Cheers to Good Health

Wine Glass CheersToasting to good health is a long-standing tradition. For red wine lovers, the toast may hold some truth. Studies show drinking red wine – in moderation – could have some heart healthy benefits. Celebrate by raising your glass to American Heart Month.

Red Wine Science

The skins and seeds of grapes contain the antioxidant resveratrol. Antioxidants fight against free radicals that can damage the body’s essential cellular functions. Common free radicals are stress, UV rays, viruses, pollution and environmental toxins. Researchers think free radicals negatively affect aging, hearth health and the body’s immune system. They may also play a part in causing diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Antioxidants are our friends. They fight free radicals to help make them harmless. Studies show that resveratrol, specifically, may help prevent blood vessel damage, reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and prevent blood clots, all of which benefit the heart.

Because red wine spends more time hanging out with the grape skins during fermentation, it naturally has a higher resveratrol level than white wine.

Everything in Moderation

Wine Calorie GuideClick image for larger view.

The research that supports drinking red wine for improved heart health is promising. That said, we do not recommend anyone start drinking just to prevent heart disease. The health problems associated with drinking alcohol far outweigh any benefit your heart might get.

If you already enjoy drinking red wine, do so in moderation. For adults, that means:

  • One 5-ounce glass per day for women, and for men 65+
  • Two 5-ounce glasses per day for men under 65

Alcohol can also derail your diet goals. A 5-ounce glass of red wine has an average of 125 calories. Those calories add up quickly and they have no nutritional value. Overindulging on a regular basis could lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes, not to mention a killer hangover.