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Health and Fitness

9 Reasons to Pour Yourself a Glass of Red Wine

Carla Cain Walther
by Carla Cain Walther Published on March 17, 2014
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The existence of red wine is proof that the universe wants us to be happy. End of discussion. But can all the health claims about red wine actually be true? We're guessing you don't need many more reasons to reach for a glass of red, but these eight health benefits might just help.

Before you start glugging down the red stuff, here's a little disclaimer: While red wine has lots of surprising benefits we really shouldn't start replacing our H20 with a vintage Pinot Noir. Most doctors suggest that women drink one 5-ounce glass of wine per night. Remember that delicious and nutritious as it is, excessive drinking can reverse the positive effects of wine and led to a dependency on alcohol. No one wants that.

But can that one glass a night work a little healthy magic? We spoke to Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Lauren Talbot, who writes in-depth articles on cleaner, greener eating on her blog, Diary of A Nutritionist, and founder of Glow, to find out how drinking the odd glass of red really is nothing to feel guilty about.

We've compiled a list of intriguing studies but until more major health and science journals support these findings, consume your red wine moderately (but you can also remain safe in the knowledge that as far as naughty treats go, it's not necessarily all that naughty).

1. Get the restful beauty sleep you want every night

All alcohols are depressants so you'll likely conk out if you have enough beer or liquor in your system, but five shots of vodka usually doesn't mean you'll get a peaceful sleep (read: the spins). Red wine, however, contains melatonin, which is a natural hormone produced in your brain. The extra melatonin will help your body relax and quickly ready itself for a peaceful sleep cycle.

2. Red wine brightens up your skin and prevents wrinkles

Need your healthy glow back? Polyphenol to the rescue! Polyphenol is an antioxidant found on the skin of grapes and it aids in maintaining the elasticity of your skin as well as reducing those pesky aging lines.

3. Does high cholesterol run in your family? It can stop with you!

When LDL cholesterol levels are high, other known as the "bad cholesterol," plaque builds up in your arteries and puts you at risk for blood clots. Clots can ultimately lead to a heart attack. Fortunately, red wine contains the antioxidant, reservatrol, that reportedly prevents the cholesterol from becoming inflamed, keeping your blood pumping with ease.

4. Don't ever cancel a date again over a cold again.

According to the National Institute of Health, antioxidants in the body combat infections, and in 2010, the American Journal of Epidemiology conducted a study to see if that was true. 4,000 participants were involved and the overall findings were encouraging! Those who drank 14 glasses of wine a week were 40% less likely to miss work over a cold.

5. Scare that seasonal depression away!

A study published in the BMC Medicine journal showed that drinking two to seven glasses of wine may decrease your risk for depression. Mental health is so important for living a happy and healthy life that we're happy to add a few glasses of vino into the mix.

6. It's a stress-reliever (like you didn't already know that)!

7. Keep your pearly whites pearly

Polyphenols found in red wine hardens the outside layer of enamel on your teeth.They also prevent bacteria from building up, which fights against gum inflammation and gum disease. It might stain your lips but at least your mouth will be healthy!

8. Reduce your risk for Alzheimer's

Slowly losing your memory is a fear many women have, especially since we are incredibly vulnerable to developing Alzheimer's in our later years. Fortunately, studies have suggested that drinking one glass of red wine a day can prohibit the formation of brain proteins primarily found in Alzheimer's patients.

9. Pair your daily dose of wine with a yummy dinner!

Red wine goes down well when paired with your dinner. So we asked Talbot what foods work with red wine and her recommendations of "low-starch vegetables, like broccoli, green beans, asparagus, zucchini and light animal proteins [such as] fish, sheep and goat cheeses" include some of our favorite foods. We seriously don't need any more reasons. Pass us the bottle!

So are you ready for Wine o'clock to roll around? Tweet us @wewomenCA!

by Carla Cain Walther

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