Come over here, take a seat and let me pour you a glass of my favorite beverage in the whole wide world…red wine. Shhh…it’s okay, drinking red wine has lots of benefits. I mean more benefits than just mellowing me out after a long day. You know what I love most about red wine? The sound it makes being poured in a glass. I believe red wine has a distinctive sound different from white wine or any other adult beverage. It’s smooth and inviting. Okay, so enough of my love letter to red wine. Let’s get down to business, the reason you’re here, to learn the benefits of the occasional glass of vino rouge.
1. Lowers Your Cholesterol
As a reminder, healthy people, especially healthy new black chicks know their numbers. One of those numbers is cholesterol, a waxy substance that comes from either our body or our food. There is essentially good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol. A blood test can show the levels of both along with triglycerides, the most common type of fat in the body. The HDL helps keep the LDL in check. You will see both a total score and a ratio. Some people are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol that is okay (not optimal) as long as the ratio of good to bad is where it should be and if triglyceride levels are also low. When LDL levels are higher than HDL, the LDL gets deposited in the arteries which causes them to stiffen and eventually become blocked.
Some red wines contain red grapes that are high in fiber called Tempranillo. According to some studies people who consumed this type of red wine experienced a decrease in LDL levels between 9% and 12%. That’s a significant drop.
2. Regulates Blood Sugar
Controlling blood sugar levels is a big deal for everyone, not just diabetics. The rise in obesity can be attributed to a growing insulin resistance seen broadly across the population. The skin of red grapes contains a compound called resveratrol. A study published in the journal Nutrition saw a reduction in glucose levels for participants who took 250mg of a resveratrol supplement. That’s the supplement, imagine getting it naturally from the source! While researchers aren’t exactly sure what’s happening, they believe that the compound somehow triggers insulin secretion. The body uses insulin to “mop up” glucose in the body. If the body isn’t producing enough insulin the sugar builds up and becomes stored as fat.
3. Boost Brain Power
Resveratrol is also believed to play a role in keeping your memory sharp according to Philippe Marambaud, PhD, a senior research scientist at New York’s Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders. Research using resveratrol has been linked to slowing the formation of beta-amyloid protein, which is the key component of plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. In addition to flexing your brain muscle through cognitive exercises such as learning something new you should have a brain-friendly diet that includes red wine.
4. Fight Cancer
Back to our friend resveratrol. Researchers at the Unviersity of Virginia feel that drinking one glass of red wine three to four times a week may starve some cancer cells. Their thinking is that the compound can inhibit how cancer cells feed themselves. Sugar is the primary food source for cancer cells. Cut off the sugar, starve the cancer potentially. In this case, resveratrol may prevent the cell from consuming sugar in the first place.
5. Battle The Bulge
Clearly resveratrol is the hero in this scenario. Marvel Comics should make a movie about this miraculous compound because it apparently can also assist with weight loss. According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry our bodies create a biochemical compound called piceatannol. They think this secondary compound actually prevents the growth of fat cells by binding to insulin receptors that blocks a fat cell’s ability to mature and grow.
6. Sleep Like Beauty
Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel conducted a study using 224 who were type II diabetics and likely to develop cardiovascular disease. These participants didn’t already drink wine. Their results confirmed many of the benefits of above, but additionally participants noted they had better sleep quality. We know how important sleep is to every part of the human body – brain, cardiovascular system, heart, etc. One caveat, the participants also changed their diet to a Mediterranean one. This could also have contributed to better sleep quality and overall health improvements. We’ll go ahead and give it to red wine though!
Tonight pour yourself a glass of red wine and listen to it’s melodic dance as it goes in. Though red wine has many benefits the experts say just one glass a night for women with dinner. Beyond that red wine begins to have the opposite effect of raising blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Blame it on the alcohol and its ill effects. All things in moderation.
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