You have heard it all before, but let’s settle it once and for all. Is wine good for you? Well, we know that the Mediterranean diet is considered the ultimate in healthy eating and lifestyle, and wine forms a big part of it. So, that seems to suggest yes, right? Well, yes, wine is good for you. There is one caveat, of course, it’s only in moderation.
Excessive alcohol consumption will outweigh any potential benefits. However, enjoying wine moderately will provide you with health benefits.
Red or White, Everything in Moderation
So, what does moderate mean? We’ll get to that later. First, let’s take a look at what it will do for your health. Studies have shown that moderate wine consumption can reduce the risk of both heart disease and stroke. Wine does contain antioxidants, but not so high that it contributes to its nutritional value. You can find resveratrol in red wine, thanks to the grape skins, however, you would need to drink a whole lot of it to get much of it. Which, of course, would cancel out any benefits you would expect.
The biggest question we often hear is whether red wine or white wine is healthier. Most people automatically assume it’s red because of antioxidants like resveratrol. However, it really depends. For example, if you suffer from migraines or have asthma, red wine might be the wrong move as it’s higher in sulfites. In this case, white is a better choice for you.
Now, how much wine is the right amount? According to the Mayo Clinic, for women (and men over 65), seven, 5-ounce glasses (a week). Men (under 65) can handle twice the amount. This might be a blow to some of you, as it might mean cutting back. Ideally, you should give your body an alcohol break at least once or twice a week. That means you can enjoy two glasses on some evenings.
The Health Benefits
In addition to protecting against stroke and heart disease, a Swedish study suggests that wine can actually help women ward off dementia. More so when the only alcohol they consumed was wine.
Once again, it’s important to note that binge drinking or over-drinking will have the opposite effect. It can result in memory problems and neurological disorders, as well as heart disease, liver problems, and a variety of cancers.
In moderation, drinking wine can relieve stress and it can also positively impact your blood pressure. Those are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to ill health.
So, why does wine help if it isn’t the antioxidants? Ultimately, experts believe the truth of the matter is that it reduces anxiety. The next time you want to unwind and you choose to do so with a glass or two of wine – go for it. You don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying your favorite wine. As long as you stick to the guidelines as set forth by the Mayo Clinic, you will enjoy the health benefits.