If you are a wine lover, who enjoys drinking in moderation, it’s a good bet that you are enjoying good health as well. All the wine lovers I have met are usually in the pink of their health, irrespective of their age. These are people who enjoy sipping their wine, savoring its body and taste, they drink it moderation, more to enjoy its flavor than to get inebriated with it. Something told me wine was good for me, even as a youngster when I first tasted it. I fell in love with the taste of wine with my first sip, and to later learn that it’s medically proven to have health benefits only improved my sense of wellness.
There is something about wine that defines a sense of well-being. No wonder it’s a popular gift given around festivals. In several cultures it’s considered courteous to bring a bottle of wine over when you go to someone’s place for dinner. It’s rare to find people who don’t enjoy the taste of wine, even the relative non-drinkers like to have a glass of wine occasionally. The question being asked was whether wine is good for health? And much to the joy of wine drinkers, it’s been validated through several scientific studies that red wine has several health benefits when taken in moderation.
In this article we will discuss the health benefits of drinking red wine in particular. White wine is known to be beneficial for health too, but is not as potent as red wine because white grapes have less anti-oxidant compounds than red grapes.
How does red wine help digestion?
It has been found that red wine contains several anti-oxidant compounds called polyphenols, along with essential vitamins, minerals and sugars, that have a very positive effect on the physiological functions of the body.
The presence of anti-oxidative polyphenols seems to curb the growth of three destructive bacteria namely – H.pylori, E.coli and Salmonella. These bacteria are known to cause several digestive malfunctions, and can result in diseases like stomach ulcer, diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal infections.
Many fried foods, and food products manufactured for long-time storage, contain damaging compounds called the – lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH) and malonaldehydes (MDA). These compounds can cause several digestive issues, and are toxic to the body in general. Studies have indicated that drinking red wine, with such foods, helps neutralize the LOOH and MDA compounds in the food by up to 60-70%, thus making the food more wholesome for digestion.
If you like to eat red meat, you will find that drinking red wine with it helps you digest the meat better. It’s has been found that red meat, and some other non-vegetarian foods, have the capacity to release some harmful chemicals in the digestive tract during digestion. Red wine has the tendency to neutralize these harmful chemicals before they can do any harm to the body. This capacity to neutralize toxins comes from the presence of beneficial polyphenols in the red wine.
You must remember that it’s the presence polyphenols in red wine that helps digestion, not the alcohol content. Alcohol does not necessarily have any beneficial effect on digestion, but can curb the digestive process when taken in excess.
Also note that white wine is not as beneficial as red wine when it comes to helping with digestion. This way red wine also helps in losing weight.
Other health benefits of red wine
The role of red wine in aiding digestion is in itself a big plus point, but that’s not all. There are several other benefits of drinking wine, in moderation, owing to the presence of compounds like resveratrol and anti-oxidative polypenols. Here a list of the various health benefits of drinking red wine.
- Red wine helps regulate the cholesterol levels in the blood, by reducing the low density lipo protein (bad cholesterol) and increasing the high density lipo protein (good cholesterol).
- Drinking wine helps prevent the formation of plague, or blockage, along the arteries and thus protects against cardiovascular diseases.
- A research conducted in Japan, suggests that drinking red wine in moderation can help treat impotence.
- Red wine is a mild sedative and can help people with nervous disorders, or those who suffer from anxiety and stress. It can also help you sleep better, when taken in moderation.
- The presence of anti-oxidative compounds in red wine helps prevent cancer formation, by neutralizing dangerous free radicals in the body.
Can you lose weight by drinking wine? A glass of red wine contains close 100 calories, and there is no such thing as a diet wine, so red wine for weight loss is not really a reality, but as mentioned above, red wine is excellent for controlling your blood cholesterol levels and protects you from the hazardous effects of “fried” foods.
Who hasn’t heard of the “French Paradox”? The French are notorious for their consumption of food rich in fat content but have reported very low rates of coronary disease, and in fact are known to be a very healthful community. The secret to their health was found to be their habit of drinking red wine on daily basis.
Red wine has been known to be a medical aid to the body even back in the ancient ages. Hippocrates, who lived around 450 B.C, is known to have documented the use of red wine for several curative purposes including treatment of digestive disorders and as a diuretic. It’s great to have such a delicious beverage be a healthy addition to our diet. I for one needed no scientific evidence to prove the health benefits of red wine, my gut intuition was clear about it the moment I took my first sip.
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