How many poems, songs, and paintings were inspired by wine? It’s clear that we humans have had a love affair with the fermented grape for thousands of years – but is that relationship doing us any favors?
Some very interesting studies all appear to indicate that wine has some health benefits far beyond what we originally thought. Of course, as with all things, moderation is key. Most of the studies mentioned in this article looked at individuals who drink a single glass of wine a day. That’s 5 ounces; not exactly a happy hour.
Still, who’s going to complain about being allowed a glass of wine every day? Here are some of the things you get to look forward to as a result…
It Can Help Protect Your Memory
One study focusing on women in their 70s discovered that those who drink wine each day tended to have much sharper and clearer memories than those who did not drink. The theory behind this phenomenon is that red wine acts as a blood thinner. When circulation to the brain is improved, the memory functions much better. Red wine may also help reduce the risk of blood clots in the brain leading to stroke and memory loss.
It’s Heart Healthy
Wine contains antioxidants which have been shown to promote heart health in many different studies. Red wine also contains tannins, which in turn carry procyanidins. Procyanidins have been shown to protect against heart disease by keeping arteries healthy. Interestingly, a study found that wines produced specifically in southwestern France and Sardinia have the most procyanidins, thanks to the traditional winemaking that still takes place in these areas.
It Helps Prevent Type II Diabetes
One 12-year study out of Amsterdam found that those who drank wine daily were 30% less likely to develop type II diabetes during their lives than those who do not drink at all.
It Lowers the Risk of Infection
Having a little wine in your system appears to protect you from certain nasty germs – specifically Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for many gastrointestinal viruses, stomach ulcers, and even stomach cancer. Red wine drinkers also appear to be far less likely to suffer from salmonella food poisoning. Of course, if you do suspect that you have food poisoning, guzzling a glass of wine is probably not going to help you at that point. Definitely see a doctor.
It Promotes Longevity
One study indicates that wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than beer or liquor drinkers. This tendency for longevity might be thanks to all of the previously mentioned benefits of wine. If you have better circulation, you are less likely to have heart issues, chronic pain, or declining memory. If your body is in great working order like that, you are probably able to get a healthy amount of exercise in, which can help promote overall health.
Now of course, doctors do not recommend that you pick up a wine drinking habit if you are not already accustomed to doing so. Drinking in moderation is the safest route to follow, because overdoing it on alcohol consumption can lead to a whole other host of problems.
Still, if you have already been enjoying a nightly glass of wine, the evidence seems to suggest you may be doing your heart, your brain, and your body good.