Wine Wednesday: Pour up, studies show red wine is healthy

While drinking alcohol in excess can have a negative affect on your health, a little wine never hurt anyone, right?

You might be surprised to find out that drinking wine in moderation can actually improve functions of the body and lower risk of certain diseases.

So, grab a glass and read up on this week’s healthy hints provided by every wine-lover’s go-to magazine: Food & Wine.

Benefit: Promotes longevity.

A 2007 Finnish study that surveyed 2,486 men over a 29-year period showed that wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate when compared to beer or liquor drinkers.

Benefit: Lowers risk of heart disease.

Red wine contains procyanidins, which can help protect against one of the leading causes of death: heart disease.

Benefit: Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes.

In an animal experiment, scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that a chemical found in red wine and the skin of red grapes, resveratrol, improved sensitivity to insulin. Insulin resistance is the most common factor that contributes to type 2 diabetes risk.

Benefit: Lowers risk of stroke.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine wrote in the journal, Experimental Neurology, that resveratrol in red wine raises levels of a particular enzyme known to protect nerve cells in the brain from damage. If this isn’t an excuse to pour another glass, we don’t know what it is!

Benefit: Reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Regular consumption of most alcoholic drinks increases the risk of breast cancer. However, red wine intake has the opposite effect, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found. These scientists explained that chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes reduce estrogen levels while raising testosterone in premenopausal women – which can result in a lower risk of developing breast cancer.