Top 5 Health Benefits of Red Wine

Updated on March 24, 2018
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David is an army-trained biomedical scientific officer, writer, and lifelong health and fitness enthusiast.

red wine has many health benefits
red wine has many health benefits | Source

The Health Benefits Of Red Wine

Yes it's true; alcohol in moderation can actually be good for you. And red wine in particular conveys a large number of health benefits when consumed on a regular basis.

Alcohol aids relaxation and can help relieve stress. But the benefits of red wine go way beyond the alcohol content as it is packed with all sorts of beneficial ingredients.

So in what way can red wine actually benefit your health? Well, here are the top 5 health benefits you can expect to experience from drinking red wine…

1. Red Wine Is Good For Your Heart

The main reason that red wine is good for you is that it is made from red grapes. And it’s the seeds and skins of the grapes in particular that contain the health giving ingredients; specifically powerful antioxidants called flavanols and sapponins. These have been shown to raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol. They also help normalize blood pressure, improve blood coagulation factors (which helps reduce the chances of blood clots forming), reduce inflammation and protect blood vessel walls from damage.

So drinking red wine can substantially reduce your chances of getting cardiovascular disease. In fact studies have shown a reduction in the risk of death by heart attack of up to 50% in regular moderate drinkers of red wine.

2. Red Wine Helps Prevent Cancer

There’s growing evidence to suggest that consuming red wine can help protect you from certain types of cancer – particularly bowel cancer and prostate cancer. This is because the antioxidants in red wine help prevent the oxidative damage that can lead to the formation of cancer cells. And they can also kill off newly formed cancer cells as well.

3. Red Wine Slows The Signs Of Ageing

Red wine is great for your skin too, promoting a youthful appearance and delaying the signs of ageing. In fact the antioxidants in red wine will help slow down the ageing process in general and offer some protection against a wide range of age-related degenerative diseases.

4. Red Wine Improves Oral Health

Red wine strengthens tooth enamel, making your teeth more resistant to decay. It also helps prevent gum disease, and can help treat it by reducing inflammation in the gums.

5. Red Wine Improves Your Mood And Can Help You Relax

It’s not just the alcohol content of red wine that improves your mood. The flavanols help reduce cortisol (stress hormone) output, so relieving the symptoms of stress. They also increase serotonin output in the brain which makes you feel good.

So drinking red wine can help alleviate stress, calm the mind and make you feel happier.

You may have heard claims that it’s the resveratrol in red wine that is responsible for many of its health benefits. But this is not really the case as the amount of resveratrol in red wine is very low, and not nearly enough to have any real effect. A glass of red wine contains just 1mg of resveratrol on average, which is fairly insignificant. You can get resveratrol supplements, which may contain around 250mg of resveratrol, but even these are over-hyped and the benefits of red wine come from the synergistic interaction of a multitude of ingredients – not just from a single isolated ingredient.

It is of course important to choose a good quality red wine if you want to get the maximum benefits. And a good indication of how beneficial a wine is likely to be is how dark the wine is. A darker wine will usually have more antioxidants, and will therefore provide greater benefits. Also wines that have been fermented for a longer period of time and contain higher levels of tannins will provide more benefit too. But these tend to be somewhat bitter tasting and not to everyone’s taste.

The most important point however is that these benefits are only obtained by drinking a moderate amount of red wine. That means about 4 to 6 ounces per day for women and 8 to 10 ounces per day for men. Excessive consumption will have just the opposite effect, leading to increased disease in the body as well as cirrhosis of the liver and alcoholism.

Also, if you are prone to migraines, are pregnant or are taking any medication that might be affected by alcohol, you should give red wine a miss.

For everyone else though, enjoy your red wine in moderation and you can experience all these health benefits and more besides.

What's your favorite type of wine?

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    • dwelburn profile image

      David 5 weeks ago from Birmingham, UK

      Thanks Anita; me too (don't know who Alex is though).

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 5 weeks ago from Port Elizabeth

      Interesting article Alex. I like the anti ageing assistance red wine provides.

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 3 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Thank you Alex. Glad to hear about your good cholesterol levels - yep red wine can certainly help with that. :)

    • lucullan profile image

      Alex Fabelli 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Great article and I agree 100%. I am getting up there in age and during my last physical my doctor was surprised about my "good" cholesterol levels. He questioned if I drink red wine and when I said yes, he confirmed that red wine has health benefits...obviously for cholesterol as well.