The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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There are many myths and rumors surrounding alcohol, and it seems that the scientific evidence and suggestions surrounding beer, wine and other forms of alcohol are almost constantly changing. In the past, many people believed that drinking even a moderate amount of alcohol was damaging to a person’s health. However, there is now sufficient evidence to suggest that drinking a glass of wine a day can actually benefit your health. For this reason, we’ll now look at four of the main health benefits that wine can provide.


Benefits Cardiovascular Health


Red wine contains high amounts of resveratrol, a chemical that has been shown to boost heart health. Some studies have shown that resveratrol can improve heart health by affecting the balance of microbes in your intestines. Drinking alcohol has also been proven to increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in your red blood cells and plasma, which in turn provides many cardiovascular benefits. Furthermore, research has shown that moderate drinkers with high blood pressure have 30-percent lower chance of having a heart attack than those who abstain from drinking alcohol entirely.


Although resveratrol is highest in red wine, most of the other cardiovascular benefits are provided by virtually any type of wine. This means that you can still boost your heart health no matter whether you’re drinking a dry white wine, champagne or a delicious dessert wine like a Sauternes blend.


Cancer Protection and Prevention


Resveratrol has been shown to reduce the size of bowel tumors and also lower a person’s risk of colon cancer. However, red wine has actually been linked to a decreased risk of many different types of cancer. Although alcohol consumption has been linked to an increase in cancer, there are also several chemicals present in the seeds and skins of grapes that may lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer—especially as she approaches menopause.


Furthermore, moderate amounts of red wine have been linked to an improvement in lung function and can lower the risk of lung cancer spreading to other parts of the body. In addition, men who drink red wine apparently have a 50 percent lower chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to those men who never drink red wine.


Prevents Cataracts and Vision Loss


Drinking wine in moderation also provides important benefits to your vision. Macular degeneration and many other causes of vision loss have been linked to an overgrowth of the blood vessels in the eye, and there is some evidence to show that the resveratrol found in wine may help to prevent these forms of vision loss. Individuals who drink alcohol in moderation also have a much lower risk of developing cataracts. However, the risk is even lower for those who drink wine compared to people who predominantly drink beer.


Reduces Risk of Dementia, Diabetes and Strokes


Research has shown that people who drink alcohol in moderation have a much lower decline in brain function as they age compared to non-drinkers. This indicates that drinking wine can help to prevent age-related mental decline and may even help to delay or prevent dementia. Resveratrol is again thought to be responsible for this lowered risk of dementia. The reason is that the chemical helps to keep the blood vessels more open and flexible, which in turn increases the rate of blood flow to the brain.


As you can see, drinking a glass or two of wine on occasion can actually benefit your health. Of course, it is important that you drink in moderation. Drinking too excess will generally negate any of the positive benefits provided by the wine. Nonetheless, if you’re looking to give your health a quick boost, it seems that a glass of wine is a good place to start.




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