People have been drinking wine for thousands of years, and the benefits of doing so have been well documented. Emerging research continues to suggest that drinking wine in moderation — about a glass per day — offers several benefits. This article explains everything you need to know about the health benefits of drinking wine, which type is healthiest, and its potential downsides.
Rich in antioxidants : There are many antioxidant-rich foods and beverages, and wine is one of them. Antioxidants are compounds that prevent cellular damage caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition caused by an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules called free radicals, which can damage your cells .
Grapes have high levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation Because red wine grapes are higher in antioxidants than white grape varieties, drinking red wine may increase your blood antioxidant levels to a greater extent than drinking white. In fact, one 2-week study in 40 adults found that consuming 13.5 ounces (400 ml) of red wine daily increased antioxidant status.
Higher antioxidant status is associated with a decreased risk of disease. For example, drinking red wine has been associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, which are associated with oxidative stress.
May help combat inflammation
Wine contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is harmful and may increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and certain cancers. Therefore, it’s best to prevent this type of inflammation as much as possible. Chronic inflammation can be reduced through diet, stress reduction, and exercise.
Many foods have the power to reduce inflammation, and wine is thought to be one of them. Studies suggest that a compound called resveratrol in wine has anti-inflammatory properties and may benefit health.
One study in 4,461 adults demonstrated that moderate consumption of wine was linked to a reduced inflammatory response. Participants in this study self-reported their alcohol intake. Those who consumed up to 1.4 ounces (40 grams) of alcohol per day experienced less inflammation than those who didn’t drink. What’s more, in a study including 2,900 women, those who consumed a glass of wine daily had significantly reduced inflammatory markers compared with women who abstained from alcohol.
On the other hand, other research has found red wine to have a less dramatic effect. A study in 87 adults of an average age of 50 found that drinking 5 ounces (150 ml) of red wine daily caused only slight reductions in inflammatory markers compared with abstaining from alcohol . Although the research is promising, more studies are needed to better understand the anti-inflammatory benefits of wine.
May benefit heart health
Studies show that individuals who consume moderate amounts of wine have reduced rates of heart disease