Over the years, a lot of research has been conducted on wine to analyze its benefits. Most of the benefits of red wine are due to its resveratrol content, an ingredient found in the skin and seeds of grapes that protects the plant against bacteria, fungi, and UV radiation. Red wine is a richer source of resveratrol than white because it is fermented with the skins and done so for a longer period of time.
Let's remind you that drinking wine can be good for your health only if it's consumed moderately; one drink per day for women… and two per day for men. Drinking too much and exceeding the recommended amounts can be dangerous and may, on the contrary, pose health risks.
Many studies have shown the benefits of alcohol (including wine) on your heart. Drinking moderately prevents the formation of blood clots, helps in raising HDL (good cholesterol) in blood, and dilates arteries, increasing blood flow and reducing the risk of artery damage caused by LDL (bad cholesterol); it therefore lowers the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Scientists have also found that moderate wine drinkers have higher levels of omega 3 in their blood, which also protects against heart disease.
Extensive studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine may help against many types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, liver, and lung cancer; in some cases it can reduce the risk by up to 50% thanks to phenolic compounds, resveratrol, and other antioxidants. Red wine slows down the growth of cancer cells and helps fight it.
It has been shown that red wine also helps fight against age related osteoporosis in women; research has shown that those who drink it moderately have stronger bones than those who don't. Even in men, bone thinning is relatively reduced in moderate red wine drinkers compared to non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.
In mice, resveratrol has been found to reduce insulin resistance, improving the body's sensitivity towards insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. Patients with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance and drinking a moderate amount of red wine may help against it.
Thousands years ago, monks were believed to live longer because of their wine consumption. The star component of red wine, resveratrol, has shown anti-aging properties, keeping blood vessels young and healthy. Other key compounds found in wine, including procyanidins and flavonoids, help reduce skin damage caused by exposure to the sun's UV light.
Dementia is a decline in mental ability that gets worse with time. Medical research has found that drinking wine may cut the risk of dementia. Resveratrol in red wine prevents the narrowing of blood vessels, which helps the brain to attain sufficient blood supply and preserve memory.
There is also evidence that drinking alcohol (especially red wine) may lower the risk of cataracts, a clouding of the eye's lens which causes a decrease in vision. Some studies also suggest consuming a moderate amount of red wine protects against age related blindness due to its resveratrol content.
Drinking wine may lower the risk of depression in women, regardless of their lifestyle. It is still not clear why… but it's definitely good news for wine lovers. Keep in mind that excessive drinking can produce the opposite effect, so form your habits wisely.