But all kidding aside, being the wine lover I am, I thought it was time to share some of the health benefits to the drink that Dionysus referred to as the nectar of the Gods.
That is until six o’clock rolls around and it’s time for dinner, the morning now long forgotten.
While fortunately those events are not common these days, I do still enjoy a glass of red wine at dinner, not only for the taste, but for the benefits it offers. Benefits you say? Indeed, and all biases aside, red wine is a drink that even the ancient Egyptians knew had very healthy properties.
So what are the benefits to a glass of red wine with dinner? Ah, let me tell you my fellow lushes!
- Lowers Cholesterol: Red wine is known to contain high levels of anti-oxidants which help in preventing heart disease by increasing something called “high-density lipoprotein” otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol. Wow, I better be careful or I may sound smart...
- Protects blood vessels: The anti-oxidants in red wine called polyphenols assist in protecting against arterial damage by keeping blood vessels flexible and reducing the chances of clotting. In other words, a glass of red wine may be just as effective as aspirin in terms of acting as a blood thinner and keeping the good old arteries clear. So here’s to no more pill-popping!
- Healthy skin: While some studies suggest that the skin of red grapes can help control blood sugar, it is also said to be great for the skin. The antioxidants in red wine has been shown to reduce those fine lines and wrinkles that eventually plague us all… hmm, I wonder if that explains my lack of wrinkles? Nah, that’s just silly talk… or is it?
- Boost your brain: Research has found that resveratrol, a natural compound of red grapes, may actually slow down the formation of something called beta-amyloid protein which is a key ingredient in the plaque that develops in the brain. What this suggests is that enjoying a smooth glass of red wine may reduce memory loss while keeping your brain healthy. I gotta admit though, a few too many glasses and you may not remember a thing… guilty as charged! But then again if this means that I can enjoy a glass of wine while doing my daily crossword, than I’m all for it!
- Cancer Prevention: According to researchers at the University of Virginia, the resveratrol you obtain from drinking one glass of red wine three or four times a week may be enough to starve any nascent cancer cells. Now I personally have no idea if this is true, but you’ve got to admit, it sounds pretty good!
- Prevents tooth decay: Much research shows that those same polyphenols that we spoke about earlier also work to harden tooth enamel which in turn prevents tooth decay, the growth of oral bacteria while reducing gum inflammation and preventing gum diseases. That’s all great, though between my tea and wine, I’m not sure what I’m going to use to remove the stains from my teeth… Ah well, I guess there is always a trade-off!
- Sound sleep: Yes, I know some of are saying, “no kidding!”, but red wine actually contains melatonin a hormone that anticipates the daily onset of darkness which may in fact help you sleep. I have to admit that while I generally sleep pretty well, I am sure a glass of wine won’t hurt.
- Preventing colds: As one who very rarely gets colds, this one may have some truth to it! Research has found that those who drink red wine significantly reduce their chances for catching colds which has something to do with those wonderful resveratrol and polyphenols that we mentioned earlier. Studies show that the resveratrol and polyphenols in red wine actually prevent cold and flu viruses from multiplying after they have entered your system. And here I grew up thinking OJ was the way to go!
Now while I have spent the last few years working on my long-term health, I suspect that red wine may be the easiest of my routines to follow.
So next time you are trying to decide what to drink with dinner, may I suggest a nice Shiraz or Pinot Noir? After all, if you are going to have a good night, you mind as well gain something from it at the same time… perhaps I should remind myself of that next time I wake up from a night out with the guys!
In the meantime, cheers to a healthy life!