Did you know about the benefits to drinking red wine?
There are more than a few, and they might surprise you.
Wine has been an important part of drinking and eating culture for centuries, the oldest winery, in fact, dates back to c. 4100BC in Armenia. The Greeks and Romans worshipped the gods of wine, Dionysus and Bacchus, and drinking wine has become a ritualistic part of many religions, including Judaism and Christianity. Today wine has been refined and adapted to produce a mix of tastes, from the light bodied and fruity tastes of a Pinot Noir to the full bodied and savoury tastes of a Malbec wine.
So why has wine grown to become one of the world’s most popular beverages, well perhaps it’s because of some of the health benefits to drinking red wine that come along with it. If you needed another reason to pour yourself a glass of wine, then here are a few healthy reasons.
1. Promotes Longevity of Life
A recent Finnish study published in the Journals of Gerontology discovered that wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than drinkers of spirits or beer. While this isn’t proof you would live longer by not drinking at all, if you decide to drink, a glass of wine is by far your best choice.
2. Reduces the Risk of Heart Attack and Heart Disease
A moderate consumption of wine, meaning one to two four-ounce glasses of wine a day, has been shown in studies by both US and UK universities to reduce the risk of heart attack by 30 percent, and to protect against heart disease. Wine not only helps reduce risk for non-drinkers with high-blood pressure, but the red-wine tannins (especially in wines from the southwest of France and Sardinia) contain procyanidins, which have been shown to lower the chances of heart disease in wine drinkers.
3. Reduces the Risk of Stroke
Because alcohol is a blood-thinner, the risk of a blood clot related stroke in people who consume alcohol drops significantly, by about 50 percent.
4. Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the components of red wine is the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, which protects against cell damage and help to prevent the mental decline that can be brought about by age.
5. Helps Improve your Physical Performance
Another of the many positive side effects of resveratrol, which is found in red wine, is that it helps to improve your muscle strength and mimics cardiovascular enhancements that occur usually when exercising. But this doesn’t mean you can always ditch the gym for a glass of vino.
Whatever your reason for drinking wine, keep in mind that all health benefits only exists when you consume responsibly and moderately. Cheers to your health!
Haley Hobart has been in the culinary industry for 10 years and frequently contributes to home recipes and DIY cooking sites with her expertise. She lives in London with her partner and rambunctious puppy, Shiloh.
Now updated with more science! (July 2016)
Thanks to our friends at Health Perch for the graphic, definitely head over to their site for the definitive list of red wine benefits.