What are the Health Benefits of Drinking Red Wine?
Red wine has been researched extensively and has been studied to be a valuable part of a healthy diet if taken in moderation. It can prove to be a fabulous way to distress after a long tiring day or can bring down the inches of the waistline and can promote longer life.
Red wine being high in resveratrol makes it offer the various health benefits that it’s talked about. Resveratrol is a compound produced by the plant to fight bacteria and fungi and protect against Ultraviolet radiations. In wine, it comes from the skins of red grapes.
Red wine is made by fermentation of dark-colored grapes, which makes it high in antioxidant content. Even the alcohol in a wine contributes to the health benefits if consumed in moderation (1).
Benefits Of Red Wine
- Improves Heart Health. The antioxidants present in red wine increases the good cholesterol which helps prevent the cholesterol build-up in the arteries preventing heart diseases. Resveratrol present in red wine is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent (2). It also prevents immature fat cells from maturing. Quercetin is one of the most important flavonoids present in red wine, which exhibits cardioprotective properties (3).
- Lowers Bad Cholesterol. Red wine if increases the good cholesterol level, also, decreases the levels of bad cholesterol. It prevents the release the harmful compounds from dark meat that could raise the cholesterol level.
- Fights Diabetes. Red wine can lower down the blood glucose level for up to 24 hours. Consumption of red wine at moderate levels can reduce the risk of heart disease in a patient with diabetes (4). Red wine is studied to reduce the risk of developing type2 diabetes in women (5). The credit can be given to the polyphenols and tannic acid (a non-alcoholic compound) in red wine which helps manage the blood sugar levels (6). Also, resveratrol, one of the richest dietary sources present in red wine, improves the health of diabetic arteries.
- Fights Cancer. Studies conducted on moderate red wine consumption have shown that moderate red wine consumption is linked with a decrease in the risk of several cancers including colon cancer, basal cell carcinoma, ovary and prostate cancer (9). Alcohol and polyphenols in red wine have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system and cancer (7). Polyphenols also inhibit the proliferation of colon cancer cells. Resveratrol inhibits cell growth and induces cell death in the cancer cells. It directly binds with the DNA and RNA to activate the antioxidant enzyme thereby preventing inflammation (8, 10). It also makes cancer cells more sensitive by obstructing the proteins that inhibit chemotherapy treatment.
- Prevents Weight Gain. Resveratrol helps in converting bad fat into calorie-burning brown fat. It enhances the oxidation of dietary fats and prevents weight gain. Also, it’s known that a diet containing antioxidants helps in combating obesity. A study done on rats shows wine drinking animals consumed less food and gained less weight when compared with nondrinkers (11).
- Promotes Longevity. French scientist conducted a study on worms and discovered that resveratrol can increase life span by 60 percent. Researchers think it can have similar effects on humans, by activating an evolutionary stress response in humans. It is a perfect excuse to raise a glass to a long and active life (12).
- Reduces Stress. A glass of red wine a day can help relieve stress. It can have a calming effect without disturbing sleep cycle. The resveratrol activates certain genes that repair DNA, suppresses tumor genes, and promotes longevity. But it does not apply to the stress in pregnant females, as the alcohol can have a detrimental effect on the baby. A study on middle-aged and elderly people showed those who drank 2-7 glasses of red wine in a week were less likely to become depressed (13, 14).
- Improves Bone Strength. Resveratrol in red wine improves spine bone density in men suffering from metabolic syndrome (15). It stimulates the formation or mineralization of bone and its anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent bone loss. Resveratrol is known to stimulate the bone-forming cells in the body.
- Promotes Liver Health. A glass of wine every day is not only safe for the liver but also decreases the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (16)
- Boosts Brain Health. A research showed that a glass of red wine makes the grey matter work harder. The molecules in the wine have no taste, but stimulate the brain to create the taste or flavor in the wine drinker (17). Also, excessive alcohol consumption can deteriorate thinking skills and cause brain damage.
- Protects the Skin. A glass of red wine can make the skin glow and also cut the risk of precancerous skin lesions. It also restores the skin’s original glow. The polyphenols in wine can prevent cell oxidation which is responsible for skin aging. Resveratrol and its antioxidant properties work well against the oxidative stress which the skin cells are subjected to, mostly. It also protects the skin from the harmful UV-induced effects (18). Resveratrol also slows down the growth of bacteria which cause acne and prevents keratinocyte proliferation which causes acne lesions (19).
- Keeps Hair Healthy. Drinking red wine improves circulation, ensuring adequate blood to the scalp, thus preventing hair loss. Red wine can also be used as a conditioner post-shampoo. Resveratrol reduces inflammation and formation of dead cells thereby promoting hair growth.
So, we have enough reason to include this alcoholic beverage into the routine. It benefits, but its excess can actually be harmful. Drink it in moderation and enjoy the various benefits it serves.