13 Surprising Benefits of Red Wine

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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The health benefits of red wine have made it one of the most written about alcoholic beverages in recent years. It might help in the prevention of conditions ranging from cardiovascular diseases to cancer. Some other advantages of wine include the prevention of dementia, combating the aging process, and controlling hypertension.

Red wine can also aid in reducing the risk of developing gallstones and kidney stones. It plays a role in improving the general resistance to allergens and the antioxidants from wine are constituents of some high-end cosmetic formulas. A daily dose of a moderate amount of wine can truly work wonders for the body.

The health benefits of red wine have distinguished it from many other beverages. Unlike other alcohols, wine does not significantly add to the calorie count and in fact, it keeps your obesity in check. Wine consumption leads to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, which has a positive effect on the heart. It provides a rich source of antioxidants that include flavonoids and polyphenols, such as resveratrol, which studies have shown to be an active element in cancer prevention. The wine has been proven to be a rich source of antioxidants and a powerful substance to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Glass of red wine held in a hand in a green background

A glass of red wine is loaded with antioxidants that has infinite benefits to human body. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Alcoholic beverage, wine, table, red
Serving Size :
Water [g]86.49
Energy [kcal]85
Energy [kJ]356
Protein [g]0.07
Ash [g]0.28
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]2.61
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]0.62
Calcium, Ca [mg]8
Iron, Fe [mg]0.46
Magnesium, Mg [mg]12
Phosphorus, P [mg]23
Potassium, K [mg]127
Sodium, Na [mg]4
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.14
Copper, Cu [mg]0.01
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.13
Selenium, Se [µg]0.2
Fluoride, F [µg]104.6
Thiamin [mg]0.01
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]0.22
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.03
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.06
Folate, total [µg]1
Folate, food [µg]1
Folate, DFE [µg]1
Choline, total [mg]5.7
Betaine [mg]0.3
Carotene, beta [µg]1
Vitamin A, IU [IU]2
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]6
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0.4
Alcohol, ethyl [g]10.6
Sources include : USDA

Carbs in Wine

According to the USDA, 1 serving i.e. 147 g of red wine contains 3.8 g of carbohydrates.

Health Benefits of Red Wine

Here are some of the health benefits of red wine.

Anticancer Potential

Red wine is said to be a rich source of phenolic compounds such as resveratrol. These compounds act as antioxidants and have been observed to be helpful in fighting cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

A 2018 study published in the journal Gene also suggested that red wine might be useful in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. The same research also highlights the stronger effect of mature wines in curbing cell growth, as compared to younger wines.

Helps Improve Memory

Recent research suggests that resveratrol found in red wine and red grapes may help in preventing age-related memory loss. In late middle age, it might also help with enhancing mood function.

Cardioprotective Abilities

According to the findings of the journal Nature, red wine inhibits the synthesis of endothelin-1. It is a protein responsible for the building up of fats along the walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis. Wine also has high levels of procyanidins, a class of phenols, which play a role in the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

The American Chemical Society has found that the phenols found in red wine prevent platelet aggregation, thus countering thromboses that can occlude the inner lining of the blood vessels. It has blood-thinning properties and scores higher than aspirin in this respect. Aspirin is usually taken as a preventative measure for heart attacks.

Neuroprotective Abilities

Resveratrol in wine also plays a neuroprotective role and enhances the degradation of plaques that can cause Alzheimer’s as per studies. It also counters the age-related degeneration of neurons.

Delays Aging

The Harvard Medical School recommends a daily dose of resveratrol for a longer and a healthier life.

Lowers Diabetes Complications

Wine prevents complications caused by oxidative stress during the onset of diabetes mellitus. This also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases among type 2 diabetes patients.

Enhances Bone Health

The high silicon content of red wine ensures enhanced bone density and can also act as a protector of bone health in menopausal women due to the phytoestrogens present in it. Estrogen is commonly used in hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women.

Helps Manage Hypertension

A red wine constituent, provinol, is effective in easing Nitric Oxide (NO) synthase-deficient hypertension.

Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones

Studies carried out by the Harvard Medical School indicate a reduced occurrence of gallstones among regular drinkers of a moderate serving of wine each day. Wine also reduces the incidence of kidney stones when consumed in moderation.

Minimizes Allergic Reactions

Red wine has been proven to alleviate allergies in some individuals and boosts their resistance to allergens.

Diuretic Properties

Like other alcoholic beverages, the wine has diuretic properties and flushes out the toxins from the body during urination.

Dental Care

According to a recent study, red wine and grape seed extract can potentially help prevent cavities.

Contribution to Cosmetics

The resveratrol found in wine has also been shown to reduce the scarring caused by radiation and is a component of many cosmetic products and applications.

Organic Red Wine

Organic red wine is a healthier drink than normal wine. Although, the taste is a very personal issue in terms of wine, and everyone has their own preferences. Still, most of the appreciators of wine are of the opinion that red wine is better than the white wine in many aspects. These people have been eagerly waiting for something that could make it healthier and better. Here is something they can rejoice about: the fact that red wine is available with a pleasing “Organic” tag on it – “Organic Red Wine”.

Although red wine is naturally richer in health benefits and taste than its white counterpart, a considerable portion of its antioxidants are destroyed if it is not processed organically. The presence of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides present in it, not being organic, further robs its goodness. It is also packed in environmentally friendly organic containers. For these reasons, organic wine is a very healthy choice instead of a regular wine. In the context of wines, a mere “Organic” label on the bottle does not certify that it is 100% organic.

Organic red wines come in three categories. First, those with a “100% Organic” label on them. As the name suggests, 100% of the grapes used in these wines are organic and no chemical additives have been added to them for processing or preserving. Next, are the organic red wines that simply have the “Organic” label on them. As per the United States or European Standards, at least 95% of the grapes must be organically grown. Some permissible amounts of chemical stabilizers and preservatives (mostly sulfur compounds) can also be used in them. These wines can contain up to 10 mg of sulfites and can still be called organic. Finally, there are organic red wines with “Made from organic grapes” written on their labels. This means that at least 70% of the grapes used in their manufacturing is organic in nature. They are not necessarily made through organic processing. They also contain a permissible amount of sulfites.

Manufacturing Processes of Red Wine: The manufacturing processes for organic red wine and non-organic red wine differ substantially. Here are the main differences. Organic red wine is made from organically grown wine grapes, processed in an organic way, so most of its natural goodness is preserved. In the organic process, the emphasis is laid on the use of wooden presses or similar tools so that a minimum amount of metals get into the wine. Organic red wine also does not use any artificial flavors or colors.

Who is Filling the Casks?

All top producers of regular wines are top producers of organic red wine as well. France and Italy have the most famous ones.

Who Certifies These Wines?

There are certain agencies like the ECOCERT, BIOFRANC, Nature et Progres, Terre et Vie, and others that do this noble job. These are again guided by USDA and NOP directives.

The Market Buzz

The organic red wine has received a great response and it seems that people have been waiting for this. However, manufacturers are still doing only a limited production. The reasons for this are numerous. First of all, the production of organic grapes is far less than that of normal grapes. Then, there is the question of preservation and stabilization. Since zero to very small quantities of chemical preservatives are used in organic red wines, they are subsequently less durable. So, the producers are not investing too much in their production.

The next time you want to have a nice, romantic evening, make it red and healthy with a glass of organic red wine. Drink it for your health and be happier knowing that you are helping the environment too.

Word of Caution: Although when consumed in moderation, red wine can be very beneficial, when consumed in excess it can actually be fatal to your health.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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