80 Amazing Benefits of Wine
NEVER FEEL GUILTY FOR REACHING FOR A GLASS. (OR TWO.)
First, some bad news: Since a wine shortage is upon us due to the extreme weather conditions that damaged grapes in Spain, Italy, and France—in other words, the world's leading wine producing countries—now's the time to stock up. And the good news? You'll be reaping some major benefits in the process.
Sure, wine tastes amazing—but that's not the only perk. Anyone who loves turning on Netflix and drinking a glass of Pinot after a long day of work isn't just sipping their way to total relaxation. That bottle is also packed with plenty of body-boosting qualities that range from helping fight off depression to giving the libido a boost.
The next time you uncork a bottle, keep these impressive, science-backed benefits in mind. And for great more advice on living your best life, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter now!
Wine Is Full of Antioxidants
Red wine in particular is packed with antioxidants, and that's great news for your health: The substances—which are found in the skin of grapes—protect your cells against the harmful effects of free radicals, says the Mayo Clinic.
Wine Is Great for Your Heart
Resveratrol—one of the key ingredients in red wine—just so happens to help keep the heart healthy by preventing damage to blood vessels and preventing blood clots, says the Mayo Clinic. Pair your favorite wine with these 7 Best Foods For Your Heart (and Your Lifespan).
Wine Can Help Slow Brain Aging
One way to keep your brain young might be as easy as sipping on some red wine. A study released earlier this year found the naturally-occurring resveratrol in the beverage could help protect the brain's neurons, slowing down the aging process. Unfortunately, the mice in the experiment had much higher levels than you can get in a bottle of wine. But hey! The future is still looking bright. Use some of that newfound brainpower with the 7 Creative Uses For Wine You Never Knew About.
Wine Could Protect Against Head and Neck Cancer
In a 2014 study, researchers found resveratrol could help prevent head and neck cancer by killing damaged, cancer-causing cells.
Wine Could Prevent Memory Loss
One bad thing about getting older is that memory loss becomes a lot more common. But that's where wine comes in. A 2015 study found the resveratrol in red wine could help improve cognitive memory and mood function in old age. A glass every now and again with any of the 10 Best Foods for Over-40 Brains is a match made in heaven.
Wine Could Help You Burn Fat Easier
Wouldn't it be nice if drinking wine made it easier to burn fat? Well, one study found the resveratrol in red wine has the ability to turn white fat into brown fat—the kind that's easier to shed.
Wine Could Help Protect Against Dental Disease
In a 2014 study, researchers found red wine—basically the wine that does it all—is able to help protect the body against dental disease by killing off unsafe bacteria in the mouth.
Drinking Wine Is Basically Like Drinking Fruit
Okay, well, close enough. Nutritionists say you're supposed to eat 4 to 5 servings a day, and considering wine is made from grapes, it totally counts, right?
Wine Is Full of Magnesium
Magnesium does everything from helping regulate muscle and nerve function to keeping your blood sugar levels in check, says the National Institutes of Health. Since red wine contains 18 grams per glass, you're getting 4 percent of your daily nutritional needs.
Drinking Wine Is an Easy Way to Get a Buzz
While most beers typically have an alcohol content of 3 to 5 percent, wine comes in at 12 to 20, says Wine Folly. Instead of having to drink a few beers to get a buzz, you can enjoy one nice glass of wine and be good to go. Don't get hosed on the price though, be sure to check out our Smart Man's Guide to Spotting Counterfeit Wine.
Wine Could Help Prevent the Flu
Once fall rolls around, it's officially flu season. Luckily, per a 2017 study, one gut microbe can help prevent catching the nasty bug by breaking down flavonoids, a naturally-occurring compound in red wine. According to the study authors, the two work together to protect people from viral infections.
Wine Can Fight Off Alzheimer's Disease
The resveratrol in red wine does the body a lot of good, and a 2015 study even found it might be able to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. They used much higher doses than you'd find in a typical glass of wine (1,000 bottles' worth a day, FYI), but it's a step in the right direction to preventing the disease in the future.
Wine Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Upper Digestive Tract Cancer
In a study of 5,117 men and 13,063 women, researchers found that red wine drinkers could have a lower risk of developing upper digestive tract cancer compared to beer or spirit drinkers. The reason? It's all thanks to the resveratrol, which has been shown to inhibit the progression of cancer.
Wine Contains Zinc
Zinc, which you can find in cells throughout the body, is crucial in helping the immune system do its job and fight off bacteria and viruses, says the NIH. Wine doesn't contain a ton (just one percent of your recommended daily value), but anything helps, right?
Wine Could Help Prevent Colon Cancer
In a 2011 study of 1,033 patients, moderate alcohol drinkers were found to be less likely to develop rectal cancer compared to non-drinkers—wine drinkers had a 31 percent decreased risk.
Wine Can Help Prevent Prostate Cancer
According to Harvard Men's Health Watch, red wine plays a role in helping prevent prostate cancer: In the study, researchers found those who enjoyed a handful of glasses each week were 52 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than those who don't drink wine.
Wine Contains Iron
Wine doesn't contain a lot of iron, but it does contain a little: The mineral not only helps move oxygen from the lungs to the tissue, but also supports metabolism and is crucial for growth, development, and normal cellular functioning, says the NIH.
Wine Bottles Work Great as Weights
Working on your biceps? Drinking wine isn't going to help with that… but using the bottles as weights will. The wine workout that went viral a couple years ago might be silly, but considering a typical bottle weighs three pounds or so—in other words, just enough to swap out small dumbbells for—it's actually a decent workout. (Just remember to pour yourself a refreshing glass after you're done, because priorities.)
Wine Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Now this is something to raise your glass to: According to a 2012 study, drinking red wine can help lower your blood pressure. But there's a catch! The non-alcoholic variety is a better option than your typical red. (Luckily it's still delicious.)
Wine Can Help Get Rid of Your Cold
If you've ever noticed your cough and sniffles have cleared up after drinking some wine, there's a scientific reason for that: A 2002 study found those who drank red wine were less likely to have a cold compared to those who didn't drink at all—or drank other types of booze—because of its ability to lower inflammation and help the body's immunity through all its antioxidants.
Wine Can Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Because of red wine's antimicrobial properties, one study found red wine can help prevent tooth decay, as well as tooth loss. And what's better than drinking a glass to keep your smile looking fresh?
Wine Can Help Get Rid of Acne
One of wine's weirdest benefits might just be its ability to help get rid of acne. Researchers in a 2014 study found the resveratrol in the red variety can actually help stop the growth of acne-causing bacteria even better and longer than the common pimple-fighter benzoyl peroxide.
Wine Contains Vitamin B-6
Another vitamin found in wine is a small amount of is vitamin B-6, which you probably know about from its cognitive development and immune function. Basically, it's a good thing to have, but you'll find more of it in fruit and starchy veggies, says the NIH.
Wine Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Because wine is packed with resveratrol, it's been found to help lower "bad"—or LDL—cholesterol levels, which will keep your heart healthy says the Mayo Clinic.
Drinking Red Wine Basically Turns You Into Ancient Royalty
Sure, the health aspects are great, but one of the best benefits of red wine is that it basically puts you on the same level as King Tut—the most famous pharaoh in existence. A 2005 study reported that, after analyzing a jar from his tomb, they discovered it was wine made from red grapes. (Good choice, your highness.)
Wine Can Help Prevent Strokes
According to a 2016 study, drinking one or two glasses of wine a day could decrease the risk of suffering a ischaemic stroke by around 10 percent. But drinking more than that did the opposite and actually increased the risk of having a stroke.
Wine Might Have the Same Benefits as Working Out
A 2011 study found that drinking a glass could be just as helpful at preventing muscle and bone deterioration as working out, thanks to the high levels of resveratrol in red wine.
Wine Can Help Diabetics Regulate Blood Sugar
Have trouble keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level? A 2013 study found that the resveratrol in red wine can help type 2 diabetics regulate their blood sugar. The participants in the study took much higher doses of resveratrol than you'd find in a glass of wine, but it's still promising.
Wine Can Help Fight Off Parkinson's Disease
According to a 2016 study, drinking moderate amounts of red wine has been shown to help protect the brain by preventing Parkinson's disease and the related cognitive decline.
Wine Can Enhance Exercise Training and Performance
No time for the gym? No problem. A 2012 study found that the high doses of resveratrol found in red wine mimicked the effects of endurance exercise training, helping with everything from improving physical performance and heart function to building muscle strength.
Drinking Wine Can Boost Brainpower
If you love your nightly glass of wine, it could actually be boosting your brainpower. A 2005 study analyzed 12,000 women between 70 and 81 years old and found that those who had one drink a day actually boosted their brainpower and had a 23 percent reduced risk of mental decline than non-drinkers.
Wine Can Help You Lose Weight
If you've been hoping your love of wine would help in the weight loss department, there's a chance it could have your back: Researchers in a 2010 study analyzed 20,000 women for 13 years and found that wine drinkers were 70 percent less likely to be overweight compared to non-drinkers.
Wine Helps You Fall Asleep Quicker
Any regular wine drinker knows it can make you drowsy—the stuff basically tucks you right into bed at night. Just be careful, though: Despite making you fall asleep faster, it can also disrupt your sleep patterns once you do doze off, says a 2015 study.
Wine Contains Phosphorus
At 33.8 mg a serving, a glass of wine contains three percent of your daily nutritional value of phosphorus. That means it lends a helping hand when it comes to energy production and other biological processes, says Oregon State University.
Wine Can Help Stop Late-Night Snacking
There might be a perk to drinking red wine at night: A 2012 study involving bees found that resveratrol made them eat less, and that's promising for humans. That glass from your favorite bottle could help you avoid late-night snacks, too.
Wine Could Help With Depression
There are plenty of ways to help fight off depression—whether that's through medication or exercise and meditation—and according to a 2013 study, wine could be on that list too. Researchers found that those who drank two to seven drinks per week were less likely to suffer from depression.
Wine Can Help Prevent Liver Disease
Drinking alcohol to avoid liver disease might sound like the exact opposite of what you should to do, but a 2008 study found that drinking a glass of wine a day can actually decrease the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by 50 percent, compared to non-drinkers.
Wine Pairs Nicely With Your Workout Routine
Obviously too much wine is never a good thing, but having a regular workout routine offsets some of the negative health risks, says a 2016 study. Instead of worrying about enjoying your favorite wine, you can savor it, knowing that, as long as you're not drinking a crazy amount, your frequent gym sessions help decrease any negatives to consuming alcohol. See? That gym membership was a good idea after all.
Wine Can Improve Your Mood
In a 2009 study, researchers discovered some good news when it comes to your mood: After analyzing 1,604 participants, they found drinking a moderate amount of wine acts as a trigger to boost the levels of omega-3s in your body, which have been shown to improve your mood and make you happier.
Wine Can Help Relieve Stress
Just in case you haven't experienced it firsthand, wine is pretty great at relieving stress—and there's even a 2014 study backing that up. According to researchers, the resveratrol in reds acts as a stress reliever of sorts to help you relax and wind down after a long day.
Wine Can Fight Off Dementia
Although it will take a lot more resveratrol than used in the experiment, a 2015 study showed that red wine can help stop the progression of dementia, which typically includes symptoms like memory loss, impaired communication and language skills, and difficulty focusing.
Wine Can Help Prevent Lung Cancer
Listen up, boys: One study looked at 28,160 subjects and found that men who drank wine are more protected against the development of lung cancer than those who drank beer and spirits, who actually saw an increased risk.
Wine Can Impact Your Libido
Any woman who's trying to increase her libido should grab a glass of red wine: A 2009 study showed that a regular, moderate intake of the red variety made the participants have a higher level of sexual desire. It also helped women ditch the lubrication—and that's always a plus. Oh, and speaking of libido: if you're looking to really enhance your experience in the bedroom, consider one of these.
Red Wine Can Help Prevent Cavities
Sure, brushing your teeth is important—but you can also fight off cavities with wine, says a 2014 study. According to researchers, the polyphenols in the red varieties can help slow down hard-to-kill bacteria that grows in the mouth, preventing cavities and damage to the teeth.
Wine Makes You Feel Healthier
Whether you're actually at an incredibly high level of health or not, that's how wine drinkers see themselves—at least in one study of 12,039 people. Researchers found those who drank a light to moderate intake of wine had good self-perceived health opposed to those who drank beer and spirits.
Wine Drinkers Score Higher on IQ Tests
OK, OK… it's hard to say if wine drinkers are smarter than beer drinkers, but there's at least one study positing that. When researchers analyzed data from 693 participants, they found those who drank wine consistently had better scores on IQ tests than those who drank beer. The results don't lie, people.
Wine Can Cut Your Cardiovascular Risk
While consuming high levels of alcohol can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, a 2014 review found that drinking a glass of red wine before or during your evening meal can help decrease your risk.
Wine Drinkers Have a Lower Rate of Hip Fractures
When it comes to your bones, you're better off drinking wine than other alcohol. In one study, those who consumed a low to moderate weekly intake of wine had a lower risk of hip fractures than those who drank beer.
Wine Contains Choline
That's choline, not the stuff in pools. Choline is super important for liver function, a healthy metabolism, and brain development, says Oregon State University. And if you can get a tiny bit from red wine (8.4 mg, to be exact), why not?
Wine Could Help You Live Longer
If you're choosing between wine and liquor, go with wine. While one study found that drinking a low to moderate intake of spirits increased participants' risk of mortality, those who drank the same amount of wine had a lower risk. And that most definitely deserves a cheers.
Wine Can Help Improve Blood Circulation
In a small 2008 study, researchers found having a drink of either red or white wine can benefit your blood vessels, making them more dilated—or "relaxed"—and decreasing the heart's overall workload.
Wine Drinkers Have Healthier Diets
Wine drinkers aren't just smarter, they're also healthier. Especially when it comes to their diets, says a 2002 study. Researchers found those who consumed wine in moderation had healthier diets and consumed less saturated fat and cholesterol than those who drank other types of alcohol.
Wine Can Help Your Lungs Function Better
Red wine gets most of the attention, but there is one thing white is better at: keeping the lungs healthy. In a 2002 study, participants took lung-function tests that measured how much air they could blow out in one breath. Researchers found that those who drank white wine in moderation had the best results, due to its antioxidant properties.
Wine Could Double as a Performance-Enhancing Drug
Who needs performance enhancers to be an all-star athlete when you have wine? Researchers in a 2013 study, found the compounds in red varieties can reduce the amount of testosterone in urine, which in turn boosts testosterone levels and helps athletes perform better. The study wasn't conducted on humans, but the test tubes showed impressive results.
Wine Is Good for Gut Health
Kombucha isn't the only beverage that's beneficial for gut health: One study found drinking a glass of low-alcohol red wine helped regulate the growth of good gut bacteria, possibly acting as a prebiotic.
Wine Could Help Boost Survival Rates of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Patients
Those who were wine drinkers before being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma saw a pretty interesting benefit in a 2009 study: Through an analysis, researchers found the patients who had enjoyed wine for 25 years before their diagnosis had a 25 to 35 percent reduced risk of death, relapse, or a secondary cancer.
Wine Gives a Boost of Calcium
Calcium doesn't just come from milk—it also comes from wine. A glass contains 12 mg of the mineral that's known for keeping your bones healthy, helping the blood clot, and helping the nerves send messages, says the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Wine Can Help Fight Inflammation
Inflammation—your body's response to injury or infection—can be damaging when it's prolonged. And it's also responsible for chronic diseases. One study found that the resveratrol in red wine could help prevent life-threatening inflammation by stopping the body from creating a couple of the most well-known inflammation-triggering molecules.
Wine Can Help Prevent Damage From Smoking
Before you read this, let's get one thing straight: Smoking is bad and you don't want to do it. Okay? Okay. But it's worth knowing that a small 2016 study found that, for those who do light up, drinking one or two glasses of red wine beforehand could actually help protect against some of the negative effects smoking has on blood vessels.
Wine Can Make Your Sex Life Better
No need for any pills—all you really need is red wine. One study found that those who drank a moderate intake of red wine had overall higher sexual function in between the sheets than non-drinkers.
Wine Helps Aid Meat Digestion
It's no secret that red meat contains harmful substances, but a 2008 study found that drinking red wine could help remove the dangerous chemicals before they hurt the body.
Wine Can Stimulate Stomach Acid
Stomach acid (also known as gastric acid) is needed to properly digest your food, and one study found alcoholic beverages with a low ethanol content like wine actually stimulate the acid, helping digestion run its course more smoothly.
Wine Can Help You Grow Old Without Losing Your Brain Power
If you don't want your brain power to decline as you age, grab a bottle of wine: A 2017 study found that older adults who drank moderate to heavy amounts of wine 5 to 7 days a week were twice as likely to make it to 85 years old and older without cognitive impairments compared to non-drinkers.
Wine Can Help Prevent Heart Attacks
All the resveratrol in wine pays off: The natural antioxidant found in red varieties increases your levels of good cholesterol and lowers your levels of bad cholesterol, which protects your heart against cholesterol buildup and prevents heart attacks from occurring, says the Mayo Clinic.
Wine Can Fight Off Food Poisoning
If you've never experienced food poisoning, it might be because of your wine-drinking habits. Multiple studies have shown that drinking it during meals can make you less susceptible to food-borne illnesses, and one in particular found that it could also be capable of fighting off Listeria, a deadly bacteria found in dairy and raw produce.
Wine Drinkers Tend to Exercise More
If you're not a huge fan of exercise, consider jumping on the wine-drinking bandwagon. One study found that participants who drank a moderate amount of wine also tended to exercise more than those who drank beer or spirits.
Wine Could Stop Fat Cells from Forming
Stopping fat before it even makes an appearance sounds like a dream come true, but one study found that red wine could do just that. And the magical compound to know about? Piceatannol, which blocks early-stage fat cells and inhibits them from developing and growing.
Wine Drinkers Are Smarter Grocery Shoppers
Drinking wine could be great news for your grocery shopping habits. According to a 2006 study, those who buy wine also tend to buy healthier foods. After analyzing 3.5 million transactions, beer drinkers filled their carts up with items like pre-cooked meals, sugar, chips, and fatty meat, while wine drinkers stocked up on olives, fruit and veggies, low-fat cheese, and lean meat.
Wine Could Help Stop Breast Cancer Growth
According to a 2011 study, the resveratrol in red wine plays an important role in the fight against breast cancer. Researchers found the compound can block the growth effects of estrogen, preventing breast cancer from spreading. The researchers noted that it could be especially beneficial for women who become resistant to hormonal therapy
Wine Drinkers Smoke Less Than Other Drinkers
Whether you're trying to quit or never want to start, one study found those who drank wine regularly smoked less than non-drinkers or those who drank beer or spirits. Overall, the wine drinkers tended to be more health conscious, and smoking definitely isn't part of that lifestyle.
Wine Could Help Women With PCOS
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)—a hormonal disorder responsible for enlarged ovaries that have cysts on the outer edges—might be able to lower their heightened testosterone levels with the resveratrol found in red wine. According to the 2016 study, the compound helped lower the patients' testosterone levels by 23 percent, which not only helps decrease their risk of developing diabetes, but also prevents things like excess hair and missing periods.
Drinking Wine While Young Can Prevent Alcohol Problems Later On
If you've ever be tempted to slip your teen a glass of wine on special occasions, it might actually do them some good. One study found that Italian youths who were allowed to drink wine with meals growing up were less likely to drink five or more drinks—or get drunk—at a later age. On the other hand, those who weren't allowed to drink while they were younger typically drank more in their adulthood.
Drinking Wine Can Make You More Attractive
Evidently a little wine gives a nice boost to the appearance—and not just to other drunk people. In a 2015 study, volunteers looked at side-by-side photos of individuals—one where the person in the photo drank a glass of wine beforehand, and the other where they were totally sober. And guess what? The tipsy individuals looked more attractive in photos. Just be wary: Those who drank more than a glass weren't found as more attractive.
Wine Contains Potassium
A single glass of red wine contains 187 mg of potassium—just a little bit more than half of a small banana. The important mineral keeps your cells, tissues, and organs running properly, says the University of Maryland Medical Center, and no one can argue with drinking a little wine to keep the body running strong.
Wine Might Offset the Negative Impact of Bad Diets
There's some good news for those who eat a high fat, high sugar diet: A 2016 study found the resveratrol in red wine could counteract the negative impact of the diet. But, also keep this in mind: While the study showed a glass could help improve physical activity and mobility, eating a nutritious diet is still the most important way to stay healthy.
Wine Makes Food Taste Better
Have you ever noticed how food tastes a billion times better after a couple glasses of wine? There's a reason for that. A 2015 study found that drinking alcohol before a meal made you eat larger quantities because the brain was more sensitive to the food's aroma, making it that much more appetizing.
Wine Seriously Ups Your Cooking Game
There's a reason why chefs love cooking with wine. Olive oil is great and all, but, by using different varieties of wine in the kitchen, you can add an impressive amount of flavor to your dishes, whether you're sautéing veggies or marinating protein.
Wine Can Help Make Cancer Treatment More Effective
Aside from helping fight off cancer, the antioxidants in wine can also make cancer treatment more effective, says a 2008 study. Thanks to the resveratrol in red varieties, tumor cells become more sensitive to radiation while normal tissue is protected from its harmful effects, said study's lead author.
Wine Can Protect Against the Effects of UV Rays
Skin cancer is serious business. Besides wearing sunscreen every day (yes, even in the winter!), a 2012 study found the resveratrol in red wine can also protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties, to name a few.
Red Wine Helps Prevent Wrinkles
Instead of stocking up on anti-wrinkle products, relax and enjoy a glass of wine. A 2008 study found that the resveratrol in red options has 17 times greater antioxidant activity than idebenone, a common antioxidant currently used in many anti-aging creams. That's exactly why many brands are already taking advantage. Caudalie, for instance, has a Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream that promises to help the skin regain its youthful appearance.
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