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Red Wine & Real World Benefits

by chew.com
​Although red wine is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, it is also the most beneficial thanks to the healthy effects of antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes.

Although there are many different forms of alcoholic drinks to choose from these days, there is plenty of research to indicate that red wine may be the best choice overall. Of course, not everyone drinks alcohol, but those who do are probably smart to choose red wine. It is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the human diet and its use has been documented as far back as 5400 B.C.

While heavy drinking can obviously create health problems, current research suggests that a single glass of red wine each day can provide more than just relaxation. Each year that passes brings more research on the health benefits of red wine, and most of it centers on the fact that that the moderate intake of red wine can improve cardiovascular health due to antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes. Back in the early 90s researchers from Harvard University listed moderate red wine consumption as one of the "eight proven ways to reduce coronary heart disease risk," and more recently researchers have found that moderate red wine consumption may inhibit tumor development in some cancers and help the formation of nerve cells, which might prove beneficial in the treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Testing to determine which wines offer the most health benefits shows they are tied to those wines that offer the highest concentrations of flavonoids. This makes Cabernet Sauvignon the favorite, followed by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir. Merlots and red zinfandels may be red in color, but have fewer flavonoids, and all of the white wines have fewer flavonoids than any red wine varieties. As a general rule, the sweeter the wine, the fewer the flavonoids and dry red wines will always have the most flavonoid boost.

How much red wine a person should drink is measured in servings and one serving is one four-ounce glass of wine. The medical professionals say men should consume one or two servings each day and women should consume one serving per day to reap the maximum benefits. In every case, the health benefits are totally negated when a person drinks too much alcohol of any type every day. People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol can damage their nerve cells, liver and pancreas. Heavy drinkers are also at risk for malnutrition when they substitute alcohol for food.

Proven Red Wine Health Benefits:

Longevity
The reservatrol in red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of death from nearly all causes and has also been shown to increase lifespan in various animal studies.

Heart Health
The reservatrol and other anti-oxidants in red wine have been shown to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease and may protect against coronary heart disease because it reduces the production of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and boosts high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Brain Health
The resveratrol in red wine has been shown to produce neuro-protective effects and help protect against Alzheimer's disease and dementia

Breast Cancer
Moderate red wine consumption is linked with a lower risk of breast cancer, but moderation is important because more alcohol can also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Lung Cancer
Some researchers have found that red wine can reduce the risk of lung cancer by decreasing the harmful effects of smoking on the cells in lymph vessels, blood vessels, and the heart.


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