Why is it a good idea to drink wine?

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The Polish cuisine of the inter-war period Bubbles bar restaurant
Polish cuisine of the inter-war period
Alcohol mostly makes us think of the negative impact on our health. At the same time, plenty of us feel a great pleasure from drinking a glass of the favorite drink occasionally. If every once in a while you want to have a glass of a „high percentage” drink, it is the best to go for wine. Why? What properties of wine make it worth drinking?
Let’s be honest – a vast majority of us, even if we try to eat healthy, can’t deny ourselves tiny innocent guilty pleasures. For some of us it’s chocolate, for others it’s coffee or favorite wine. We have good news for that last group – moderate consumption of this drink has a positive impact on our health. It’s not an accident that the nations known for their love for wine (such as Greek or French) are among the most healthy and long-living.
Wine goes great with most meals. Unlike vodka, which so many people drink only to get intoxicated, wine can be considered an integral part of the ritual of consuming favorite dishes. Most of good restaurants has a vast selection of this noble alcohol in their menus. Properly selected wine not only doesn’t disrupt but actually enriches and brings out the true flavor of food. From now on you don’t have to feel guilty about giving yourself a glass or two with dinner – it’s pure health! How does wine impact the functioning of our body?
Wine enhances immunity
Alcohol consumed without moderation has a rather negative impact on our body’s immunity. Maybe that’s why so many people associate any amount of alcoholic beverages with getting sick often. But it turns out that when it comes to wine it’s a little different. Of course, if we drink it too often and (most of all) too much of it, we can expect the overall functioning of our body to get worse. Consuming small amounts, on the other hand (such as a glass of wine with dinner) will improve our immunity. How is this possible? According to scientists, the substances present in wine increase the activity of cathelicidin, which is a peptide with antibacterial properties. One can get especially positive results by also using vitamin D3 supplementation.
It’s a good supplementation of a weight-loss diet
We all know that alcohol is high-calorie. In this category, however, the worst marks go to the colorful drinks and all those containing sweetened carbonated drinks, such as Cola or Sprite. Those suspecting that their excess weight could be blamed on things like their love for alcoholic beverages, should modify their nonconstructive habits, replacing other drinks with red wine.
The ellagic acid present in red wine doesn’t allow new adipose cells to be formed and stops the growth of the ones already existing. It also stimulates the liver into better metabolism of fatty acids, which leads to faster burning of the consumed calories and a weight loss. It is suspected that the enthusiasts of this drink develop a mechanism that allows to instantly convert the calories present in alcohol into heat. Drinking wine during meals increases secretion of saliva and production of digestive enzymes. On top of that, the effect of improved circulation causes the nutrients present in food to reach the bloodstream faster.
Obviously, drinking wine won’t replace a balanced diet and adequate dose of activity – it might only support those actions. We should also remember that wine has calories too and we should only drink one glass a day.
Supports the functioning of brain
Besides having a positive impact on our brain, wine can also support the functioning of our mind and different cognitive functions. First of all: alcohol improves circulation, and as a result functioning of the brain too. Various research has shown that drinking red wine regularly prevents the blood vessels from getting rigid, as well as limits inflammations. On top of that, in countries where red wine enjoys particular popularity, elders are much less likely to get neurodegenerative diseases (or dementia, like the Alzheimer disease). According to scientists, it is because of presence of resveratrol in wine, which reduces platelet stickiness, so that blood vessels are wider and more elastic, and the brain gets more blood.
It supports development of muscles and neutralizes consequences of a sedentary lifestyle
The modern lifestyle isn’t favorable to our body’s condition. Plenty of us work at desk and in front of a computer, which forces to spend many hours a day in a sitting pose. As we know, our body is not adapted to sitting and remaining in a single position for long – it is definitely more beneficial for it to be constantly active. For that reason our physical condition usually leaves a lot to be desired: we are not stretched enough, weak and not very sturdy. Of course, in such case drinking wine also won’t make it so that we don’t need physical exercise, but it may neutralize the negative impact of insufficient amount of it. That’s because research shows that resveratrol present in wine helps maintain the muscle mass and strength, as well as bone flexibility, even if we’re not very active in the day to day existence.
Wine protects from cancer
Moderate consumption of red wine (which is drinking a glass of it 3-4 times a week) has a chance of stopping the development of cancerous cells. Resveratrol reduces the amount of protein, which helps those cells develop. It is worth noting that according to scientists alcohol increases the probability of breast cancer occurring, but red wine avoids this sad tendency. It is thanks to the substances contained in it that reduce the estrogen level while increasing the testosterone level.
It reduces cholesterol
Drinking wine reduces the cholesterol level, and actually overall has a positive impact on its state. Consuming this drink results in increasing the level of HDL – the so-called good cholesterol, as well as limits the amount of fibrinogenes that are responsible for clots occurring in blood vessels. On top of that, resveratrol reduces the level of LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, responsible for development of atherosclerosis.
It slows down the aging process and extends lifespan
We’d all like to live a „long and happy” life, enjoying good health and good looks, wouldn’t we? It turns out that achieving this goal can also be helped by… drinking wine. The resveratrol which is responsible for so many good characteristics of wine makes an incredibly strong antioxidant. One of its actions is stimulating SIR2, or the longevity gene, which reduces the occurrence of aging symptoms (such as low blood vessel elasticity, poorer motion coordination and bone thickness, cataract, high level of the bad cholesterol or inflammations in the body) and extends the lifespan. To make the best use of those properties of wine, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what type of drink we choose – the pinot noir grape type is better, whereas the one containing less resveratrol is cabernet sauvignon. We should also remember that red wine contains about five times as much resveratrol as the white one.
Improves mood and alleviates depression
When our mood isn’t the best, we intuitively pour ourselves a glass of wine. It turns out that such behavior isn’t exactly pointless, as small amounts of this drink help relax and release endorphins, or the so-called „happiness hormones”. It also turns out that inflammation and depressive episodes are correlated, and wine has anti-inflammatory properties. We should remember, though, to be careful about the amount consumed – in higher doses alcohol shows depressive effects. It should be stressed out that wine doesn’t constitute a cure for depression. If you suspect that you’re suffering from it, you should immediately visit a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Wine can only be used as a temporary remedy for bad mood, whereas battling the illness should be left to professionals.