We’ve all heard it before: drinking red wine can benefit your health. But, can it really make a difference? Great news! According to the latest studies, there are many health benefits connected to moderate wine consumption. The catch for a college student: moderate wine consumption is defined as one five-ounce glass a day for women and two five-ounce glasses a day for men.
1) It’s heart healthy
The alcohol and antioxidants may help lower the risk of heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. Polyphenols, the antioxidants found in red wine, may also keep blood vessels flexible and reduce the risk of unwanted clotting. A certain polyphenol found in grape skins, resveratrol, may be key to reducing bad cholesterol and preventing blood clots.
2) It’s brain boosting
A recent study suggests that brain function declines at a significantly slower rate in moderate drinkers than in nondrinkers. Resveratrol may also be key here. It has been shown to obstruct the formation of a key protein in the plaque found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
3) It can help you live longer?
While researchers have recently called the strong links between resveratrol in red wine and longevity into question, studies comparing wine drinkers to beer and spirit drinkers show more promising results. Wine drinkers have a significantly lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers.
4) It can keep you from getting sick
A recent study of 4,000 faculty members at five Spanish universities found that those who drank two glasses of red wine a day were almost half as likely to come down with a cold. The antioxidants in red wine are believed to fight infection and protect cells against the effects of free-radicals which may also play a role in cancer and other disease.
5) It can keep you slim
Resveratrol strikes again. A recent study suggests piceatannol, the chemical compound our bodies convert from resveratrol, may prevent the growth of fat cells. Researchers believe that picetannol binds to the insulin receptors of fat cells, essentially blocking the pathways necessary for immature fat cells to mature and grow.
The real catch: it is important to keep in mind that you can get the same health benefits from other foods and drinks without the empty calories or downsides to alcohol consumption in general. However, when it comes to alcohol, wine just might be the best way to get your drink on. Cheers to that.