Many of us enjoy a glass or two of Italian red wine during the evening. But we often don’t put much thought into the positive, or negative effects, that the wine may be having on your health.
It’s something that everybody should think about. Thankfully, there’s evidence to suggest that a glass or two of wine on a regular basis actually has a beneficial effect on your health.
A study conducted in the United States points to some of the most important evidence. It found that people who drink a glass or two of wine every night tend to enjoy a slightly higher life expectancy than both teetotallers and those who drink to excess on a regular basis.
That’s probably more than enough for most of you to start enjoying that after work glass of wine a little more already. But we decided to dig a little bit deeper into the information available. After all, the same study made mention of the protective effects of wine. So, what are those effects and how do they help you to lead a long and happier life?
As mentioned, many people drink a glass or two of wine every night to help them to unwind. You may have had to deal with a stressful and demanding day while at work. But all of that melts away when you pop into a hot bath with a nice glass of red wine at the end of it all.
Reducing stress is perhaps one of the most important, though often underrated, life-lengthening effects of red wine. Reducing stress has a lot of positive effects on you. It allows your mind relax, rather than keeping it laser-focused on whatever issues that you’re dealing with. Lowering your stress levels also means that you enjoy longer and healthier sleep. You won’t find it as difficult to get to sleep in the first place, plus you’re less likely to wake up constantly during the night. Moreover, not feeling stressed means that your brain has the chance to actually recover and get you ready for the next day.
Many people don’t look at stress reduction as being a direct medical benefit of drinking wine on a regular basis. But there’s no denying the links that stress has to an array of mental and physical ailments. Stress leaves you feeling exhausted and has a massive effect on your moods. A glass of two or wine every night can actually help you to deal with that stress, and thus leas a healthier life.
High in Antioxidants
We’ve spoken in the past about the high antioxidant content of Italian red wine, but it bears repeating again here. Red wine is absolutely loaded with antioxidants, which means it has a hugely beneficial effect on your body.
Here’s how it works. Antioxidants combat something calls free radicals. These free radicals are almost constantly on the attack. They diminish the strength of your DNA and cells. When you look at the various signs of ageing, you can point almost all of them back to the effects that free radicals have on your body. From wrinkled skin to heart issues, they cause all sorts of problems.
Antioxidants don’t get rid of free radicals entirely. But they can certainly help to slow them down and reduce their numbers. This leads to a healthier heart and body, which naturally leads to a longer life.
Now, there’s a belief that red wine is much better than white wine when it comes to antioxidants. But that isn’t the case. Some research shows that white wine actually contains even more antioxidants than red. Of course, you benefit from a glass or two of either per night. But don’t assume that you have to force yourself to drink red if you’re a white wine lover. Either will do the trick when it comes to your antioxidant levels.
Your Immune System
Firstly, don’t take this as a call to stop taking your vitamins and eating a healthy diet. But the fact is that wine has a number of beneficial effects on your immune system. When consumed moderately, wine gives your immune system a boost, which makes you capable of staving off infections and diseases that can weaken your body.
Generally speaking, a stronger immune system leads to even better long-term health. But there’s a caveat to this point. Drinking too much wine every night can actually have a negative effect on your immune system. If you’re drinking to get drunk, you’re not going to experience the benefits.
Again, moderation is key. A glass or two every night should be more than enough to give you the boost. But drinking an entire bottle every night could lead to you actually weakening your immune system.
Lower Stroke Risk
There’s one important aspect of alcohol that allows it to help with stroke prevention. Drinking alcohol causes your blood to become thinner. This means that you bleed more if you happen to get a cut. But it also means that you’re at far less risk of suffering from a stroke.
You see, strokes occur when your blood clots in your arteries. When this happens, blood can’t travel around your body as efficiently. Your brain and other important areas of your body get deprived of the oxygen that your blood carries, which leads to a stroke.
Red wine, in particular, seems to be particular effective at thinning the blood. This is because it contains a high level of phenols, which means it has a similar effect on your blood to aspirin.
Again, you must be careful about drinking too much. A lot of alcohol can have the opposite effect. While your blood still gets thinner, you raises a number of other issues that can lead to a stroke when you drink too much consistently.
The Final Word
As you can see, there’s a lot of positives that come from drinking a glass or two of wine every day. The key is moderation. Too much has a harmful effect. But not drinking at all may lead to you leading a shorter life than if you treat yourself to a glass or two of wine every night.