the stress that might otherwise overwhelm you. This kind of outlet can be an invaluable part of treating depression or avoiding it altogether. If that serving of wine gives you a small stress release, you probably don't need to give it up.

4. Lowering blood sugar for diabetics

In Israel, diabetes sufferers with high blood sugar were put on Mediterranean diets, which classically includes wine as one of its key components. Some of the participants were given white wine; the others red. Surprisingly, the choice of wine made little difference — both groups saw decreased blood sugar levels. While the controlled diet undoubtedly had much to do with it, the fact that wine was successfully used as a complement is encouraging.

5. Good for memory

Alcohol abuse can aggravate the risk of dementia, but light-to-moderate intake might actually have positive effects. Alzheimer’s researchers collected data from a number of studies and saw that people who drink modestly may be 23 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who don’t drink at all.

The important word in these potential benefits from drinking wine is “moderation.” All of wine’s possible benefits quickly reverse themselves when you drink to excess. However, it’s nice to know that when you drink wine responsibly, you may also be helping your health at the same time.

Sources:

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/111/2/e10.full

http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/news/20120711/moderate-drinking-may-help-older-womens-bones

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/14/448311831/diabetes-study-adds-evidence-that-a-glass-of-wine-is-good-for-you

https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/moderate-drinking-reduce-alzheimers-risk/


CATEGORIES: Health, Alcohol, Health Benefits, Drinking, Side-effects, Wine, Health Consequences