In Sardinia, many men and women live for at least 90 years, and this isn’t unusual. Besides following a Mediterranean diet, they also enjoy a glass of red wine usually during dinner while surrounded by their friends and family.
While alcohol has been demonized since the Prohibition Era, wine seems to be a completely different breed. Not only is it delicious, but it can also be healthy for the body and mind.
What Makes Wine Great for the Body?
Wine-related custom-on packs are incredibly popular throughout the years, especially since more people learn the wonderful benefits of drinking wine for their health.
1. It Protects the Heart
Wine comes from grapes, and the colors of the fruit contain a potent antioxidant known as resveratrol. Many experts believe this one helps protect the blood vessels and the heart.
For one, it is anti-inflammatory. Many factors can cause heart disease, such as the build-up of plaque on the walls that narrows down the heart’s passageway and forces the heart to pump harder.
However, more studies show that the real reason can be low-grade chronic inflammation that slowly damages the heart muscles and blood vessels. Resveratrol helps decrease inflammation in the body.
In one research, resveratrol can work with stents. These are materials inserted into the heart to dilate the blood vessels. Sometimes they can still be damaged such as when the body needs to absorb chemotherapy agents.
The researchers thought that by introducing the antioxidant into the stent, it can protect the heart from damage and the blood vessels from narrowing.
2. It Promotes Better Gut Health
The billions of microorganisms in the gut have been receiving a lot of attention lately. Recent types of research revealed that this combination of viruses, bacteria, and fungi contribute to or are associated with:
- Regulation of the immune system
- Reduced risks of obesity
- Secretion of neurotransmitters such as serotonin
A 2019 study revealed that people who drank red wine showed a higher diversity of microbes. Although the research didn’t show cause and effect, the team believed that its antioxidant might have helped, acting as food for these microorganisms.
Besides increasing gut diversity, individuals who sipped a glass or two of wine were also less obese and had lower levels of bad cholesterol.
3. It Doesn’t Suppress the Immune System
Many substances in the body can trigger an immune system dysregulation. It can suppress the immune cells or make them become overactive. Either way, they can damage vital organs, such as the heart.
In 1999, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida learned that red wine didn’t help the white blood cells, the so-called soldiers of the body against threats like infections.
However, it didn’t suppress their function either. In other words, it can be perfectly okay to drink wine even when a person is sick.
Red Wine with Friends
Although one can drink a glass of wine by themselves, perhaps while soaked in a bubble bath, it’s better shared with friends. This way, a person can further maximize the benefits of drinking this alcohol.
Red wine can boost socialization and, in effect, decrease the risks of isolation and depression. It’s partly the reason Sardinians drink it with neighbors and family.
While some believe depression is all in the mind, it affects physical health. People prone to or showing signs of it might experience the following:
- Changes in appetite – They might eat more, which can increase the risk of obesity, or less, which can make them deficient in nutrients.
- Changes in sleeping habits – Many depressed individuals struggle with sleep. Sleep exhaustion or deprivation can result in poor cognitive performance and increased risk of obesity, among others.
- Higher levels of stress – Abnormal stress can potentially raise the odds of chronic inflammation, which can harm the immune system and organs like the heart.
- Mood swings – People with depression are less likely to manage their emotions well. When they cannot control these, they can be harmful to their relationships.
These health benefits of red wine doesn’t mean you should finish a bottle in one evening – unless you’re doing it with your friends or family. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your intake to two drinks daily for men and one drink every day for women.
Nevertheless, keeping a properly labeled bottle nearby is helpful for your overall health. Even if you don’t believe that it will take care of your heart or improve your gut diversity, you can use it to relax you and socialize with others.