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Red wine is good for you: But know your limit

Several studies have linked moderate red wine consumption to lower risk of several diseases, including heart disease. However, overconsumption of red wine can be hazardous. So, what is the healthy amount? Read on to find out.

Planning to ring in the new year with a glass of red wine? Please, Go ahead! It could be actually good for your heart and mind. Red wine is known to offer a slew of health benefits, when consumed in moderation. Here we have listed some of the potential benefits of red wine.

Red wine is made by crushing and fermenting black grape varieties. Grapes are rich in several antioxidants including catechins, resveratrol, epicatechin, and proanthocyanidins. These ingredients make red wine so beneficial to health. Resveratrol has anti-aging and heart-healthy benefits. Flavonoids that render the wine a rich red color are powerful antioxidant agents. They protect your body against everyday toxins and stressors, helping your body function more efficiently. Proanthocyanidins also help combat free radical damage and reduce heart disease risk.

Health Benefits of Red Wine

The alcohol content of red wine usually ranges from 12% to 15%. While the health benefits of moderate consumption of red wine is mainly due to its high content of powerful antioxidants, the alcohol in it is also believed to contribute some of the benefits. Below are some of the best health benefits of red wine.

Boosts Heart Health

Drinking small amounts of red wine may reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing the levels of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) and lowering the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Resveratrol in red wine has been found to help reduce blood clots and prevent immature fat cells from maturing.

Some studies suggest that a glass of red wine daily for four weeks can elevate good cholesterol levels by 16 percent and reduce the amount of fibrinogen (a clotting compound) by 15 percent.

Helps Fight Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association claims that drinking red wine can lower your blood sugar for up to 24 hours. Moderate red wine consumption is also associated with reduced risk of heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. One study suggests that a glass of red wine every night might cut the risk of diabetes. The polyphenols, tannic acid, and resveratrol in red wine are given credit for its antidiabetic properties.

Reduces risk of cancer

Moderate wine consumption can also help lower your risk of several cancers, including colon, basal cell, ovary and prostate cancers. A study by the University of Rochester Medical Center revealed that resveratrol in red wine can destroy pancreatic cancer cells. Another study says that individuals who take at least a glass of red wine a week are less likely to suffer from bowel cancer than non-drinkers. According to a Chinese study, polyphenols in red wine can inhibit the proliferation of colon cancer cells.

Improves your sex life

Several studies have revealed that red wine can enhance and improve your sexual experience. On reason is that it helps boost your testosterone, a hormone that can increase your sexual desire. Another study says that drinking red wine increases blood flow to women's' erogenous zones, resulting in better lubrication. It was also found that women who drank red wine had a higher sex drive than those who drank another type of alcohol.

Promotes Longevity

Scientists say that resveratrol in red wine might enhance longevity by activating an evolutionary stress response in human cells. The antioxidant could also boost your energy levels. As claimed by the Stanford Center on Longevity, resveratrol in red wine can also protect our neurons from the undesirable effects of aging. This compound is also credited for the stress-relieving effects of red wine.

In addition, moderate amount of red wine can improve bone strength, promote liver health, fight depression, strengthen immunity, improve sleep, sharpen your mind and lift your mood.

Overconsumption of Red Wine is Hazardous

You can reap the above benefits of red wine, when taken in moderate amount. The generally accepted healthy dosage is 1 to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. One drink equals 118 ml of wine.

Researchers have found that people who drink approximately 150 ml (5 oz) of red wine a day may have about 32% lower risk of heart disease than non-drinkers. However, higher intake is known to increase the risk of heart disease dramatically. Excessive red wine consumption is also linked to liver damage, obesity, certain types of cancer, stroke, cardiomyopathy.

One glass of red wine has about 125 calories, 3.8 grams of carbohydrates but no cholesterol. Wines contain sugar too different types of red wine have different amount of sugar. For example, dry wine contains 4 grams of sugar per liter, medium dry wine contains 4 to 12 grams of sugar per liter and sweet wine 45 grams of sugar per liter. So, go for the dry variety, if possible.

The best wine for your heart could be Pinot Noir. The grapes grown for this type of red wine come from wet and cold environments. Therefore, the healthiest parts of the fruit remain intact.

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