When out for the occasional celebration, the rules for healthy eating and red wine drinking can be relaxed at bit. Not completely forgotten mind you, but for celebrations that don’t come around very often, you deserve a special treat! My tips for eating out post covers my recommendations. And based on this, I often choose alcohol as my treat on those rare occasions.
Today, I want to dive into greater detail on red wine. If you’ve heard that red wine is healthy, that’s because there’s some evidence for this. But there’s a bit more to it. Read on for the details.
The kind of antioxidants found in the skins of red grapes (and therefore in red wine), like RESVERATROL, have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation and oxidation are considered the root causes of most disease, so consuming antioxidant-rich foods is a key component in disease prevention.
Moderate consumption of red wine has been linked to many health benefits, like decreasing the risk of:
- Heart disease – improved cholesterol, triglyceride, blood pressure & blood sugar levels
- Alzheimer’s disease
- certain cancers
The biggest issue with red wine comes from overconsumption. Alcohol is the Goldilocks of the nutrition world. And everyone’s ideal amount is unique to them. Your personal genetics will determine your risks for overconsumption so knowing that can be beneficial because the general guidelines may not be appropriate for you.
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When consumed in excess of this, any alcoholic beverage can negatively impact your health, contributing to alcohol dependence, organ damage, inflammation, aging, and increased risk of several cancers. Some studies have also shown negative impacts on hormone balance.
Also, many of the benefits from studies in red wine consumption come from cultures where a whole foods diet is predominant such as the French and Mediterranean diets. And the consumption of red wine in these cases is moderate (i.e. 4oz with the evening meal). And remember, the benefits come from the skins of grapes, not the wine.
Red wine is not essential. If you aren’t a fan of wine or choose not to consume alcoholic beverages, there’s no reason to start drinking red wine for the sake of your health! I rarely do.
Plenty of other diet and lifestyle factors, like eating lots of fruits and vegetables, getting regular physical activity, not smoking, and managing stress provide most of your health benefits.
If you enjoy drinking wine, red varieties contain higher amounts of antioxidants and health benefits over white varieties. But like any other alcoholic beverage, it’s also important to remember to limit wine consumption.
The health benefits of red wine only apply when it is enjoyed in moderation, which I recommend you limit to one glass on weekend evenings with your meal.