Long week? Pour yourself a glass of wine – not just because you totally deserve it, but red wine actually has tons of health benefits. (Just remember not to do overdo it. One glass is all you need – two or more hurts your liver, and increases your risk of drunk-texting your ex.)
Red wine can help prevent heart disease and cancer
The grapes in wine have powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. One polyphenol called procyanidin can improve heart function and blood pressure and protect you from heart disease. Another polyphenol, resveratrol, can reduce your risk for cancer.
Red wine can prevent cavities
Red wine has more polyphenols because it uses the whole grape, including skin and seeds. However, polyphenol content varies from wine to wine because of the type of grape and how it’s processed. Cabernet sauvignons, petit syrahs and pinot noirs tend to have the most levels. Also, the drier the wine, the more polyphenol it has.
A 2014 study found that red wine killed more cavity-causing bacteria than water with alcohol. It still won’t beat toothpaste and mouthwash, but at least you can say it’s better for your teeth than soda.
Red wine can help with your allergies
Some research suggests that the quercetin in wine can lower the histamine in your body. But it can work both ways. For some people, alcohol triggers nasal allergy and asthma. And there are some medications that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol at all.
However, there is strong evidence that red wine can help minimize the irritation caused by annoying co-workers and relatives.
Red wine can protect the brain
Studies show that years of a moderate wine intake (just one or two glasses a few times a week) can slow down cognitive impairments caused by ageing.
While scientists are still studying how wine protects the brain, their initial research point to the compounds that wine leaves in the gut. These compounds (called metabolites) prevent neural cells from dying.
Red wine can help prevent diabetes
A study conducted found that drinking wine 3 to 4 times a week can lower a woman’s risk for diabetes by 32%, and a man’s risk by 27%.
The researchers – who studied over 70,000 people over 5 years – had three groups of participants. The first group drank white one every night, the second group drank red wine, and the third group just drank water.
They found that those who drank red wine had better blood sugar (and even cholesterol!) than those who drank plain water.