Science Raises A Glass, Or Two, To The Positive Benefits Of Wine.
In times of celebration, a wine toast may be just one of the most awaited part by many. Popping open the cork while the velvety oaked aroma fills the air and flowing effervescent liquid comes out from the bottle gives excitement to everyone. The bubbly wine is usually used to commemorate joyous occasions in one’s life as it symbolizes royalty and reflects love. But aside from taking part in celebrations, the health benefits of wine shouldn’t be discounted either.
Wine has undergone intensive studies over the years and it has been proven to be an effective elixir. Who says a man needs a fountain of youth to live a long life? Pour yourself a glass of wine from the wine cooler and bottle up some knowledge to find out the surprising benefits.
1. Drinking Wine Supports Longevity of Life
Resveratrol is a polyphenol that can be found most especially in red wines. It is a powerful antioxidant that can be found in grape skin and red grape juice. Antioxidants help the body fight off free radicals that can damage our cells and organs.
Studies show that resveratrol promotes health and longevity by increasing the activity of a protein called sirtuins. (1) And that alcohol consumption, particularly wines, have shown health benefits that lead to longer life spans. Nonetheless, these studies emphasize that positive benefits only come with moderate consumption.
2. Drinking Wine Helps Keep Our Hearts Healthy
According to World Health Organization (WHO), CVD is the number 1 cause of mortality and morbidity all around the globe. (2) Luckily, drinking 4 to 8 ounces of wine per day may lower the risk of having CVD because of the polyphenols that it contains.
These polyphenols once again are called resveratrol which can help: protect the lining of the blood vessel in the heart; decrease your bad cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL); increase good cholesterol known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and prevent the formation of blood clots. (3)
3. Drinking Wine Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 Diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus) is a lifelong metabolic disorder that is characterized by the way your body metabolizes glucose (sugar). Sugar levels build up in your bloodstream because there’s no enough insulin that can regulate the movement of sugar into your cells. (4) According to American Diabetes Association (ADA), drinking red wine – or any moderate amount of alcoholic beverages can lower blood sugar up to 24 hours.
However, people with Type-2 Diabetes have typically been advised to reduce their alcohol consumption to have a better control of their blood glucose levels. Because of this, ADA recommends checking your blood sugar before you drink, while you drink and after you drink to make sure that it is on the safe level.
4. Wine Has Been Found To Have Anticancer Effects
Antioxidants found in wine such as resveratrol, quercetin, catechin and gallic acid are known to destroy cancer cells and improve the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy cancer treatments. They can also make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation whilst making normal tissue less sensitive. (5)
A recent study shows that three or more glasses wine in a week can lower the chances of having abnormal colon growth that can lead to colon cancer and researchers have also found that an average of four to seven glasses per week gives only 52% chances to men of having prostate cancer than for those who do not drink. What’s even more interesting? Red grapes, one of the basic ingredients in red wine, suppresses the activity of aromatase which can be an effective approach to preventing the development of breast cancer too.
5. The Nutrients In Wine Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
People always have the fear of losing all their precious memories. Some believe it is inevitable, however, there are literally hundreds of ways that one can prevent it. One of these methods is by drinking wine.
Dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental process that is gradually taking place during old age. Studies show that wine consumption can reduce the risk of having dementia which often leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Again, resveratrol found in wines help in keeping blood vessels open, so that essential supply of oxygen and glucose can move freely to the brain to keep it alive and working. (6)
6. Drinking Wine Can Keep Depression At Bay
This may sound contradicting, as most people know that alcohol consumption can worsen one’s depression or anxiety. In spite of that, drinking a glass of wine per week can turn into a depression-fighting depressant.
A seven-year study conducted by PREDIMED analyzed 5,500 individuals of light to moderate drinkers and found that individuals who drank two to seven glasses of wine in a week were less prone to depression than non-drinkers. Again, this is about drinking in moderation because on the same study those who drank heavy alcoholic beverages were more prone to depression. (7)
7. Drinking Wine Can Give You Healthier Skin
High levels of antioxidants in wine, when applied directly to the skin can inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria and are beneficial in maintaining a healthy skin. Antioxidants rejuvenate the skin, increase skin elasticity and keep the skin bright and glowing.
Drinking wine can also help by stimulating blood circulation to can prevent wrinkle formation and skin aging. However, when one drinks in excess, it makes hormone flow lose its balance and may cause skin dehydration and aggravate chances of acne. (8)
8. Drinking Wine Reduces The Risk Of Fatty Liver Disease
There are two types of fatty liver disease, one is an alcoholic liver disease (ALD) which is characterized by drinking lots of alcohol and the other is a non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) which cause is not clearly known but it has been associated with obesity. (9).
Nearly 12,000 individuals were studied and said to have NAFLD in the US and modest wine consumption has shown some benefit in reducing this disease. Drinkers who consume tolerable amounts, as compared to those who do not drink at all, have reduced their risk to NAFLD in half. Then again, modest beer or liquor drinkers have a greater probability of having NAFLD because alcohol is a known liver toxin. Antioxidants in wine help reduce damage in DNA cells, which could benefit damaged liver cells. (10)
9. Drinking Wine Can Help Prevent Obesity
There is a difference between overweight and obesity. Overweight refers to an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat and water. Obesity, on the other hand, refers to excessive amounts of body fat.
Based on Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, at least 2.8 million people in the world die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. (11) White wine, specifically, contains the antioxidants called epicatechin, quercetin, and resveratrol. These antioxidants can lower levels of cholesterol and may also support weight loss by burning belly fats and by decreasing inflammation commonly associated with obesity. (12)
10. Wine Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Stroke
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain has been blocked which is called the ischemic type of stroke or blood vessels within the brain burst which is called the hemorrhagic type of stroke. Whilst most alcohols are a well-established cause of strokes, wine has been linked to stroke prevention because of its unique chemical composition.
The resveratrol it contains decreases inflammation that can contribute to brain injury caused by strokes. Moreover, it fights free radicals that damage cells in the blood vessel and making the brain prone from bleeding and blockage before, during and after a stroke. Basically, the chemical reaction of resveratrol promotes the process called neuroprotection, which protects the nerves and surrounding blood vessel from damage. (13)
11. Drinking Wine Helps Boost Your Body’s Defenses
Drinking wine in moderation can help develop immunity that can fight against 200 viruses. It contains high levels of antioxidants in the form of flavonoids which can combat strongly against viruses. (15) As a proof, red wine can help cure the symptoms of flu and cold. The polyphenol resveratrol can prevent viruses from multiplying once they have entered the body’s system.
12. Drinking Wine Strengthens The Bones
Past researchers have associated moderate wine drinking with improved bone density. As human age, bones are becoming thinner and weaker. New studies show that drinking wine in moderation may help reduce the risk of having osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is most common to women after they have reached the menopausal stage. (16)
One or two glasses of wine per day can protect women from thinning bones. It appears that modest consumption bridges the imbalance between the dissolving old bone and poor production of new bone that can lead to osteoporosis in older women. (17)
13. Wine Can Protect Our Teeth Against Dental Plaque
Wine may help prevent dental caries by inhibiting the growth of certain bacteria found in oral biofilm according to researches done by American Chemical Society. It can slow down the growth of bacteria that can cause cavities. (18)
Polyphenols, wine, and grape seed extract can slow down the growth of bacteria responsible for the formation of plaque and tooth decay. Though red wine can help reduce these bacteria optimal oral health still results from daily dental hygiene. Brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist are still the best recommendations. (But including wine into your diet can increase your defenses against dozens of possible teeth and gum diseases.)
14. Drinking Wine Can Improve Our Eyesights
Ophthalmologist, Milind Pande, from Vision Surgery, says that the resveratrol which can be found in wine may be beneficial to the eyes. Resveratrol prevents age-related deteriorations of eye muscles. One of these age-related deteriorations of eye muscles is called Macular Degeneration.
Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss and is considered as incurable eye disease. This is the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, that records the images we see. Resveratrol found in wine and grapes can prevent the growth of blood vessel in the eyes that can lead to macular degeneration. (19)
15. Wine Can Help Prevent Gallstones
The gallbladder stores bile which is responsible for our body’s fat digestion. Although, the gallbladder itself is not important and formation of gallstones may not actually be a problem. At times when gallstone is pushed out of the gallbladder, there’s a tendency that it might get stuck in the bile duct which can cause you a lot of pain. Gallstones are hard and have the same appearance as pebbles. (20)
Researchers have suggested moderate consumption of wine prevent the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder after they have studied the dietary habits of 25, 639 patients. Successful research showed that patients who consumed 175ml of wine per day decrease the chance of developing gallstones by thirty-two percent. (21)
Here Are Some Delicious Wine Recipes
You don’t have to be a master vintner or have expensive equipment to make it. Making homemade wine from all-natural ingredients like fruits is manageable, enjoyable and worth every sip. You can also add wine in their dishes to add a unique and smooth taste in their food.
This method has been done by top level chefs around the world to impress their customers. So, let the fermenting and cooking begin!
1. Elegant Strawberry Wine
Strawberries are rich in fiber, folic acid, potassium and it is said to be a good source of Vitamin C. With strawberries as your base fruit. Have you foreseen how healthy your wine can be?
- 3 kilograms of whole washed clean strawberries
- 23 liters of hot water
- 1 whole lemon juice
- 2.2 kilograms of organic sugar
- Crush strawberries in a large ceramic Jar.
- Pour in the hot water and then pour in the lemon juice and mix thoroughly for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Cover the jar with a very clean fine cloth and let it sit in a dark and cool place. Stir every single day for about a week.
- After the first week, strain the strawberry liquid into a clean bow. Use two layers of cheesecloth for straining. Throw away the leftover pulp.
- Mix the strained strawberry liquid with the organic sugar and stir, pour the mixture into another clean ceramic jar and leave it be for another week, remember to stir daily again.
- After week two, transfer the strawberry liquid into glass bottles and lightly cork.
- Store in a dark and cool place for three months to turn into wine.
- When you notice that the wine is already clear and no more bubbles are showing. Transfer the wine into multiple wine bottles, seal with a cork and let it ferment for at least a year before consuming.
- After the long wait, serve it to your friends and families to impress them with your amazing wine brewing skills.
2. Amazing Cherry Wine
Cherries are a shiny red or purple tiny fruit packed with health-benefiting nutrients and antioxidants.
- 3 kgs. of clean washed cherries
- 4 liters of drinking water
- 2 kgs. of organic white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of brewing yeast
- Clean the cherries with running water thoroughly, make sure to remove the stems.
- Pour boiled water onto it and put them under a wine press for five to six days.
- Pass the cherry juice through a cheesecloth to remove the pulp. Add yeast and sugar to begin with the fermentation process. Add a bit of lemon juice if you want.
- Set the jug in a dry and warm place during the fermentation.
- The process is done after fermenting for several weeks. Shake the jar and let it ferment for another four or five months to finish making the wine.
- Transfer the wine into separate wine bottles let them ferment for as much as you prefer.
- Other from plainly drinking the wine you made, you can also add it to any dish that you cook. The wine would add a unique taste to your dish!