A glass of red wine as part of the daily diet is considered to be very healthy by many, but some others say the expected benefits from wine are over exaggerated.
However, a number of studies have shown that specific ingredients in the grape wine have the efficiency to prevent and cure several diseases, especially the cardiovascular diseases.
But it must be noted here that excess consumption of wine, especially those with higher alcoholic content, is going to harm the body severely in the long run than rendering any benefits.
In this article, we shall briefly discuss all details on red wine; both health benefits and side effects.
What Is Red Wine?
The term ‘wine’ could generally mean an alcoholic drink.
The red wine is made from the must or pulp of red or black grapes. For this, the whole grapes (together with skin) is crushed and fermented for 5 to 14 days and finally the fermented juice is strained and bottled.
The red color is usually got from the skin of the grape.
White wine is made by fermenting juice which is made by pressing crushed grapes to extract the juice; the skins are removed after crushing the grapes itself.
The level of alcohol present in all natural red wine ranges between from 11.5% to 15%. The alcoholic content is minimal, but consuming more than 2 glasses of wine will add up to a good bit of alcohol in the body.
There are many verities of grape wine with differences in color, taste and the level of alcohol present in them. These differences arise because the grapes cultivated in different geographical regions differ in quality and kind.
The major health benefits of the wine are derived from the powerful antioxidants and the moderate level of alcohol present in it.
How Many Calories In A Glass Of Red Wine?
You may be just wondering how many calories in a glass of red wine, and it is important to know for those who are on a strict low-calorie diet.
Nutritional and alcoholic values of 100ml (117gm) red wine in percentage are as follows:
- Calories 85
- Protein 1
- Carbohydrate 1
- Fat 0
- Fiber 0
- Alcohol 11 – 15
One serving (one glass) of red wine is usually of 5 fl oz (125ml/147gm), and it contains approximately 107 calories.
One large glass of wine (250ml) contains 214 calories in it.
The Reason Behind Red Wine’s Popularity
Several health studies have time and again vouched for the health benefits of red wine for one undeniable reason.
It is observed that the lowest rate of heart diseases is present among the French. Their diets, in general, are not the best as their favorite foods generally contain a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol.
The only reason for ‘healthy heart’ in most French people is believed to be their love for red wine.
The red wine is a part of daily diet among most French. The health experts feel that the antioxidant properties of the wine are responsible for fighting the bad effects of LDL cholesterol and keeping them healthy.
Of course, the red wine has some added health benefits. But some of the studies refute these claims and suggest that the French habit of eating whole-grain foods is the major reason behind the healthy heart among them.
Red Wine Has Plenty Of Antioxidants
Many of the cardiovascular diseases and cancer are associated with the oxidative damage that happens to the body. The oxidative damage in the body can be well taken care of by the proanthocyanidins antioxidant.[6, 7]
Resveratrol is a polyphenol type substance that can protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart.
Some of the coronary diseases are caused by blood clots. Resveratrol is an excellent antioxidant that can remove the chemical that causes the blood clot.
It is expected the regular consumption of a glass of red wine will reduce the possibilities of stroke by preventing the clotting of blood.
Resveratrol tested on animals indicated an increase in longevity of life.
This key antioxidant in the wine also reduces the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (bad cholesterol), and this helps in improving heart’s health and prevents high blood pressure to some extent.
However, some of the experts negate these claims as they say that red wine contains only very little amount of resveratrol that is not sufficient enough produce the expected health benefits unless a person drinks several liters of red wine a day.[9,10]
Benefits Of Red Wine For Healthy Heart
It is customary for people in some of the European countries, more popularly in France, to have one or two glasses of grape wine before dinner.
It is expected that moderate amounts of red wine give good health benefits in comparison to any other alcoholic drink.
There are some studies that indicate people who drink about 5 ounces of red wine a day have 30% lower risk of contacting any cardiovascular diseases.
As per some other study results, even the people already with heart diseases could also benefit a lot by beginning to drink moderate amount of red wine daily.
Other Health Benefits Of Drinking Red Wine As A Diet
The red wine is not only good for the heart but also, it has good health benefits in preventing and curing various other diseases.
Below given are the some of the best-known health advantages of drinking the grape wine as a regular diet:-
- Helps in reducing risk of colon cancer, ovary, prostate cancer and basal cell cancer[22,23,24]
- Helps in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia[25,26]
- Helps in reducing the risk of plunging into depression and hypertension[27,28]
- Helps in reducing insulin resistance when two glasses of red wine consumed per day for 4 to 5 weeks.[29,30]
- Helps in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes in woman
- Helps in preventing excess weight gain as piceatannol found in grape wine block cellular processes that allow fat cells to develop and grow. But excess amount of red wine consumption can have reverse effect as it contain a lot of calories.
- Helps in protecting teeth from cavity as red wine could kill dangerous bacteria in your mouth
Side Effects Of Drinking Too Much Alcohol Rich Red Wine
Just like any food, red wine consumption in excess amount is also going to have adverse effects on health.
Drinking excess amount of red wine with normal alcoholic content can gradually drive the individual to become an alcohol addict. It will not only destroy the health but will destroy the social and family relationships too.
Many of the physicians and health experts deliberately do not recommend the grape wine as a healthy diet in fear of people falling prey to alcohol addiction.
Some of the possible side effects of excess red wine consumption are as follows:
- Regular consumption of grape will lead to alcohol dependence.
- Drinking more than two glass of regular red wine consumption can lead to the development of liver cirrhosis as more 30 grams of alcohol is present in it.
- Like every alcohol addicts, red wine consumers could go into depression with excess consumption of this drink.[36,37]
- Red wine is rich in calories, and too much of it will lead unwanted weight gain even though moderate amount is good for weight loss.[38,39]
- More than two glasses of red wine will add up more than the healthy limit of alcohol, which would cause diabetes and premature death through organs failures.[40,41]
How Much Red Wine To Be Drank For Its Best Health Benefits?
Anyone can drink red wine moderately and experience its health benefits without the fear of any side effects.
Most commonly accepted and followed amount red wine consumption as follows:
- 1–1.5 glasses a day for women.
- 1–2 glasses a day for men.
It is good to have a moderate amount of red wine for five days a week for the best benefits and without becoming an alcohol addict.
However, you should not be taking red wine if you are in the habit of having regular alcohols like whiskey, rum, etc. It is also not recommended for people who have the previous history of substance abuse as it can rekindle the old habits in them.
The Bottom Line
Despite red wine being linked to few health benefits, many of the experts do not recommend it as a healthy diet.
It is really not worthy enough to encourage the intake of any type of alcohol for the sake of little health benefits.
It is actually for the antioxidants sake this drink is labeled as healthy. Actually, a glass of red wine contains only very little amount of resveratrol and other antioxidants; it means a person need to drink several glasses of wine to get some benefits from these antioxidants.
There are so many other natural foods that contain more amounts of antioxidants than the red wine.
However, if you already have red wine as a principal part of the food culture in your country, it is good to carry on with the drinking of red wine in moderate amount.