All in moderation
Red wine, in moderation, has long been considered good for the heart. For healthy adults, moderation is generally defined as up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. A drink, or glass, of wine is defined as 5 ounces. The limit for men is higher because men generally weigh more and have more of the enzyme known as alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which metabolizes alcohol, than women do. “It has been known for a long time that, in general, both women and female animals are more susceptible to the negative or toxic effects of alcohol,” Steven Schenker of the University of Texas at San Antonio says. “Women simply need to be more cautious than males in terms of the amount of drinking they do.” More than moderate alcohol intake can have deleterious effects on the body.
Help your heart
Resveratrol is a polyphenol in wine that may prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and decreasing levels of (“bad”) cholesterol (LDL).
Resveratrol comes from the skin of grapes. Red wine is one of the richest sources of resveratrol. Red wine contains more resveratrol than white wine because red wine is fermented with the grape skins longer. Per drink, red wine has a resveratrol content of 0.03-1.07 mg, as opposed to white wine, which has 0.01-0.27 mg.
Boost “good” cholesterol and increase blood flow
Having one to two glasses of red wine per day has been shown to increase the “good” cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, by approximately 12 percent. Higher HDL levels lower the “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, decrease plaque buildup in the arteries, prevent arterial damage and reduce blood clots.
Resveratrol may also help prevent age-related disorders. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, resveratrol reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
Oxidative stress is an age-related imbalance caused by the interaction between oxygen and antioxidants. Oxidative stress can cause coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes and skeletal muscular dystrophy.
Boost resveratrol intake without drinking wine
No one should be encouraged to drink wine for the health benefits. There are many alcohol-free ways to achieve equal health benefits. Resveratrol-rich foods like red and purple grapes, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranate and peanuts are all rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. Drinking grape juice may also be a way to get resveratrol without drinking alcohol.
It has not been determined how eating grapes or other foods containing resveratrol promotes heart health in comparison to drinking wine. It is important to note that the amount of resveratrol in both food and wine varies widely. More research is needed regarding resveratrol. While it is too soon to recommend resveratrol for the prevention or treatment of any condition, it’s more than likely that moderate wine drinkers who enjoy a glass with dinner would agree they’re helping their heart and soul.