We all love a glass of wine after a long day – or two! We drink it with our dinner to compliment the meal, we drink it when we gather in celebration and we buy it from specialist retailers such as Pull The Cork or the local off-licence – whatever takes your fancy – it really is the alcoholic drink of choice for most of us.
You may have heard through the grapevine that wine offers some health benefits. Some of what you hear about the benefits of wine may be wishful thinking or the exaggerated truth, however, some theories are in fact based in truth!
Before getting into the health benefits of drinking wine, it must be said that binge drinking or excessive drinking obviously promotes an ultimately unhealthy lifestyle. However, drinking wine in moderation (the guideline being 1-2 units per day) can actually help to promote a healthy heart, according to research carried out by the British Heart Foundation. But how exactly does it contribute to your health?
Wine contains antioxidants
Wine is actually full of antioxidants which attack bad germs wherever they may lurk. Wine has even said to be so good for you in this department (when drunk in moderation of course!) that it can fight off free radicals which can cause some pretty terrible health conditions, including cancer.
Your wine of choice for antioxidants is white wine! A study which was done by the University of Barcelona concluded that the phenols in white wine had equal, if not even higher antioxidants than those found in red wine. This is particularly of interest seeing as most people hold the view that red wine provides us with the most health benefits when consumed in moderation. This is not always the case for it being red wine.
Wine boosts your immune system
Wine should not be used as a replacement for your vitamins, but drinking a glass can actually give your immune system a little boost! Moderate wine consumption can ward off pending infections and keep you healthier via your immune system.
Wine can reduce the risk of a stroke
Drinking wine in moderation, and alcohol in general for that matter can prevent blood clots. Wine acts as a natural blood thinner, which means it can break up any blood clots which could lead to a potentially fatal stroke. According to the research done on this, the drinking of wine to lower the risk of blood clotting is more effective in women than it is in men.
It is important to be informed that while moderate wine consumption can thin your blood (in a good way), heavy drinking can actually have the opposite effect. In fact, heavy drinkers can expect to have a higher risk of having a heart attack.
Wine lowers cholesterol
The procyanidins which are present in red wine promote a healthy heart and therefore a lower cholesterol (source: Straw Spreader). Furthermore, red wine is said to benefit blood pressure, so if you struggle with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, best get pouring a glass! Your excuse is that is medicinal.
Wine increases bone density
It happens to all of us. As we age, it is just a fact of life that our bones will become more brittle. To counteract this, you could pour yourself a glass of milk daily…or wine!
Red wine comes to the fore again with the health benefits. It contains high levels of silicon which have a great impact on your bone mineral density.
Wine can reduce the risk of heart disease
A study by the Israel Institute of Technology tested the effect that red wine had on the health of our blood vessels. The conclusion was that after 21 consecutive consumption the blood vessel cell health was actually enhanced and the flow of blood was increased. In turn, this will increase the health of the human heart and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.