GOOD NEWS! For those of you who like to drink red wine there is now research to show that it can actually be a healthy part of our diet, as long as we take it in moderation.
So what are those health benefits?
Drinking red wine can help prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease
Red wine is known to contain resveratrol and other substances, which reduce the impact of the processes in the body that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, including decreasing the levels of amyloid plaques. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the build-up of amyloid proteins in the brain that can clump together to form balls of different shapes and sizes. These balls latch on to the surface of nerve cells in the brain, causing them to misfire and eventually die.
Drinking red wine can reduce the likelihood of weight-gain in women
Compared with nondrinkers, initially normal-weight women who consumed a light to moderate amount of alcohol gained less weight and had a lower risk of becoming overweight and/or obese during 12.9 years of follow-up. The research, concluded in 2009, looked at the impact of drinking 4 different types of alcoholic drink and found: An inverse association between alcohol intake and risk of becoming overweight or obese was noted for all 4 types of alcoholic beverages, with the strongest association found for red wine. It does go on to say that beyond a certain level of alcohol it ceased to have such an effect, basically suggesting moderate intake of 1 glass per day was the beneficial level. Part of the reason that the impact is specifically for women was explained as being because men tend to drink wine alongside food whereas the research found that women were likely to replace food with wine. Additionally they found that energy expenditure changed moderately in men after drinking wine but in women their metabolism used more energy than the wine will have given them, leading to a net loss in calories. To read more about this piece of research click here.
Red wine is good for our teeth and helps prevent gum disease
Research into the potential anti-microbial effects of red wine found that it is effective in removing bacteria commonly present in the mouth that can be damaging to teeth but which also potentially lead to other infections in the body such as respiratory illness and others, particularly in people with a weakened immune system. For example it was found to be effective against streptococcus oralis which is one of the main causes of periodontal (gum) disease.
Natural Wine: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally
We may already know that red wine can support a happy heart, but it may also be heart healthy because of the anti-oxidants within it called polyphenols (resveratrol is the main active polyphenol in red wine) ensuring the blood vessels do not become rigid and they reduce the risk of clotting.
Other research, although I haven’t been able to find the original academic study from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain., apparently show that red wine, particularly varieties such as Tempranillo and Merlot, can cause a reduction in LDL cholesterol which is the cause of plaque build up in arterial walls leading to increased blood pressure and heart attack.
Here’s a video about resveratrol and the benefits of red wine, although it suggests we may need resveratrol from other sources in addition to red wine. (It is also found in blueberries, raspberries, grapes and mulberries).
Stellar Organics Running Duck Merlot 2013 Wine 75 cl (Case of 6)
Lower weight gain for women – http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=415737
Good for teeth and may prevent cavities – http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf501768p
Red wine, particularly Merlot, helps reduce blood vessel stiffness: https://www.infona.pl/resource/bwmeta1.element.springer-3118b0ca-327a-38d7-8dc0-d4666a63c428
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What other health benefits from drinking red wine are you aware of?