It sounds unlikely – a recommendation on a health and fitness blog to drink more wine. But there’s truth in it, at least in part. Most of us have heard various wives’ tales about the health benefits of red wine, but we tend to pay them little attention. The science backs up the claims, though: moderate consumption of wine can bring health and wellness to your body all the way from your heart to your gut. In fact, it could even help in your weight loss efforts. Much of the hype around wine’s wellness benefits surrounds the resveratrol compound found in grapes, and especially prevalent in the seeds and skin. Here’s what you need to know to justify your evening glass as all being for the sake of good health.
We all know that fermented foods are great for the body, and for the digestive system in particular. That’s why foods like kimchi, yogurt and fermented cheese are so healthy – they are loaded with enzymes, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. The even better news is that wine works in the same way; fermentation is key to the process of making wine, and that means your glass of red packs in the same types of goodness.
It helps keep your heart healthy
As well as helping to lower levels of bad cholesterol, protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart, and control blood sugar levels, red wine is believed to cut the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to protect against coronary heart disease, are thought to be boosted by moderate consumption of wine.
It can help you lose weight
Research has shown that chemicals including ellagic acid found in dark red grapes may be able to help burn the body more fat, particularly in the liver. This in turn could help to improve liver function in overweight people. The scientist who conducted the study, which was carried out on mice, believes that the acid may have similar effects in lowering blood sugar and triglyceride levels as medicines prescribed to those struggling with obesity.
Of course, gaining health benefits from wine means consuming it in moderation – just as with anything. Drinking excessive amounts won’t suddenly ramp up the goodness you derive from it, after all, and no-one is suggesting that non-drinkers should take up the habit in pursuit of good health. Studies tend to disagree as to the level of consumption that offers the greatest benefits, but experts generally recommend a glass or two a day of red wine as being moderate. Women should aim for the lower end of this spectrum, while men can afford to drink slightly more, since the male liver contains generally higher levels of an enzyme that works to metabolize alcohol.
What’s more, science has generally suggested that it’s red wine that is beneficial to your health rather than white – though one study by the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry suggests that white wine may offer the same heart-protecting qualities. White wine is also thought to be good for healthy lung function, while this is one area in which red wine doesn’t appear to be of much help.
Learn more about how you can develop a balanced diet – incorporating the foods and drinks you already love – by contacting us today.