There is a lot of confusion about red wine and its health benefits. Many people believe that red wine is healthy, but they are not sure why. It is an alcoholic beverage, and many people really like it, so there are few negative feelings about it being healthy. So, is it really healthy? Let’s find out together!
Red Wine and Alcohol
The first and biggest alarm is the fact that red wine contains alcohol. Indeed, any drink with alcohol in it cannot be considered healthy, right? Or is it? Alcohol, which is widely consumed in many countries, can affect our bodies in many ways. Before we discuss the specific effects of drinking red wine, let’s briefly discuss the main effects of alcohol on our bodies.
Negative Effects of Alcohol
The negative effects of drinking alcohol are numerous and well known, and here are some of them. These results apply mainly to long-term alcohol consumption and, therefore, to regular red wine consumption.
-Increased risk of liver disease with prolonged alcohol consumption
-Increased risk of stroke with 1.5 drinks of alcohol
-Increased risk of cancer with 2 or more alcoholic drinks per day
-Increased risk of breast cancer in women who drink more than one glass of alcohol per day
Positive Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol is not all disadvantageous. There are some well-known positive effects that drinking (in moderation) can have on your body. For instance, a glass or so a day may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and there may be a link between moderate alcohol consumption and a reduced risk of lung cancer
All in all, it doesn’t seem so bad, as long as you can limit your consumption. However, it appears that other substances make red wine even healthier:
Red wine is rich in polyphenols, which are chemical compounds found in plants such as Tannins. Tannins in red wine are known as the substances that give it its dark red color and slightly bitter taste. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that also belongs to the polyphenol family, and resveratrol is a type of polyphenol known for its health benefits. It is found in abundance in red wine.
This is a strange set of terms, but how do these make red wine healthy? The most commonly heard benefit is that these polyphenols are good for blood pressure, but this is just one of the positive effects of polyphenols on the body.
Let’s see the different effects of flavonoids and resveratrol on the human body.
Red wine is a rich source of flavonoids, which are antioxidants. As you read in the previous section, these flavonoids belong to the polyphenol family. Consuming these flavonoids can provide several health benefits.
However, more research is still needed to determine the actual effects of flavonoids in red wine. Several studies have focused on this, but no clear answer seems to have been found. Therefore, we cannot conclude with certainty that antioxidants (flavonoids) are responsible for the health-promoting effects of red wine, but the research results point in that direction.
This substance is found primarily in grape skins. Therefore, resveratrol in white wine is much less than in red wine. Resveratrol appears to have several beneficial effects. For example, it is said to be effective in preventing certain types of cancer and heart disease. This compound has been associated with reducing the risk of some cardiovascular diseases and may also have other health benefits.
In other words, consuming red wine is a great way to get a large dose of resveratrol. This can be seen as a beneficial aspect of red wine and plays a vital role in why many people consider red wine to be healthy.
Red Wine and Stress Reduction
One of the most often forgotten benefits of red wine for health is stress reduction. People who have had a stressful day often opt for a glass of alcohol in the evening. Red wine is often chosen to help clear the head and relax at the end of the day. Hence, the use of alcohol (in moderation) helps to reduce the body’s cortisol level.
Conclusion: Is Red Wine Good for You?
Ultimately, red wine is not good for your health. The disadvantages are far greater than the benefits of drinking alcohol. The cardiovascular benefits of drinking wine due to the presence of polyphenols can also be obtained by consuming a variety of other fruits and vegetables. However, this does not mean that you should stop consuming red wine completely. If you want to relax with a drink every once in a while, you can.