Wine, and especially red wine, is known for being good for one’s health. Besides, if you are searching for a cutter that you can use to repurpose old wine bottles and you are looking for a detailed review of the options that are available, check it out here. In this article, we explore what the specialists have to say about the health effects of red wine on one’s health.
Red wine has been consumed socially for hundreds of years. In fact, in medieval times, it was believed that the reason why monks lived longer was because of their regular drinking of wine. In recent years, scientists have decided to put these suppositions to the test in order to find out whether or not they are true.
Some studies have indicated that, when consumed moderately, red wine can have positive effects on people who suffer from type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and neurological medical conditions.
What is the French paradox and why does it matter?
One of the most popular phrases that you might run into when reading about the benefits of red wine is the French paradox. The French paradox refers to the idea that drinking wine is the reason why French people experience low rates of heart diseases, even though they are also known for consuming fatty foods such as cheeses.
However, as the specialists have demonstrated, this notion that simply incorporating wine in your diet is the key to avoiding heart diseases is simply unfounded. Research shows that, in a way, the French paradox is not even a paradox, as the reason why the French have low rates of heart diseases has much more to do with the fact that they eat considerable amounts of whole foods and they lead, on average, healthier lifestyles.
Moreover, new studies show that, when consumed in moderation, saturated fats and dietary cholesterol do not cause heart diseases.
Why is wine good?
The main reason why red wine is good for one’s health, once again, when consumed in moderation, has a lot to do with the fact that it is rich in antioxidants. If you have a diet that is rich in antioxidants, you can prevent the process of oxidation that naturally occurs in your body and that leads to the production of free radicals, or of unstable chemicals that can damage your cells.
Red grapes are rich in numerous types of antioxidants such as resveratrol, proanthocyanidins, catechin, and epicatechin. Out of them all, proanthocyanidins and resveratrol are the ones the specialists believe are the most responsible for the benefits that red wine has on one’s health.
Proanthocyanidins are believed to protect the cardiovascular system, as these antioxidants block the formation of nitrosamines.
Resveratrol is also found in grapes. This antioxidant can fight off inflammation, it reduces the risk of blood clotting, heart diseases, and cancer. However, it should be pointed out that the amount of resveratrol that can be found in red wine is minimal. To put this into perspective, you should drink a couple of bottles of wine per day to see results. As expected, doing so is by no means recommended.
Therefore, if the main reason why you drink red wine is to get your daily dose of resveratrol, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor and that you opt for a supplement instead. If you want to boost your daily intake of resveratrol, but you do not want to drink red wine, you can do so by consuming red grapes, dark chocolate, blueberries, and peanut butter.
Another aspect about resveratrol that should not be ignored is the fact that all the claims of its effects are based on studies carried out on mice.
To avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, that will damage your heart, you should follow the official guidelines proposed by the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC, women should drink one glass of wine per day, while men should not exceed 2 glasses. To be more precise, one glass of wine is the equivalent of 5 ounces of liquid.
If you want to keep your heart healthy, some research has shown that those who drink 5 oz. of red wine per day are 32% less likely to develop heart diseases when compared to non-drinkers. Yet, drinking more than the recommended 5 oz. of wine can actually dramatically increase the risks of developing heart diseases.
If you are at risk of suffering from heart problems, drinking one glass of red wine per day might be of help. Additionally, it seems like middle-aged men who drink 1 to 3 glasses of wine 3 to 4 times a week have a lower risk of suffering from a stroke.
If you have high blood pressure, you can opt to drink dealcoholized wine, as this might help you lower your blood pressure.
Gut health and type 2 diabetes
Studies have also indicated that the polyphenols that can be found in red wine can also improve your gut flora. Yet, the research in this field is limited and, thus, you should not solely rely on your intake of wine to ensure that your gut microbiota is healthy.
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, research has shown that the ethanol found in red wine can help you metabolize glucose. Still, because the findings of the studies carried out to analyze this hypothesis are not 100% clear, as a diabetic, you should talk to your doctor before you consume any type of alcohol, including red wine.
While there are studies that show that moderate consumption of red wine can reduce the risk of cancer, you should keep in mind that the National Cancer Institute demonstrates that there is an unquestionable link between alcohol drinking and a wide array of types of cancer, including, throat, liver, colon, breast and mouth cancer.
This happens because alcohol creates toxins within the body that end up damaging your body tissues by creating oxidation. Once again, red wine is only beneficial for your health if you respect the daily intake recommended by the CDC.
While alcohol is the main cause of liver damage, a moderate intake of wine can prove beneficial, according to a study from 2018. However, because the impact of wine consumption on the liver is unclear, people who suffer from liver diseases should avoid any type of alcoholic drinks.
Red wine and sleep
If you like drinking red wine before you go to sleep because you feel that this makes you fall asleep better, the specialists recommend that you change your habits, especially if you have a tendency to drink in excess.
The studies show that if you drink too much before you go to bed, you won’t be able to get a restful night of sleep. This happens because alcohol actually suppresses your REM or the rapid-eye-movement sleep that is often associated with dreaming and memory retention.
To break your habit of drinking wine right before going to bed, it is advisable that you switch to drinking 5 oz. of wine with your dinner or earlier in the evening.
The president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, dr. Ilene Rosen, recommends that people refrain from using alcohol, including wine, as a sleep aid. Moreover, those who also take sleeping pills at night should never consume wine, as the mix of the two can prove, in some circumstances, deadly.
If you want to get rid of your insomnia and to change your sleeping habits, the specialists argue that the best thing that you can do is to create a sleeping schedule that you stick to, not only during the workweek but also during weekends.
As we have pointed out, moderate consumption of wine brings about some health benefits. Yet, drinking too much alcohol can have serious negative effects on your health as it can cause heart problems, liver damage, pancreatitis, cancer, strokes, and mental disorders.
Because red wine contains more calories than sugar soft drinks and beer, drinking wine in excessive amounts can make you gain weight. Moreover, heavy drinkers are predisposed to suffer from depression.
All in all, even though some research links red wine consumption to some health benefits, there are no studies that recommend alcohol consumption per se. So, if you want to improve your health, you should also look into other methods.