You’ve heard the rumors, and maybe you figured it’s too good to be true. But yes, it turns out there really are some health benefits to drinking red wine — in moderation, of course. If you’re a vino lover, consider these benefits the next time you’re choosing between red and white. Only red wine can boast these perks, so why not improve your health during a happy hour or dinner?
1. Heart health
The number-one benefit of red wine is that it improves heart health. It contains resveratrol, which safeguards your ticker and arteries from saturated fats, and possibly wards off cardiovascular disease.
If you have a family history of heart problems, this might be an easy and enjoyable way to fight it. Of course, a healthy diet low in bad fats is the perfect complement.
2. Get your antioxidant fix
Just like acai, and pretty much any other berry, red wine has plenty of antioxidants. These slow the aging process and can hold off a slew of degenerative diseases.
An added bonus is that a bottle doesn’t cost nearly as much as imported acai powder. The odds of contracting any disease deemed “for the elderly” can be lowered with an antioxidant-rich diet.
3. Fight cancer
More research is necessary to back up this claim, but some studies have suggested that cancer patients undergoing radiation experience a higher chance of achieving and sustaining remission if they ingest resveratrol as well. Of course, the antioxidants can also help fight off disease that may encourage cancerous cells.
Apoptosis is boosted by resveratrol, which is what happens when cancerous cells die and are replaced by white blood cells … exactly what a cancer patient wants.
4. Protect your chompers
You erode your teeth day in and day out, whether you intend to or not. However, some studies have indicated red wine may harden enamel and is naturally resistant to mouth bacteria.
There’s no way to re-grow your enamel, but you can make it stronger, which means it’s less likely to erode. If you eat a particularly acidic diet or munch on berries throughout the day, it’s especially important to protect your teeth.
5. Get more good cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. In fact, you want to increase your HDL as much as possible; and that’s exactly what red wine does naturally. Experts say one or two glasses of red wine per day can lead to a 12 percent spike in HDL, which in turn protects your heart.
It’s smart to get a physical every year, and if your HDL could use a makeover, this is a great way to do it.
6. Block fatty foods
Do you need a hearty steak and potato dinner to go with your glass of wine? Researchers say red wine has the potential to block fatty foods from being absorbed by your system. That certainly doesn’t give you a free pass to go wild at the buffet, but it’s a nice side effect.
7. Preventing disease vs. causing disease
There’s a thin line between drinking enough to prevent disease and drinking so much that it may cause a disease — beginning with alcoholism. If you’re prone to addictive behavior or have a family history of alcoholism, introducing red wine into your regular diet probably isn’t very wise.
However, when imbibed responsibly, red wine can be one of many tools that ensure you have a longer, healthier, and happier life.
The line between alcohol consumption and abuse may seem blurry at times. Maybe you’re not 100 percent sure whether you or someone you love is struggling with the disease of alcoholism. Getting professional help from a reputable program is paramount — this is where addicts can learn the tools they need to manage the disease for life.