In moderation, red wine, is thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol, antioxidants and other substances in red wine help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. Doctors define “moderate” consumption as one 5oz glass of wine per day for women and two glasses per day for men.
Why red, not white?
Red wine provides more resveratrol compared to white because the longer the skin is kept on the grape during the wine making process, the greater the concentration of resveratrol in the wine.
- Red wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, and Merlot, contain melatonin which regulates the body clock, and may help you sleep.
- Resveratrol, which is found in red wine, increases lifespan in animal studies, though the long-term effects on humans are still being determined.
- Resveratrol is reported to be effective against neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, though the implications on human health are still being researched.
- Moderate red wine consumption was associated with a reduced incidence of lung cancer, especially among smokers.
- Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart.
- Red wine consumption may also lower the risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women, though moderation is important as an excess of alcohol consumption increases the chances of cancer.
In addition to its chemical components, red wine has psychological and social health benefits. When consumed in appropriate amounts, alcohol promotes socialization and as humans are not solitary creatures, social stimulation increases longevity.