The skins of grapes contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that provide beneficial health effects. The wine that provides the most health benefits is red because the skins are included in its processing. The grape skins are removed when white wine is processed, which decreases its medicinal benefits. The grape itself also contains nutrients and antioxidants, so white wine, while not as healthy as red, is still considered a healthy beverage.
In 1999, a Turkish university compared the antioxidant benefits of red wine, grape juice and white wine. The Ankara University researchers found that, while red wine and red grape juice contained higher levels of antioxidants, the protection of cells from oxidation was not significantly greater than the effects of white wine.
Studies analyzing white wine's effects on particular diseases have found that its antioxidant content is effective for preventing lung disease and breast cancer. In 2002, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine found that moderate lifelong white wine consumption improves lung health. In 2010 University of Wisconsin researchers found that white wine protects cells from breast cancer equally well compared with red wine.
Congeners are chemical byproducts of alcohol fermentation that cause hangovers. They are responsible for most of the taste, aroma, and color of alcoholic beverages. White wine contains lower levels of congeners compared with red wine because the chemical's concentration is higher in dark alcoholic beverages. Drinking white wine can help you avoid the headache, nausea and irritability of hangovers.
The nutritional content of white wine, aside from its antioxidant properties, includes phosphorus, potassium, and fluoride. The energy wine provides is an estimated 80 to 100 calories. Sweeter white wines contain more calories and dry white wines contain the least.