Is Red Wine Really Good For the Heart?

For many people who love red wine, trying to eat dinner without having a glass or two is like flying coach on an airplane when you can afford first class. Taking coach will still get you to where you need to go, but why rob yourself of what could have been a much more enjoyable and memorable experience?

For years, some people may have limited their red wine intake due to concerns for their health, but recently news has surfaced that drinking vino can actually be good for your heart! In other words, you may not have to fly coach while eating dinner anymore…

What Does The Doc Say?

For decades, people who like to partake in yummy alcoholic beverages have had to do so with the understanding that they may be damaging the body that is their temple. Yes, life may be much, much more enjoyable thanks to the booze, but you could be shortening your time on this earth by tossing back drinks on a regular basis.

More recently, however, medical studies have revealed that drinking a couple glasses of red wine daily may in fact be good for you. So, maybe ordering a nice glass of wine with lunch and then dinner — like many French folks famously do — isn’t such a bad idea after all, non?

According to multiple studies, there are kick-ass antioxidants present in red wine, like procyanidins and resveratrol, which help protect the lining of the blood vessels in your heart. By increasing the type of cholesterol that is good for your life-sustaining pump, a person is less likely to experience or incur unpleasant things like heart attacks. In fact, some medical experts believe that drinking the right amount of booze could reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease by up to 25%!

In addition to helping your heart out, some studies indicate that drinking moderate amounts of red wine can reduce a person’s chances of contracting certain types of cancer, like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung cancer and bowel cancer. More recent research also found that the resveratrol in red wine might also prevent breast cancer cells from growing in women.

There have also been studies that indicate red wine may also help a person sustain their cognitive abilities over time. Clearly, drinking eight glasses of red wine in one night, however, can greatly reduce your ability to move, talk, and make decisions that you won’t regret the next morning.

Is Any Kind of Red Wine Good?

Although these medical findings gave red wine drinkers cause for much rejoicing (which was likely accompanied by drinking a nice goblet-sized serving of vino), some wines are apparently healthier than others.

Since the healing properties of red wine seem to be tied to the abundance of antioxidants, drinking wines that have more of this magical element is clearly the way to go. For example, wines from the Sardinia region in Italy and the Madiran area in France reportedly have ten times the amount of procyanidins than those that come from the U.S., South Africa, and Australia. Again, it’s no wonder residents of these areas drink so much wine.

Other wines that have a high level of those special antioxidants are Cabernet Sauvignons, particularly ones that come from Argentina and Chile. Pinot Noirs, on the other hand, apparently have less procyanidins. That shows you how much Miles (Paul Giammati’s character in Sideways) knew…

So Can I Get Hammered on Wine Every Day?

Yes, you can if you really want to, but if living a long, happy life is your goal, then unfortunately the answer is no. While drinking red wine can be good for your heart and other special places in your body, the health benefits from it apparently start to evaporate once you drink more than one or two glasses per day.

Although everyone who likes dipping into the sauce regularly wishes booze was nothing but good for you, the reality is that long-term abuse of alcohol can lead to nasty conditions like brain damage, liver disease, various types of cancer, ulcers and sexual dysfunction.

What about White Wine?

Since much of what makes red wine so good for you are the antioxidants that are in the skin of the grapes, white wine isn’t as heartwarming in this sense. In case you didn’t know this already, white wine is white because it’s made without the skin of the grape.

Despite this shortcoming, however, medical studies indicate that some health benefits can be gained by drinking white wine as well. Again, not by drinking a gallon of it every day, but rather just one or two glasses.

White wine has been found to help prevent sore throats and lower the levels of bad cholesterol, similarly to red wine. Fairer wines are also the go-to drink for people who suffer from migraines, since they do not contain as much tyramine, which causes mind-splitting pain for some. Some of the healthiest types of white wine to drink are reportedly Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, while wines like Pinot Grigio and Riesling are high in calories and not so great for the hips.