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September 4, 2020

Man holding a glass of red wine

Just before Louie walked out the door to take Lola for her morning walk, he saw me pouring red wine into a glass – for a photo I was about to take for this diary entry.

“Do you want me to hold the glass for you?” he asked.

“Yes, but not with you in it. Just your hand holding the glass will be great.”

Then I looked up to see him all suited up for the walk with his Panama hat, sunglasses, and his all-important mask -- and holding the glass of wine. A picture paints a thousand words, right?

So. Just as I was thrilled to stumble on an article about the benefits of coffee (my August 24th entry), I was equally excited to see a piece on the -- surprising -- benefits of red wine. I was relieved to see this because we enjoy a glass of wine with dinner each evening. Whether we’re eating leftovers, chorizo and eggs, or celebrating a special occasion. Like sipping a hot cup of joe, wine with a meal slows the pace, invites conversation, and makes everything taste better. But we also take responsibility for living healthy lives. I am aware of the heart-healthy benefits of red wine but wondered about how much is too much.

Now, after reading “14 Surprising Health Benefits of Wine,” I’m ready to restock, especially with reds.

In a nutshell: The “wonder ingredient” in red and purple grapes is resveratrol. It fends off fungi and bacteria, and protects the grapes during a drought. Other food sources rich in resveratrol include blueberries, cranberries, pistachios, and peanuts.

The list of benefits really surprised me:

  1. Live Longer. According to a study done on the lifestyle of residents of Crete and Sardinia, consuming dark red wine every day factored into why this group lives longer than any other place in the world.

  2. Get Smarter. Resveratrol benefits short-term memory.

  3. Banish Breakouts with Wine. Resveratrol “is able to inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria longer than benzoyl peroxide.”

  4. Wine May Beat Trips to the Gym. Heart, brain, and bone function is improved with resveratrol.

  5. Say Goodbye to the Blues. Results of a study in Spain showed that men and women who consumed two to seven glasses of wine weekly, had less likelihood of depression.

  6. Reduce (not increase) Your Risk of Liver Disease. Consuming wine in modest amounts “may decrease prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NALFLD).”

  7. Promote Healthy Eyes. A Washington University School of Medicine study found that resveratrol “stops out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eyes.”

  8. Protect Your Pearly Whites. Red wine’s antimicrobial qualities reduce bacteria that causes plaque on teeth.

  9. Cut Multiple Cancer Risks. Moderate red wine consumption reduces risks of breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.

  10. Stave Off Those Pesky Sniffles. A study of 4,000 faculty members at five universities in Spain showed that red wine drinkers were less likely to catch a cold than those who consumed beer or spirits.

  11. Lower Your Cholesterol (without changing your diet). Studies show that resveratrol increase HDL, the good cholesterol, and reduces LDL (the not-so-good cholesterol).

  12. Reduce the Risk of Stroke. Consuming red wine regularly lowers the risk of stroke.

  13. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels without Drugs. Polyphenols in red wine helps to regulate blood sugar.

  14. Slash Your Diabetes Risk. Moderate red wine consumption lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Oh good. We fall within the limits of moderate consumption, and we’ll be healthier for it.

But can red wine fend off Covid?

Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives

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