If you’re anything like me, you probably know that red wine is good for your heart — and that’s about it. But did you know that there are many more health benefits of red wine? Drinking red wine can also help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, and improve your skin?
Red wine gets its color from grape skins and seeds. These parts of the grape have high concentrations of phenolic compounds, which are a type of plant-based antioxidant. The fermentation process also increases the amount of resveratrol in red wine by as much as 10 times as compared to white wine!
Red wine contains more than 200 anti-oxidant flavonoids including catechins (also found in green tea), anthocyanins (found in blueberries), proanthocyanidins (also found in apple peels), and quercetin. Let’s take a closer look at how these compounds benefit our health…
Heart Health is the most common health benefit of red wine. Red wine is rich in polyphenols which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and blood viscosity – all important factors for maintaining cardiovascular health. An important polyphenol is Resveratrol, It’s in the skin of red grapes
A study with 1,800 participants found that those who drank 3 to 4 glasses of red wine each week had significantly lower blood pressure than those who drank less. And a meta-analysis of 22 studies with 2,000 participants concluded that wine drinkers have a reduced risk of heart disease – particularly when it’s red wine!
The high antioxidant content of red wine makes it a powerful anti-cancer agent. A review of 20 studies on the subject concluded that regular red wine consumption can reduce the risk of cancer by up to 40%. It’s particularly effective at preventing cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, and breast.
But how does it work? One of the ways red wine helps prevent cancer is a well known chemical called – Anthocyanins ( Gives Purple Pigment to the grapes) and helps by reducing DNA damage. This could be due to the fact that red wine is rich in melatonin, a hormone that boosts the immune system and is also helpful at reducing oxidative stress on the DNA. The antioxidants in red wine are also effective at preventing cancer by reducing inflammation, which can be a precursor to cancer development.
Regular red wine consumption can help reduce inflammation in the body. According to research, the phenolic compounds ( Quercetin / Proanthocyanidins) in red wine possess anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for those suffering from conditions like arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
A study with 370 arthritis patients found that those who drank red wine had reduced symptoms of arthritis. The compounds in grapes and the fermentation process may help reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting enzymes that cause inflammation.
The antioxidants in red wine may also help prevent damage to the tissues and organs in the body that cause inflammation. A study with mice found that red wine reduced the amount of oxidative stress in their bodies, which has been linked to inflammation.
Regular red wine consumption can help improve the appearance of your skin. The antioxidants in red wine have been shown to have positive effects on the health of skin cells, resulting in younger-looking skin. A study with 50 participants found that drinking 3 to 4 glasses of red wine per week can reduce wrinkles and improve the elasticity of your skin.
These antioxidants are particularly helpful at fighting the harmful effects of UV radiation on your skin. UV radiation has been linked to skin aging, and is considered a risk factor for skin cancer.
The phenolic compounds in red wine have been shown to help prevent UV damage to skin cells, resulting in reduced wrinkles and a brighter complexion. The antioxidants in red wine can also help prevent dry and dehydrated skin by increasing the amount of water retained by your skin cells.
Overall, red wine is a powerful superfood that can help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, and improve your skin. The best part is that you can reap these benefits with just a couple of glasses of red wine per week – no need to go overboard! Find out some other benefits other fruits and vegetables have here.
Unfortunately, the benefits of red wine can be reduced or eliminated if you drink it with food or take aspirin. The best way to reap the benefits of red wine is to drink one glass per day, at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal.
Rauf, A., Imran, M., Abu-Izneid, T., Patel, S., Pan, X., Naz, S., Sanches Silva, A., Saeed, F., & Rasul Suleria, H. A. (2019). Proanthocyanidins: A comprehensive review. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 116, 108999. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.108999