According to the Wine Institute, Americans drink an average of 2.83 gallons of wine per person each year, and even the most casual Bordeaux sipper can understand why. But research now shows that, aside from what wine can do for your social life, there are also numerous health benefits to indulging in a glass of adult grape juice.
It’s very important to note that these health benefits are achieved through moderate drinking—and by moderate, we mean one or two glasses of wine, depending on your size.
Lower Risk for Heart Disease1 of 11
Studies from the University of Ulm in Germany have shown that resveratrol—a compound found in the skin of grapes used to make wine—can stop the maturing of immature fat cells and can activate the protein sirtuin 1 that helps protect the heart from inflammation.
In other words, drinking wine really can lower your risk for heart disease.
Longer Life Span2 of 11
Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that wine, as well as other foods containing resveratrol, such as blueberries, cranberries and nuts, can help you live longer. Based on studies with mice, resveratrol improved the health of mice with a high-fat diet and increased their life spans.
A study from the University of London also concluded that people who consume the procyanidins found in wine have healthier blood vessels than people who don't consume wine regularly.
Lower Risk for Heart Attack3 of 11
It's been shown that the antioxidants in red wine can increase your levels of HDL or high-density lipoproteins (a.k.a. good cholesterol). Wine's antioxidants also prevent the buildup of bad cholesterol that can lead to heart attacks.
Lower Risk for Stroke4 of 11
A Columbia University study of 3,176 individuals showed that the probability of getting a blood clot-related stroke dropped by about 50 percent for those who regularly consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Red wine can also help your brain bounce back faster after suffering a stroke by protecting nerve cells from brain damage.
Lower Risk for Colon Cancer5 of 11
Scientists from the University of Leicester found that resveratrol can reduce the rate of bowel tumors by approximately 50 percent based on evidence from 10 clinical trials.
Lower Risk for Dementia and Alzheimer's6 of 11
According to researchers who reviewed 44 different studies, drinking wine in moderation can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and other cognitive diseases. In most studies, moderate drinkers of wine and other types of alcohol were 23 percent less likely to develop some form of cognitive impairment.
Lower Risk for Depression7 of 11
Researchers from universities in Spain reported that drinking wine in moderation can reduce your risk for depression, despite varying lifestyle factors. Over seven years of research showed that moderate drinkers had a much lower risk for depression, while heavy drinkers had an increased risk.
Lower Risk for Breast Cancer8 of 11
While regular consumption of most alcoholic drinks have been proven to increase the risk of cancers, a study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes can reduce estrogen levels and raise testosterone levels in premenopausal women, leading to a lower risk of breast cancer.
Lower Risk for Type 2 Diabetes9 of 11
According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, moderate wine intake, especially red wine, among well-controlled diabetics as part of a healthy diet is safe and modestly decreases cardio-metabolic risk. The study showed that the ethanol in the wine aided in glucose metabolism to help control blood sugar levels.
Lower Risk for Cataracts10 of 11
According to the Reykjavik Eye Study, which compared the ocular effects of wine on more than 1,000 subjects, resveratrol reduced the chance of cataracts from 32.2 percent in non-drinkers to only 13 percent in individuals who moderately consumed wine.