Can Drinking Wine Be Good For You?
Posted on 05 September 2022
Anyone ever seen those articles in newspapers and magazines declaring that “Drinking Wine Is Good For You!”? We have too, and our hearts, as well of those of wine lovers everywhere, skip a beat at the thought of guilt free drinking of our favourite bottles.
But what are the truths behind these claims? And are there better wines than others to be drinking? For this week's blog, we asked our wine expert, Mike Turner, to find out…
Ok, first up, an apology. This week’s blog is a bit…er…heavy I guess.
We’re trying to tackle a tricky subject that a lot of people in the world of wine, and booze in general, tend to try and sweep under the carpet. The relationship between health and alcohol is a tricky subject, but we thought it would be a good idea to look at some recent claims, stick them in context, and get us all a bit happier about what we love doing: drinking beautiful wines.
We have to be honest in that would it be better for our long-term health if all we ever did was eat fresh vegetables, exercised 2 hours a day, and slept for 10 hours a night. But life is for living, and for those of us that enjoy wine and enjoy food we still want to partake of our favourite past time. The question then becomes what are the best wines out there for us to keep enjoying having a few glasses without putting ourselves in harm’s way?
Why is Wine the Best Option?
Of all the available alcoholic drinks out there, wine (and red wine in particular) is generally accepted to be the healthier option.
This is because of the compounds that are present in the wines themselves and the effect they can have on our bodies.
Studies have been conducted that suggest the following potential upsides to wine drinking:
1) Protect Against Heart Disease: Probably the most famous benefit of red wines are its antioxidant properties from compounds known as polyphenols, such as resveratrol and proanthocyanidins.
This is thought to help reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of blood clots and heart disease. Red wine contains around ten times as many as white wine.
2) Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease: Wine also contains two compounds commonly found in olive oil, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol that studies have shown to be protective against Alzheimer’s Disease.
3) Protect Your Gut: A recent study showed that moderate red wine drinking may get your gut health in a healthier state, by improving the diversity of bacteria in your gut.
This turn leads to improved immunity and digestion, and potentially a lower body mass index.
I really need to state that, as with all scientific study, these are not facts.
Hypotheses were put forward and proven in those studies, which all come with caveats.
Are we saying that if you drink red wine you’ll never get heart disease? Absolutely not!
But we are saying that wine, and red wine in particular, appears to be the healthiest option for a glass of something with your dinner.
And in a world where it feels like everything is bad for you, I personally take some comfort in that.
Drinking in Moderation
As we alluded to at the start, there’s no completely safe drinking level. But, like everything in life, enjoying your favourite things in moderation is the way forward.
The current alcohol guidelines from the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/drink-less/#:~:text=Alcohol%20guidelines,risk%20of%20harming%20your%20health state 14 units per adult per week, hopefully spread over the week.
That works out as a nudge over a litre of wine per week, or a bottle and a third. That might not sound a lot, but a couple of lovely bottles of wine shared between two of you and you’re well within guidelines!
So there you go, a bit of a heavy post that one, but hopefully it’s put all the click bait headlines in context and we can get back to enjoying those fabulous wines from Libiamo!