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I’ve been living in Santiago, Chile for a while now and let me tell you, the wine situation here is A+. It’s a wine-lover’s paradise – there is a huge variety of different wines to try, wineries everywhere, and a relatively good bottle of wine will only cost you the equivalent of a couple of dollars. It’s no wonder my wine consumption has – ahem – increased a bit.
A week or so ago, I was online and saw an article shared by one of my friends about a glass of red wine being equivalent to 1 hour of exercise. It seemed a little far-fetched to me (apparently it’s more or less legit), but it did get me thinking about other wine-drinking related health benefits I’ve heard about. With a little bit of research, I discovered that there actually are quite a few health benefits you can enjoy from moderate wine consumption – that is, about a glass or two a day depending on your size. So, cheers! Here are all the great things you’re doing for your body just by enjoying a nice glass of Cabernet:
1. Anti-aging properties:
Red wine has been found to have anti-aging properties because of the resveratrol and antioxidants that it contains. People have actually known about and spoken of the anti-aging properties of red wine for hundreds of years. In fact, wine was historically used as a medicine. So, those of us who enjoy a nice glass of red wine with dinner can look forward to many more pleasant evenings with a glass of wine. Hooray!
2. Heart-healthy properties:
While it’s debated how much credit can be given to wine for heart-health benefits, it is true that the antioxidants and resveratrol in wine contribute to higher levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol. Resveratrol also helps protect arteries and reduce the risk of blood clots. This contributes to an overall healthy heart and helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Personally, a glass of red wine also makes my heart happy emotionally, which brings us to our next point.
3. Better mood:
Moderate wine consumption has been linked with an overall better mood and less propensity toward depression. Well, this one seems a bit obvious to me. What could put you in a better mood than a nice glass of wine and and evening spent in good company? The only thing that could put me in a better mood would be if someone showed up right on my doorstep with a bottle of wine so I wouldn’t have to go out and get it. It sounds like a dream, but this is actually possible if you sign up for one of the many wine of the month clubs there are out there, like WSJ Wine and Laithwaites. They're not too expensive, especially if you use a coupon, and in the end who could say no to getting wine delivered every month?
4. Lower risk of certain cancers:
Researchers have discovered that moderate wine consumption can help lower the risk of developing colon and breast cancer. In the case of colon cancer, UK researchers found that regular red wine consumption can reduce a person’s chances of developing bowel tumors by 50%. As for breast cancer, it’s the chemicals in red wine, and also in the skin of red grapes, that help lower estrogen levels and raise testosterone levels, which is correlated with a lowered risk of developing breast cancer.
5. Lower risk of dementia:
Studies have shown that moderate red wine drinkers have lower chances of developing dementia later in life. This is because resveratrol helps keep blood vessels open and flexible, maintaining a good blood supply to the brain. This is great news, because what’s the point of having a longer lifespan if you don’t get to enjoy it?
It looks pretty conclusive, folks. Pop the cork and pour yourself a glass without guilt, because you’re actually doing your body a huge favor by enjoying that deep ruby red glass of wine. Cheers!