The Health Benefits of Red Wine

Every red wine has its own personality – a distinct smell and a bitter, dry, or silky aged taste. We enjoy a nice glass of wine when out for a nice meal, using it to bring out the flavors of some of the best foods, or while relaxing at home with family or friends. Scientists have long been promoting the incorporation of red wine into a healthy diet. They know that the health benefits of red wine, when consumed in moderation, can be life-altering. Here’s why.

Antioxidant Effects

The skin of the red grapes used to make red wine contains a chemical called resveratrol. Resveratrol is considered to be an antioxidant. Antioxidants work by repairing damage done to your body’s cells by the oxygen byproducts created in the body by the free radicals in the air. Ingesting high levels of this compound mean your chances of developing heart disease and some types of cancer are decreased.

Red Wine and Sleep

A lack of good, quality sleep can be detrimental to your health. Those who don’t get enough sleep at night may have trouble concentrating, become disoriented, become depressed, become obese, or even develop diabetes and heart disease. The good news is that red wines contain melatonin, a chemical your body needs to help you to sleep properly. As long as your sleep problems aren’t caused by some other medical disorder, drinking a glass of red wine before bed each night may help you to drift off into a more peaceful slumber.

Cancer Prevention

Red wine has also been proven to help lower the risks of developing certain forms of cancer. Regularly consuming red wine can reduce the chances of prostate cancer in men by up to 50% or more. Moderate consumption by females can help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer – though it is important to note that drinking more than 1-2 glasses per day can actually increase breast cancer risks. A study conducted in Spain even concluded the consumption of red wine can reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. This happens because the resveratrol works to stop cancer-causing DNA mutations. It also works to block the development of cancer cells, stunting the growth and spread of the disease.

More about Resveratrol

The resveratrol mentioned before is more than an antioxidant. The longer the skin stays on the grapes during the fermentation process, the higher the resveratrol level will be in your bottle of red wine. The chemical can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, is known to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and can reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Red Wine in Moderation

Remember, the key to enjoying the health benefits of red wine is to consume it in moderation. Most doctors suggest no more than 1-2 glasses per evening. Women are encouraged to drink only one, because of the aforementioned risks of breast cancer. Drinking too much wine will have the opposite effect – potentially causing heart disease, obesity, liver damage, alcohol abuse problems, and other complications. Drink your red wine responsibly and you may just increase your lifespan!

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


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