You've heard them before, and you've even used them as excuses to drink. But what are the health benefits of red wine, really? It helps you slim down and can protect your body from disease, but how?
The main benefit that seems to stick all over the internet is heart health. The tannins that make the wine red contain procyanidins, which help prevent heart disease. The wine also has resveratrol, which helps prevent blood clots, the main cause of heart disease. It's not a myth; red wine really does help prevent heart disease.
The other, more recent discovery is that a glass of red is equivalent to an hour at the gym. This doesn't mean you can stop going to the gym all together, but it does mean your glass with dinner can help boost your muscles and speed up your gym results.
A newer study suggests that red wine includes strong antioxidants that work against cancer cells and prevent mental illnesses like Alzheimer's. Hand in hand with Alzheimer's is memory loss, and a study confirmed those who drank red wine had stronger memories than those who drank less or none at all.
While it's not recommended to drink wine or any alcohol while taking antidepressants, wine on its own has some qualities that can help protect you from depression. Heart disease and depression show some similarities, meaning wine can possibly help fight off both diseases.
And ladies, it turns out red wine has even more benefits for us than it does for men. It was proven that red wine drinkers are as much as 50 percent less likely to develop ovarian cancer. That doesn't sound like a coincidence to me. With all of these benefits, it's hard to find an excuse not to drink red wine.
Is there a specific type of red wine that is better for you than the others when it comes to your health? In general, dryer (and more expensive) wines tend to have less artificial flavors. That doesn't mean you have to go spend your entire paycheck at your local winery. It means that when you go $7 bottle hunting, reach for the cabernet or pinot noir before the sugary moscato.
This summer, keep in mind that even the driest of wines can make a damn good sangria. No matter which type of wine you choose, a red wine is going to be much better for you than a high-calorie beer or a sugar-infused margarita. Most mixed drinks are loaded with sugar and carbs, while most wines are as natural as it gets.
All About Moderation
Let's not forget these health benefits don't mean you can go drown yourself in wine. It's still alcohol, and you should be just as careful with your red wine as you are with your healthy snacks.
I mean, think about it: Are you going to plow your way through an entire salad bar just because it's salad? No. So, why should you down two bottles of wine?
Not a red fan?
If you're looking for a healthy drink that's not red wine, the best you can do is to avoid mixers. Anything served neat is going to be better than an artificially flavored cocktail. Vodka is one of the skinniest drinks, at only 97 calories per serving.
Any clear liquors are healthier than, say, whiskey. Tequila isn't so bad for you, either. In fact, tequila has some of the same benefits as red wine, and it can even lower your blood sugar. Mixing it with a hefty bag of margarita mix will defeat the purpose, though.
The best benefit?
Sipping a glass of red on the couch can make you feel a hell of a lot classier than taking shots. Use this day to improve your palate and drink a bottle (or three) with your friends.