No matter if you like white wine, red wine or any of the other many different types, wine is undoubtedly one of the most popular drinks in the world. Not only that, but it is a go-to when it comes to alcoholic drinks. Wine is enjoyed in one capacity or another throughout almost every part of the world. It’s not a new development, either, as the history of wine traces back for more than 8,000 years.
While there is certainly such a thing as drinking too much wine, the drink has received a better reputation in recent years. A lot of that has to do with the fact that health benefits are being found from drinking a daily glass of wine. What exactly are those benefits? Let’s take a look at the surprising nutrition of a glass of wine, along with what those nutrients can do for your overall health.
Nutrition of Wine
There are a lot of different wines out there, so it can be tough to get an exact nutrition reading. For the average wine, however, you are getting about 125 calories for each five ounce glass. Unlike other alcoholic beverages, wine does give you some important vitamins and minerals while being fairly low in carbohydrates. You can find small amounts of vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6 in each glass of wine.
The minerals are the more important part here, as you are getting 10 percent of your recommended value of manganese. Potassium, iron and magnesium are right around five percent, as well. Other smaller minerals found in wine are calcium, phosphorus, zinc and copper. While you aren’t getting a lot of one thing, you are getting an important amount of many things, which is more than could be said for drinks like beer or vodka.
The first thing that you probably hear people say when it comes to the benefits of drinking wine is what it can do for your heart. Those that are drinking just one glass per day are more likely to see improved heart health, with one major study saying that the chances of a heart attack drop by 30 percent for the glass a day drinkers. Though not every study has found the same benefit, it has been an eye opener.
Wine has also been shown to lower your chance at heart diseases in general, which is thanks in part to the procyanidins found in each glass. Wine also contains resveratrol, which has been found to help increase your HDL (good) cholesterol by more than 10 percent, while also lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. For those worried about a family history of strokes, you can lower your chances by drinking wine, as well.
When we usually think of alcohol, it’s typically that is loaded with sugars that are going to increase your risks for liver disease and diabetes. According to studies, that’s not the case for those that drink a moderate amount of wine. In fact, wine has been shown to reduce your chance of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 30 percent. This goes back to the resveratrol found in wine that can help you increase your insulin sensitivity.
As for your liver, moderating your wine intake can actually prevent liver disease instead of bringing it on. One study showed that drinking the moderate amount decreases non-alcoholic related fatty liver diseases, while other alcoholic drinks drastically raise your chances. So as long as you are sticking to just one glass, you are actually helping your liver and blood sugar, not hurting it.
Taking care of your brain is of the utmost importance for your overall health. Studies have been showing that moderate wine drinking can actually keep your brain sharper for a longer period of time. This means that you are less likely to develop a neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s. In turn, you are more likely to see an enhanced memory and can process information faster than those that don’t drink wine at all.
Wine also helps to put you into a relaxed mood, which can help you avoid many of the problems that are associated with stress. That even means that you are less likely to suffer from depression, as studies show those that are moderate drinkers are far less likely to also be diagnosed with depression. Wine is a good post-workout drink, as well, with resveratrol and manganese helping you feel more relaxed.
Of course, having enough alcohol in your system, anybody can look good. You can make yourself look good, however, by moderately drinking. Wine has antioxidants that can help to clear your skin, avoiding breakouts while fighting off early signs of aging such as wrinkles and dried skin. If you want to see better, then wine is a good way to go as those same antioxidants make you less likely to suffer from cataracts or macular degeneration.
While it’s known that wine can stain your teeth temporarily, washing your mouth out after drinking is going to be a great way to improve your dental health. Wine does have plenty of those antioxidants that we talked about, which can kill the bacteria in your mouth. That will help you avoid problems such as bad breath and gum disease down the road.
While studies are still early in certain forms of cancer, there are types that have been found to be less common in those that drink a glass of wine per day. Prostate cancer is the big one, and moderate drinkers among men can cut their chances of developing the disease in half. Early studies also show that wine can reduce your chances of developing breast cancer and colon cancer. One major study showed that your colon cancer risk can drop between 40 to 50 percent through wine.
Summing it Up
Wine is certainly great, but you have to really watch how much you’re drinking (though that should go without saying). Drinking too much wine in one night can result in a nasty hangover, and could lead to an alcohol dependency down the road. Drinking more than the recommended amount can mess up your sleep cycle while also having negative effects on your heart. Wine is also high in calories compared to a lot of drinks, so getting more than the recommended amount could lead to some quick weight gain and malnutrition, leading to further health problems.
As long as you can stick to the recommended amount, you are going to be seeing the great benefits of wine without any of the negatives. Picking the right wine is also important, as certain types won’t have the same positive effects. Doctors have been saying how good one glass per day can be for your body, but just remind yourself that it’s one glass. Just don’t let wine get the best of you, and you can get the best from wine.