You might be thinking I am being a bit dramatic in stating that wine can save lives. Well, it saves mine every day, so I am just speaking from my heart. You know, while we are on the subject of my heart, I can tell you that it is very strong and healthy. Is it from the 220 sit-ups that I did while I was running 22 miles on a 7% incline this morning? No. It’s from the 4 glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon that I drank while slowly walking on a .2% incline. That’s right. I’ve learned that there are some health benefits to drinking red wine, and I just want to shout it from the mountain tops for the whole world to hear! I will quickly mention here that some studies have shown that alcohol in general raises the good cholesterol in your body, as well as assists in blood clot prevention (thins the blood to increase blood flow.) This means I didn’t forget you, beer and spirits drinkers! We’re all getting something out of it. However, obviously, what the focus is here is to talk about some of the wonderful gifts that red wine gives us.
One of the most talked about health aspects of wine seems to be that of the antioxidants it has. One such antioxidant is Resveratrol. Resveratrol is found in some plants (including the skin of grapes), and it’s produced when a plant is fighting off disease, fungi, or injury. Red wine has a higher concentration of Resveratrol due to a specific wine making process, whereby the skins are kept on the grapes for a longer period of time. So what can Resveratrol possibly do for you?
- Helps prevent cancer
- Prevention of blood clotting
- Prevention of plaque formation in the heart
- Prevention of damage to blood vessels
- Helps improve some common symptoms of diabetes
- Reduction of inflammation within the body
- Boosts the immune system and prevents sickness
- Helps digestion
- Some studies even suggest that Resveratrol can increase one’s lifespan. (This would be awesome, because it means I might possibly live to be 200.)
In addition to Resveratrol, the tannins in wine also provide health benefits. Tannins are found in the seeds, skins, and stems of grapes, and can enhance the flavor and body of red wine (it’s what adds that bitterness to the taste.) These function like antioxidants, and can help with preventing arterial hardening, as well as plaque build-up on your teeth. Furthermore, Tannins include flavonoids and bioflavonoids, which are organic compounds known to have the following characteristics:
So now you see. There is so much that wine can do for you, and I’m only briefly summarizing some of the points. But now comes the disclaimer. What would be ideal here (for me, at least) is if it were a “the more you take in, the more you get out of it” type situation. How lucky would we be if we were able to gain more powers as we drank more red wine? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Alcohol is always about drinking it in moderation. As everyone probably already knows, drinking too much alcohol can do more harm than good, so it’s always good to monitor your intake. I must admit I say this with a single tear running down my face.