Benefits of Drinking Wine
It is widely thought that drinking any kind of alcohol can be potentially dangerous. Surely, this statement is true – you may develop an addiction or experience many negative effects if you drink any alcohol excessively, including low-alcohol beverages like beer or cider. However, sometimes, drinking alcohol can be beneficial for your health.
Benefits of drinking alcohol come especially if you are a wine enthusiast. However, keep in mind that low quality wines are more likely to cause issues with your health while better red wine brands can deliver many benefits to your health including a longer lifespan, protection against certain cancers, prevention of heart disorders, and improved mental health. But not only red wines can be good for your health, but also white wine. Consider checking the following science-backed facts about the different benefits of various types of wine.
How much is enough: what is moderate wine consumption?
They say that only drinking wine “moderately” can be good for your health. But how much is enough? Well, according to WellnessMama.Com, only a doctor may tell you how much alcohol, wine in particular, is enough to get all possible benefits and how much is dangerous due your personal tolerability, age, health issues, and even gender.
For example, recent studies claim that women tend to absorb alcohol more rapidly than males due to lower water content in their bodies and the different levels of stomach enzymes. That is why women should drinking less wine than men. Also, healthy wine consumption depends on the way you drink it – with meals or an empty stomach.
All these factors are to be taken into account. But, still, there is an average wine “dose” that is commonly recommended by most doctors to adults of both genders. It is one medium glass of wine (any variety) – containing about 2 units of alcohol. According to international standards, 1 alcoholic unit equals 10 ml or 85 of pure alcohol. A medium glass of wine (175 ml) has about 2 units.
Another recommendation about moderate wine consumption has been offered by Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010-4 posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA experts advise drinking 1 glass of wine per day for women and 2 glasses per day for men. On average, a standard red wine bottle (750 ml) contains 12 serving glasses (60 ml each).
Possible wine benefits to your health
The moderate and regular drinking of wine of various types can be good for your health. According to MedicalNews.Com, white or red wine benefits may include:
- Reduction of severe depression;
- Can help prevent colon and breast cancer;
- Anti-aging properties;
- Prevention of dementia;
- Protection of sensitive skin from severe sunburns;
- Improving or reducing the risks of blinding diseases;
- Protection of the brain from a stroke damage;
- Improved lung functions;
- High levels of omega-3 fatty acids;
- Prevention of lives diseases;
- Protection from prostate cancer;
- Decreasing the chances of type 2 diabetes.
What is a good wine: the guide for beginners
However, all these science-backed facts about white wine and red wine health benefits can be achieved only if you drink good wines. There are so many popular red wines and white wines and if you have never chosen a wine bottle on your own, it can be challenging to find a good and not expensive red wine (or any white wine).
How can you choose a good red wine or white wine (based on tips from Men’s Fitness):
Check its labels
The thing is that front labels on wine bottles may be enticing but not tell the whole truth. That is why you should turn the bottle to read its back labels. There you can find useful information about the fruits, flavors, its aging process, the region of growing, and importers. Check if there are any stamps about approvals or awards – these may be signs of good red wine brands.
Sniff that wine
If you have a chance (and many wine-specializing stores give such chance) swirl and sniff the test glass of wine before buying the whole bottle, especially if you aim for a top-notch and expensive wine. Carefully sniff and try analyzing the different notes of flavor. Does it smell like honey, peppers, oak, or apples? The more notes you can differentiate, the better this wine may taste.
Time to taste
After swirling and smelling, you need to sip it. Don’t swallow the liquid instantly, let it move around your tongue. If there is a balance of different flavors, it can be a good wine. The longer all wine flavors remain on your tongue, the better!
Do some research
We live in the digital era and it is easy to find lists of best red or white wine brands. Do some homework to get an idea what wine can be served with your favorite meals and what can be affordable for your budget. The experts from Men’s Fitness claim that not all older (and more expensive) wines are better. Some wines under $15 can be great if you drink them “young”. If your budget is modest, you can buy white wines from 1 to 2 years and red wines from 2 to 3 years. Only high-end wines last from 3 to 10 years.
Differentiating wine benefits: pros & cons of red, white, and sparkling wines
When it comes to potential benefits, usually most connoisseurs use their best red wine for health, ignoring white or sparkling wines. The thing is that all wine varieties can be good for your health in one way or another. Check the following health pros and cons of different types of wine:
The “king” of healthy wines – red wine
Many people know red wine contains a specific component called reversterol. This is a natural antioxidant that can be also found in grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and peanuts. However, its amount in red wine is the highest. This antioxidant can deliver the best heart-healthy properties by reducing “bad” cholesterol levels and preventing the damage of blood vessels. Also, Reversterol being a plant compound may naturally fight against fungi and bacteria.
The reason to drink red wine instead of white wine is that red wines are always fermented with grapes’ skins (while white wine is not). The highest concentration of Reversterol is located in the grape seeds and skins.
As for the cons of red wine, there are a few of them. One of them is that it can more easily lead to an alcohol addiction. The other one is that a glass of red wine may add up 129 calories to your daily diet.
Less popular but still favorable white wine
Even the best white wine can be less beneficial for your health than red wines because of the reduced amount of Reversterol. However, it can be extremely helpful for people with damaged or weak lungs. Drinking a good white wine daily may result in restoring the lung tissues.
As for the cons of white wines, these wine varieties are more acidic, being a worse choice for the teeth. Also, white wines tend to contain less cancer-preventing antioxidants, while having the same amount of calories as red wines.
Not just bubbles – champagne (sparkling wine)
Most sparkling wines, specifically Champagne, are made with both white and red grapes. That is why bubbly wines may deliver the same benefits as red wines. Also, recent studies claim that Champagne wines contain the health beneficial polyphenols, just like in a cup of hot cacao. Besides, a glass of Champagne has fewer calories than in red or white wines – 80 versus 120.
Champagne wines may trigger migraines, as well as other side effects associated with red and white wines.
Precautionary measures when drinking wine
While wine consumption may appear to be good for the health, drinking too much white and red wines can lead to a higher risk of an alcohol addiction that, in its turn, may trigger dangerous disorders like:
- Increased depression;
- Worsen mental disorders;
- The risk of getting cardiomyopathy;
- A heart stroke;
- Increased chances of hypertension;
- Enlarged, fatty liver;
- Alcoholic-induced hepatitis;
- Liver cancer.
Consider consulting a doctor before starting to drink any wine on a daily basis. And remember, only when taken in moderate amounts, can red wine be good for your health.