Red wine, long a common food stuff in European and Mediterranean cultures, has several health benefits, a number of which are specifically beneficial for women. While this might seem like a good reason to indulge in a glass after a long day or when out with friends, moderate alcohol consumption is still recommended, as the benefits of red wine do not outweigh the dangers of high alcohol consumption.
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Flavonoids and Antioxidants
Red wine contains flavonoids, which have a number of potential health benefits. Flavonoids are a type of pigment found in plants and are a well-known antioxidant. As an antioxidant, flavonoids protect your cells from damage by free radicals. Flavonoids help with reducing inflammation as well as protecting cell structure. They also increase the antioxidant capabilities of vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system.
Heart Health Benefits
As a consequence of its antioxidant abilities, red wine flavonoids may help with reducing the likelihood of heart disease, so long as it is consumed in moderation. Yale-New Haven Hospital finds that red wine flavonoids lower bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein, while also raising good cholesterol, known as high-density lipoprotein. Furthermore, flavonoids in red wine can help reduce the possibility of blood clots.
Inflammation and Cancer
Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes, and thus transferred to red wine during its production, may help with controlling inflammation. According to the Linus Paulin Institute, resveratrol has also been shown to help reduce or inhibit cancer growth in animals and cultures. But human studies still need to be conducted and have not been conclusive. Similarly, resveratrol has increased the lifespan of some test subjects, including worms, mice and fish. It is unclear if a similar effect can be shown for humans.
Quantities and Consumption
A single serving of red wine measures 4 ounces. The Yale-New Haven hospital recommends a maximum of one serving per day for women and one to two servings per day for men in order to receive the full benefits of red wine. The dangers of overdrinking or binge drinking outweigh the potential health benefits, so moderate and careful consumption is recommended. Drinking more than three servings per day increases the likelihood of fat in your bloodstream. Over time, this can lead to nerve, liver and pancreatic damage.