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Is Red Wine Really Good For You?

Updated on June 18, 2013
Here's to your health!  Red wine offers heart benefits and much, much more!
Here's to your health! Red wine offers heart benefits and much, much more! | Source

Wine lovers rejoice! Research keeps on coming up with new evidence supporting health benefits of drinking red wine. According to studies, red wine can lower cholesterol, lowers your risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. People who drink red wine regularly tend to live longer, look younger and are thinner than people who don't drink it. It's even good for the mind! People who drink red wine are less likely to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's disease later in life.

It shouldn't come to a surprise that doctors are wary of supporting the idea of anyone beginning a 'wine regimen' for obvious reasons. Too much alcohol is dangerous and has harmful effects on the body.

On the other hand, even doctors cannot deny the antioxidants found in red wine have health benefits, especially for the heart.

The Power is in the Antioxidants

So what is it that makes red wine so healthy anyway? Scientists believe that the high amounts of antioxidants found in wine - particularly flavonoids - is the reason why wine so good for you. Flavonoids have been proven to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and boost the good cholesterol (HDL).

What's even more exciting is that another powerful antioxidant found in wine, called resveratrol, can help destroy cancer cells. Another antioxidant found in certain red wines that prevent cancer is melatonin.

Polyphenol is another antioxidant that is found in red wine. It protects against many different health issues and is believed to slow the aging process.

These are all just a few of the most powerful antioxidants found in red wine. It's important to note that white wine does not have the same health benefits as red wine. For instance, resveratrol is found in the grape's skin. Red wine is fermented with the skin, unlike white wine, where the skin is removed. Much of the antioxidants are lost during fermentation of white wine. As a result, white wine has much less to offer in regards to health.

List of Health Benefits

  • Reduces risks of coronary illnesses

All those antioxidants are so good for your heart. Of all the health benefits, heart health is at the top of the list when it comes to red wine.

  • Reduced risk of colds and inflammation

A study in Spain shows that people who consume red wine have 44% fewer colds than those who don't drink red wine. Furthermore wine has anti-inflammatory properties which helps prevent many diseases and ailments.

  • Lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL or good cholesterol

As stated earlier, flavanoids in red wine are responsible for keeping cholesterol in check. Saponins and resveratrol also have cholesterol lowering properties.

  • Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers

Lung, breast and prostate cancers are just a few of the types of cancers that can be prevented by drinking red wine in moderation.

  • Brain health

Red wine drinkers are at lower risk for developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease in old age.

  • Cures insomnia

People who drink red wine sleep better at night and have less bouts of insomnia than those who do not drink red wine.

  • Longevity

Wine drinkers live longer and age slower thanks mostly to the antioxidant, polyphenol.

Red Wines That Reap the Most Benefits

Cabernet Sauvignon leads the pack when it comes to health benefits. Other wines that are high in antioxidants are Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah. Merlots and Zifandels also contain antioxidants but of all the red wines, they offer the least amount of health benefits.

Some Final Thoughts...

Red wine is healthy IN MODERATION. Drinking more than the recommended amount (one glass for women and two glasses for men per day) can have an opposite effect on health. Too much alcohol in your bloodstream will make you more susceptible to infections and other serious health issues.

It is also highly recommended that people who do not drink should not begin drinking wine in order to reap these benefits. Non-drinkers can get close to the same benefits by drinking grape juice and non-alcoholic wines.

References

Science Daily, Mayo Clinic, Fitday, Healthdiary.com and Men's Health

Comments

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    • amymarie_5 profile imageAUTHOR

      amymarie_5 

      5 years ago from Chicago IL

      Hi Riviera, here in the states, alcohol is taxed very highly -sin tax- even wine. I totally don't agree with it, especially when it comes to wine. I may just have to move to France. I hear people are smarter there anyway! Thanks for commenting!

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      5 years ago from South of France

      I live in France, so of course red wine is a way of life here. Happily you don't have to pay much for decent wine here, because the government daren't raise tax on it, unlike in the UK. I love knowing I'm doing myself a little good as I enjoy my chef's tipple in the evening...

    • duediligence profile image

      Dennis 

      5 years ago from Amsterdam, The Netherlands

      2 glasses won't hurt, but too much of everything is bad. Try this one http://www.errazuriz.com/errazuriz/english/vinos-i...

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 

      6 years ago from Utah

      I love it when things that delicious are also good for you!! Thanks for the well researched hub! Voted up!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Excellent Hub and subject matter. As a young woman my blood pressure and heart rate were always low and my doc prescribed I drink a small glass of red wine before getting out of bed in the morning to "get my heart started" so to speak. I did it but had a terrible time for many years afterward facing any kind of wine. I've now learned to drink very dry wines at a meal or one before dinner -- sweet wines won't work for me at all. After reading your Hub guess it's time to go buy some very dry, red wine and begin a once-a-day regimen. Thanks for all the info -- very well written. Best/Sis

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 

      6 years ago

      Argh, I keep trying to drink wine, but I can't stick with it. (I guess there are people who would give the world to have that problem.) I'll read an article like this, read a bunch more, become an instant wannabee wine-snob, drink a bottle over the course of two weeks and end up giving all the rest of my wine to my gardener. Ah, well, good Hub and I guess it's time to start the cycle again. Gonna go get a glass of that organic red wine from Trader Joe's right now.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hi amy.....It is said that Red Wine has some health benefits.....in moderation I suppose. But it makes sense that it could be beneficial.....grapes are high in antioxidants.

      My maternal grandfather (Italian) of course, grew his own grapes and made his own home-made wine every single year....He gave a lot of it away to friends and neighbors.....but he had one small glass every single evening before dinner.

      He lived to be in his 90's, never having been seriously ill in his life ...no surgeries, no medications........

      I don't do alcohol of any kind.....but I do remember tasting my grandfather's wine...it was very very dry....kind of made me pucker.

      In my younger, single days when I did do some drinking, I usually drank just beer........One beer=3 trips to the potty!! Do you like wine?

      Your hub is very interesting....especially in terms of the list of possible benefits to red wine. Come to think of it, my husband drinks wine, both white and red and he's extremely healthy!! Voted UP ++

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 

      6 years ago from North Florida

      I really wish I liked wine, but it's just too tart for me. My best friend uses it to lessen the symptoms of Lupus, though, and swears by it!

      Great Hub. Voting up and sharing!

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