People have been drinking wine for thousands of years, and pretty early on, scholars suspected that it might have a positive effect on people’s health. Back in ancient Greece, physicians used wine to lower fevers and relieve pain. For them, red wine was super healthy. More recently, scientists have taken a keen interest in studying red wine because of a phenomenon known as the French Paradox. Basically, people started to notice that the French had lower rates of heart disease, and wondered if a nightly glass of wine was the reason. Many studies have shown that red wine in moderation may have some health benefits, including longevity and lower blood pressure. But a new study indicates that red wine may be even better for you than you thought. Could red wine actually be healthy? Keep reading to find out!
A recent study linked drinking red wine to a decreased risk of heart disease, which is generally the leading cause of death in the U.S. This is big news, because the scientists conducting this study found that red wine might have cardioprotective effects – a question that has been up for debate. It’s possible that other factors play a role, such as a healthy lifestyle and diet. This is the latest study indicating potential good news for red wine lovers. Past research has shown that red wine may also support GI health and lower the risk of vision loss, dementia, and certain kinds of cancer.
What Makes Red Wine Healthy?
Red wine in particular has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to several natural compounds – most notably a polyphenolic compound called resveratrol. Resveratrol comes from grape skins, which are used to make red wine. Different types of red wine have different amounts of resveratrol. Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Pinot Noir tend to have the highest levels. Other naturally occurring compounds in red wine have additional health benefits. For instance, Shiraz, Cabernet, and Merlot all have an antioxidant called procyanidin, which inhibits the destruction of collagen and can even help protect your body against sun damage!
Moderation is Key
Any health benefits that have been linked to red wine are for moderate drinking – i.e., a glass or two per night. No one is recommending that you start drinking a lot more wine than you currently are. But when you’re debating which kind of alcohol to drink, there’s reason to think that pouring a glass of wine is a solid choice.