10 Great Reasons to Drink Wine
You may view wine as nothing more than a drink to complement your dinner. But while wine has an amazing way of bringing out the taste in certain foods, this isn't the only reason to enjoy an occasional glass. (See also: 10 Affordable Wines)
In moderation, wine has many surprising health benefits. So before you grab a beer, tea, juice, or (especially) soda to go along with your lunch or dinner, consider these 10 great reasons to drink wine.
1. Good for the Heart
If you're looking to reduce your risk of a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, a daily glass of red or white wine might be your ticket to a healthier heart. Red wine contains the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce fat accumulation in arteries and improve heart function. And according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, white wines with high levels of the antioxidants tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol provide similar heart benefits.
2. Improves Lung Function
Not just a beverage for healthy heart function, white wine has also been linked to healthy lung function. University of Buffalo researchers reported, "drinking wine recently and over a lifetime was associated with better lung function." The study evaluated approximately 1,500 Caucasians and African-Americans with varying alcohol consumption and lifestyle habits. Participants were given a lung-function test, and based on the findings, the wine drinkers "had the highest levels of protective antioxidants in their blood" and better lung function.
3. Lowers the Risk of Cataracts
A family history of cataracts increases your risk for this eye disease, but there's good news if you're a red wine drinker. A 2001 study on age-related eye diseases in Iceland evaluated the link between cataract development and alcohol use. According to the study's findings, red wine had a noticeable protective effect, as both non-drinkers and "heavy drinkers of any sort of alcohol had a substantially increased risk for cataract development, while moderate red wine drinkers had only half the risk." The effects of white wine were not included in the study.
4. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Whether it's colon, prostate, or ovarian, the antioxidants in a glass of red wine can fill your body with cancer-fighting properties. "A glass of wine a day may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as half," according to Australian researchers.
A second study revealed that the "daily amount of resveratrol in two glasses of wine can reduce the rate of bowel tumors by around 50%." And while regular alcohol consumption typically increases the risk for breast cancer, moderate consumption of red wine has the opposite effect — actually lowering the risk of breast cancer, say scientists from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (See also: Natural Remedies for Stomach Pain)
5. Better Brain Function
Crossword puzzles and other brain activities can help ward off dementia and Alzheimer's. But while you're giving your brain a workout, don't forget to pour yourself a glass of wine. "Wine helps prevent clots and reduces blood vessel inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline," explains Tedd Goldfinger, DO, of the University of Arizona School of Medicine. (See also: How to Improve Your Memory and Get Smarter)
6. Stronger Bones
According to a recent study, milk isn't the only beverage of choice for strong, healthy bones. In postmenopausal women, one to two glasses of wine a day contributed to higher bone mass. This is because alcohol ups the body's production of estrogen, which reduces bone loss.
7. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
Moderate consumption of red wine helps control blood sugar. A 12-year study involving over 300,000 participates at Amsterdam's VU University Medical Center in 2005 revealed that "moderate drinkers have a 30 percent less chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared to their non-drinking counterparts." (See also: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes)
8. Healthier Skin
A good facial cream and skin cleanser aren't your only options for reversing the effects of aging. The antioxidants in wine, especially red wine, are shown to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. In moderation, wine can improve your overall appearance, helping your skin look its best.
9. Prevents Tooth Decay
You may steer clear of red wine in an effort to keep your teeth white. However, red wine is a key to healthy teeth. It reduces the risk of tooth decay, stops the growth of bacteria in the mouth, hardens the enamel, and reduces gum inflammation.
10. Lengthens Your Life
With all the amazing health benefits of wine, it's no surprise that moderate consumption can increase your lifespan. In fact, "Half a glass of wine a day can add five years to your life" claims a Dutch study that compared alcohol intake and mortality rates among 1,373 men within a 40-year timeframe.
And when compared to those who drink beer, an article published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis says, "drinkers of wine benefit from its cardio-protective effects, more so than those who drink beer or other spirits, and may also live longer."
Do you have another reason why it's great to drink wine? Let me know in the comments below.