Is Red Wine Good For You?
In these health-conscious times we live in, people are always watching what they eat. However, now it seems people are also starting to watch what they drink. Alcohol is usually blamed for many long-term health-related illnesses, but is it really
deserving of this reputation? Many wine enthusiasts will tell you about it, pointing out the "French Paradox" as evidence, but many people will ask, 'Is red wine good for you?". Despite the alcohol content, there is a lot of research that will lead people to believe that it may actually hold some health benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease, lowering high blood pressure, reducing cancer and even helping you to live longer. So let's take a look at this question and see if your everyday health could benefit from red wine.
First of all, no one should be led to believe that drinking wine is the cure for everything. When discussing the benefits of red wine, you need to moderate your intake to no more than two standard glasses per day. If you limit your intake to this, you can definitely get all the health benefits. The first benefit is the ability to lower the levels of low density lipoproteins, usually referred to as LDL or 'bad cholesterol', in your body. This is because a good glass of red has a number of antioxidants called flavonoids. In addition to this, it also has the added benefit of raising levels of high density lipoproteins, HDL or "good cholesterol", which adds to lowering the risk of heart-disease overall.
So how does this help you? By lowering the levels of LDL and increasing the levels of HDL, fatty deposits in your bloodstream are lowered significantly. By doing this, the risk of a heart attack is also significantly reduced.
Is a couple glasses of red only good for cardiovascular reasons? Actually, the health benefits of a glass or two of a good red extend beyond lowering the risk of heart disease. Because it is fermented with the grape skins on, which results in high amounts of antioxidants, a substance called resveratrol is present in large amounts. Research has shown that resveratrol has been linked to a reduction in the growth rate of cancerous tumours. Leading cancers, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, could be lower by people adopting a diet that includes red wine. In addition to this, resveratrol may even have properties that may benefit the formation of nerve cells. If this is true, treating certain neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease, could involve a diet that has red wine as a part of it.
Even with this research, is there any proof of this working outside of the research lab? Actually, there is! Everyone knows that saturated fats are linked with heart disease, but people or cultures who consume a "Mediterranean diet", which is high in saturated fats, actually have a lower rate of heart disease. The difference seems to be that this type of diet has a higher intake of red wine. As stated before, research suggest that the antioxidants in wines, particularly red varieties, serve to protect the lining of blood vessels in the body. Therefore, by lowering the rate of heart disease and possibly reducing the chances of cancer, drinking moderate amounts of red wine could extend your longevity!
The health benefits of red wine are well known and supported by a large section of the medical fraternity. Drinking moderate amounts of red wine has been linked to not only a reduction in cardiovascular disease but also has the possibility of lowering the risk of cancer. So the next time someone asks, 'Is red wine good for you?', you can safely answer with a resounding, "YES!". So open up a bottle of red wine and drink to your health!