You’ve probably heard that wine is good for you, but maybe you’ve also heard that you shouldn’t be drinking too much. How can anything so delightful be good for you? Well, the science says we should crack open a bottle of pinot—and who are we to argue with science? Here are all of the healthy reasons to pick up a bottle of the good stuff.
1. Keep Your Heart Strong
Red wine is everyone’s favorite source of powerful plant antioxidants, and while they might be more abundant in broccoli, they’re way more fun with a bit of a buzz. The most notable disease-fighting compounds in red wine are resveratrol and proanthocyanidins. Research has found that people who drink red wine tend to have lower risk of heart disease, although other lifestyle factors may play a role. It does seem that the powerful antioxidants in red wine help to reduce bad LDL cholesterol while retaining good HDL cholesterol, and may even help reduce blood pressure when consumed in moderation.
2. Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
A drink a day may also keep Alzheimer’s away! Recent research suggests that drinking 1 to 3 daily glasses of red wine was linked to a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Scientists found that when red wine passes through the gut, it leaves behind unique antioxidant compounds that can protect our brain neurons from getting damaged or destroyed. This, in turn, may help reduce the chance of developing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
3. Get Happier Gut Bacteria
We know we should eat more probiotics like yogurt and sauerkraut for their natural gut-health benefits, but the good news is you can add your favorite wine to that list, too! Yes, it’s a naturally fermented product, much like yogurt, pickles, kombucha and other bacteria-friendly foods, but early research has shown that wine may have more of a prebiotic effect, helping improve the bacterial composition of our gut. Bottoms up for good bacteria!
4. Boost Your Mood
Most of us already consider a good glass of vino a bit of a party starter, but research suggests it may do a lot more than just help you crack a smile. Research has linked moderate wine drinking (that’s about 2-7 glasses per week) to a significantly reduced risk of depression.
5. Ward Off Diabetes
One large study found that moderate red wine consumption was linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in women, while another found that moderate drinking (of any type of alcohol) could reduce your risk by about 30 percent. (If you have diabetes, though, talk to your doctor about drinking, as alcohol can cause dangerously low blood sugar and also may interact with medications.)