The Health Benefits of Wine
A week and a half into the new year, and many people will already have given up on their resolutions for 2017- not us though! This year, we have pledged to take care of our bodies and our world in an effort to keep both as healthy as possible for as long as possible. And how? By drinking better wine.
Although there is a deal of controversy around the concept of wine having health benefits, there has been considerable study into the question, with a lot of compelling evidence that moderate wine-drinkers (especially if it is red wine) can enjoy some fairly significant health benefits. The word “moderate” here is key. There is no denying that drinking too heavily and too frequently has severe ramifications for your health, but drinking in moderation – which is one small glass of wine for women a day, and one to two glasses for men - is a whole different story.
According to research conducted all over the world, drinking wine in moderation can help decrease your risk of stroke, type II diabetes, colon cancer and developing cataracts, as well as increasing your metabolism and general life span. This week, we have picked three of our favourite wine-related health benefits to show you why a glass a day really could keep the doctor away.
Keeps You Young
For those of you looking to prolong your youthful glow, a glass of red wine (especially one made in a cooler climate) could be the key. Research carried out by Harvard Medical School has shown that red wine contains anti-aging properties, particularly a compound called resveratrol. Resveratrol is a kind of antioxidant known as a polyphenol. These antioxidants bond with damaging free radicals which play an important role in aging and age-related illnesses. This means that, along with making your skin appear more youthful, one glass of red wine a day can also do some really important things, such as increase your life-span and lower your risk of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and certain cancers. Richard A Baxter MD, author of Age Gets Better with Wine believes that “drinking a glass of red wine a day is the single most important thing you can do other than non-smoking, from an anti-aging point of view”. So there you go!
Keeps Your Heart Ticking
As well as resveratrol, red wine contains compounds called procyanidins which – among other things - help keep your blood vessels healthy. This, in turn, protects the drinker against heart disease. In a study run by the London’s Queen Mary University, red wines from Sardinia and South West France contain more procyanidins than wines from elsewhere, and this is one of the major contributing factors to the longer lifespans of people living in these areas. Moderate drinkers also have lower risk of heart attack, according to a study carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health. Measure subjects over a period of 16 years, researchers found that moderate drinkers suffering from high blood pressure were 30% less likely to have a heart attack than non-drinkers.
Keeps Your Mind Happy and Healthy
As well as doing your body good, moderate wine-drinking can also have beneficial effects on your brain. Again, the risk of age-related conditions, such as dementia, had a decreased risk of 23% in moderate red wine drinkers than in people who never drank wine, and a Columbia University study revealed that, out of the 1416 people surveyed, brain function declined at a notably faster rate in non-drinkers than in moderate drinkers. Age aside, some studies even suggest that moderate drinking can reduce a person’s risk of depression. A team composed of researchers from several Spanish universities gathered food and drink data on 5505 people over seven years, and found that those who drank 2-7 glasses of wine a week were far less likely to be diagnosed with depression – even after those lifestyle factors which could influence the result were taken into account.
So, the secret to a long, happy, healthy life? It might just be red wine! But always remember to drink in moderation and, most importantly, drink the good stuff! A good place to start might be our red wine selection here (and, while we wait for new vintages to arrive, you can get 10% off all red wine, using code SW10)