5 Reasons To Love Red Wine
1. Lower your cholesterol High-fiber Tempranillo red grapes--which are used to make certain red wines, like Rioja--may actually have a significant effect on cholesterol levels, according to a study from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. Healthy study participants who consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine saw their LDL, or "bad cholesterol," levels decrease by 9% among healthy. Participants with high cholesterol experienced a drop of 12%.
2. Protect your heart On top of lowering bad cholesterol, polyphenols--the antioxidants in red wine--can help keep blood vessels flexible and reduce the risk of unwanted clotting, They're nearly as effective as aspirin. But be careful: Chronic heavy drinking damages the heart, so, as with most things, moderation is key.
3. Control blood sugar The skin of red grapes--a rich source of red wine's natural compound resveratrol--may actually help diabetics regulate their blood sugar, finds recent research published in the journal Nutrition. Study participants who took a 250 mg resveratrol supplement once a day for three months had lower blood glucose levels than those who didn't take the pill. Plus, resveratrol-takers also had significant decreases in total cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. Researchers suspect that resveratrol may help stimulate insulin secretion or activate a protein that helps regulate glucose and insulin sensitivity.
4. Boost your brain Resveratrol may also be the key to keeping your memory sharp. The compound has been shown to hamper the formation of beta-amyloid protein, a key ingredient in the plaque found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. Marambaud suggests flexing your noodle by doing crossword puzzles and brain teasers for an hour then cooling down with a glass of wine.
5. Fight off a cold If you hate getting sick (and who doesn't?), the antioxidants in red wine may help keep you healthy. A 2010 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that among 4,000 faculty members at five Spanish universities, those who drank more than 14 weekly glasses of wine for a year were 40% less likely to come down with a common cold. Why? According to the National Institutes of Health, antioxidants are believed to fight infection and protect cells against the effects of free radicals, which may play role in cancer and other diseases