Nothing justifies a happy hour like knowing the health benefits of red wine. What’s one more glass if it’s good for you, right? Unfortunately, there is more to it than that. While red wine definitely has some health benefits, alcohol has a few drawbacks for both men and women that might make you rethink that third glass. Here’s what you need to know about red wine’s benefits, plus just the right amount you need to fully reap those benefits.
Red wine doesn’t only benefit your heart
We’ve been told time and time again that red wine is good for heart health. A study out of Spain concluded that consuming Tempranillo red grapes, found in wines like Rioja, could lower your cholesterol over time by nearly 9%. Plus, the antioxidants in red wine, known as polyphenols, can help keep blood vessels flexible. The result is a lower risk of blood clots in the heart.
Red wine also contains a compound known as resveratrol. This compound has been shown to decrease blood sugar when tested in diabetics. It might also help prevent Alzheimer’s; a separate study showed that resveratrol can hinder the formation of the plaque that’s found in the brains of those suffering from the disease. As if that wasn’t enough, resveratrol has also been shown to decrease cancer cells found in the body.
How much red wine do you need to reap these benefits?
The amount of red wine you drink definitely plays a role in whether or not it benefits you. With alcohol, moderation is key. One study suggests that the magic number is one glass of red wine per night. This study showed that those who drank red wine each night in moderation had lower cholesterol than those who drank either white wine or mineral water.
In regards to resveratrol’s cancer benefits, the study found that the sweet spot was anywhere from three to four glasses per week—but not all in one sitting. The amount you should drink depends on what benefits you are looking for, but one glass per night, anywhere from three to seven nights per week, would be best.
What can happen if you exceed the recommend daily amount?
Although a moderate amount of wine might work like a miracle drink, too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing. Alcohol as a whole can have many negative side effects if too much is consumed. According to Healthline, more than 2-3 glasses of wine per day can increase one’s risk of liver cirrhosis. Heavy drinkers are also at a higher risk for depression and obesity. Too much wine has been linked to diabetes in men. Excessive alcohol consumption (more than three drinks in one sitting, or more than seven drinks per week for women) has also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women. While some might call red wine a life saver, it’s not for everyone. Those with a history of alcohol dependency should steer clear of any alcohol.