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How to make the most out of wine’s health benefits

18th June 2013 Print

By now, pretty much everyone is aware that red wine is good for you, in moderation. Obviously, it’s important that you consume vino with a balanced, healthy diet and that you check with your doctor before you start drinking alcohol regularly. Red wine has been shown to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive degeneration, strokes, cancer, and diabetes. Here’s how to make the most of these health benefits:

Drink responsibly

Women are limited to one glass of red wine a day and men are allowed up to two. Of course, you can’t just fill a goblet to the brim and count that as one unit; five fluid ounces count as a glass of wine. If you consume more, the health benefits are wiped out by overindulgence and you will have consumed a lot of calories.

Choose your wines wisely

Drinking white wine, you’ll miss out on all the health benefits from red, which are all based in the dark skin of the grapes. Moderate consumption of alcohol, in general, does help lower blood pressure. However, all the antioxidants packed into red wine aren’t present in other forms of alcohol.

Procyanidins are natural compounds, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Levels of procyanidins are especially high in wines from Sardinia and south-west France.

Cook with wine

From lasagne to stew, there are many recipes which call for a good red wine. If you grill your food regularly, carcinogens form (in small amounts) and increase your chance of getting cancer. You can combat this by marinating your BBQ veggies in red wine; it reduces the carcinogens that form by 90%.

Enjoy a healthier lifestyle

The benefits of red wine are more likely to manifest, if your diet and lifestyle is relatively healthy. Red wine may have some amazing properties, but it can’t make up for an otherwise detrimental way of life. If you are a little alcohol-shy, you can consume red grapes for a similar, but not as effective, health boost.

Light consumption of red wine is known as a great stress-buster, and a much healthier option than grabbing an energy drink for a quick pick-me-up. If you’re thinking of reaching for a can of Red Bull whilst studying for exams, a small glass of red wine will do a much better job at promoting feelings of wellbeing and decreasing tension.


This compound, found in wine, has been linked to anti-aging and longevity. It also reduces the “bad” cholesterol in your body, protecting you from fats clogging up your cardiovascular system. Ever wondered how France is such a relatively skinny and healthy country, even though their diets are generally high in fats? The French eat 30% more fat than Americans but experience 40% fewer heart attacks.

Scientists have pointed to their habitual consumption of red wine. Even the children are often given wine, watered down considerably. If you integrate it gradually and moderately into your diet, you too can enjoy a healthier cardiovascular system.

Check out your health profile

However, if you’re taking medication that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol or you come from a family which has had a history of breast cancer, it’s best to leave the bottle alone. Again, seek medical advice.

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