Health Benefits of Red Wines
One to Two Glasses a Day
Plato may have been wiser than he knew when he said, "Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man."
Those of us who have come to enjoy the variety and tastes that wine have to offer can now look to red wines for greater health benefits.
Recent studies show that drinking one glass of red wine every day may have certain health benefits. Research indicates that moderate red wine consumption may help protect against certain cancers and heart disease, and can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Healing Powers of Antioxidants
The compounds found in red wine that are responsible for its healing powers are antioxidants. Red wines contain several antioxidants beneficial to good health.
Different antioxidants have different functions, but the key feature of all these antioxidants appears to be one of protection and prevention of disease.
Heart Disease, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Stroke
The antioxidants in red wines have been shown to provide certain health benefits. Antioxidants act like warriors, preventing the oxidation process whereby reactive particles known as "free radicals" cause damage to healthy cells.
For the moderate drinker, drinking one to two glasses of wine daily, the antioxidants in red wine offer some protection against heart disease.
Experts believe that red wine contains certain compounds that help protect the heart. The French seem to know something about the health benefits of red wine. In a study that compared French and German red wines, the French red wines delivered a greater health benefit due to their higher level of antioxidants. This may partially account for the "French paradox," where studies show that in areas of France where the diet is high in fat those who drink red wine with meals have a lower incidence of heart attack than other parts of the world. Due to vast differences in diets, the evidence is inconclusive, but experts believe that red wine contains certain compounds that help protect the heart. This has opened the door for other researchers to study the components in red wine that may be responsible for its health benefits.
Moderation is Key
The key to reaping the health benefits of red wine seems to be moderate consumption. Drinking one glass a day for women and up to two glasses a day for men may decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke. Excessive or binge drinking, however, doesn't produce the same benefits. In other words, when it comes to red wine: more is not better.
What is Moderation?
In the US, drinking in moderation means one glass for women, and one to two glasses for men.
The definition of moderation is different in the United Kingdom and European Union, however. The "sensible limits" in the UK and EU are two to three glasses of red wine per day for women and three to four glasses for men.