The Unsung Benefits of Wine
Written by Jennifer Jordan
Filed Under: Wine and Health
If health came in a bottle, it would create mayhem at the local market. As people threw elbows and ran over one another with rabid shopping carts, bottles of health would fly off the shelves, secured in the clenched grip of hissing customers. People would push, shove, and use props - such as a crying child or a seeing-eye dog - to get their hands on this product. A bottle of health would be a best seller.
While it might not be a bottle of health, per say, a bottle of wine is the next best thing.
Those of us who are wine drinkers all know that red wine benefits the heart and white wine benefits the lungs. But, what we might not know is that the health benefits don't stop there - not even close. The health benefits of wine transcend the human body, refusing to develop a monogamous relationship with any one part.
The following is a list of the unobvious ways wine is helping you or has the potential to help you in the future. They all exist in an underground world of unsung wine benefits, where grapes anxiously wait for their day in the sun.
Extreme Weight Problems: While the term "beer belly" may have given alcohol a bad rap when it comes to weight, wine is actually proven to help the severely overweight. In order for this to be true, dry wine, wine that does not contain sugar, needs to be ingested: four or five ounces are taken at dinnertime or bedtime. In one study, the average weight loss of those who ingested this wine was twice that of those who didn't. Along these lines, because wine helps with anxiety and ridding the body of tension, it has also helped those who suffer, on the other end of the weight spectrum, from anorexia.
Old Age: Old age is not a disease, but an affliction to our health nonetheless. Still, it's an affliction those of us in youth hope to someday procure. While growing old can bring about all kinds of problems, wine can aid in their relief. For starters, wine decreases the dependency on certain medications, particularly medications that relax and sedate people. Wine has also proven to increase appetites, self-esteem and social lives of those in old age.
Intelligence: On an average basis, people who moderately consume wine are of higher education levels than those who don't drink alcohol or drink far too much. This isn't to say that you should, Merlot in hand, roll your eyes at the idiocy of someone drinking a beer, but it's reassuring to know wine drinkers are in good, and smart, company.
Bone Strength: Bone strength may be of little concern to those who are young, but it's extremely important in advanced age: a skeletal build with low density will have a bone to pick with its owner when Osteoporosis sets in. Men and women who are moderate wine drinkers, however, generally have bones that are denser than non-drinkers: the greater the density, the less likely the fractures.
Cancer: Red wine, filled with antioxidants, is proven to be a liquid nemesis of cancer, preventing it before it can fester. Packed with strong compounds, wine is laden with protective affects. In fact, the CDC found that women who averaged 12 glasses of wine per week were rewarded with an 83 percent decrease in endometrial cancer rates.
Kidney cancer, along these lines, seems to have found an enemy in alcohol. According to a study conducted in Sweden by Dr. Alicja Wolk of the Karolinska Institute, women who drank moderate amounts of alcohol had a 38 percent lower kidney cancer risk than those who didn't. For women 55 and older, the risk of kidney cancer was cut to 66 percent.
Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes, non-insulin diabetes that usually develops with age, is less likely to attack those who are moderate drinkers. Because the majority of people who get type 2 diabetes are women, a study was recently performed by Dr. Michael L. Bots at the University Medical Center Utrecht. During this study it was revealed that women who consumed 5 to 30 grams of alcohol per week were not as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who abstained completely.
While it is often lauded for the way it benefits the heart and the lungs, wine, the over achiever of alcohol, doesn't just stop there. From your mind to your ankle bone, wine provides a glassful of benefits. And, what's more, these are the only ones known so far. As the wine revolution gains even more ground, and more studies are performed, the benefits of wine may continue to be increasingly known, pouring good health on all who consume it.