Can something that tastes so good be healthy for us? Well, yes! – but as with all things in life, in moderation. Studies have shown that alcohol can improve HDL (our good cholesterol) when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. Improving our HDL levels lessens our risk of heart related illness. Other research concludes that moderate consumption can slow down mental decline as we age, in relation to our teetotaler friends.
Red wine in particular is touted for its health benefits as it contains the antioxidant, resveratrol. The ‘French Paradox’, whereby the French suffer less heart disease although consume high levels of saturated fat, is put down to the fact that they consume a glass of red wine every day. Resveratrol increases the antioxidant capacity of our blood, therefore protecting against the formation of blood clots, which lead to heart disease. Containing antioxidants, thereby having anti-inflammatory and antiviral qualities, red wine can also offer protection against some cancers.
Another good reason to enjoy a glass of red wine? Like chocolate (I know, this article is full of good news!) it can help raise our serotonin levels. Serotonin boosts our mood and gives us a natural lift – if purely from the enjoyment we get from a glass of good wine. For an even healthier boost, choose an organic wine, which are now widely available – these are made without the use of potentially harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
My favourite wine quote; ‘I enjoy a glass of wine a day for its health benefits. The other glasses are for my witty comebacks and flawless dance moves’. Savour your one glass a day for sure – and perhaps rely on your natural wit and fancy footwork for the other rewards. As with most things in life, enjoy in moderation.
To our health!