Drinking a good glass of wine can be a form of luxury to many. Many are enthusiasts, where analyzing the complexities of a bottle of wine becomes some new discovery. Some enjoy drinking it after a long and winding day they had to go through. And hey, wine tastes great. Who can resist?
However, wine isn’t just a fun beverage you can drink on a special occasion. It also isn’t just alcohol you take every weekend for your alone time. Wine, due to its chemical properties, can have a massive impact on an individual’s health. It’s not just our physical health that directly benefits from drinking the right amount of wine. It also seems our mental health can profit from it.
Is Wine Really Healthy?
Even though alcoholic beverages seem to have a bad reputation ever since the olden days, its health benefits have been well-documented. The alcohol content is the main reason why wine is good for our health. Moderate consumption can give our body nutrients that decrease the chances of illnesses to occur, such as heart disease, stroke, and even early death. The same ingredient, when abused, increases the risk of these ailments.
So yes, wine is good for your health, given that you don’t drink too much of it. However, its benefits don’t fall on the physical aspects of our body alone. Studies have shown that wine also helps with our mental health. According to research, the resveratrol found in wine reduces anxiety and depression. This is the same compound that makes red wine good for the heart.
However, this isn’t your go sign to chug those bottles of Dom Perignon in your pantry. Moderate amounts should be observed when you need to wind down. According to the NHS, there is no official guide of how much you should drink in a day. Less than 14 units per week are relatively low risk.
The Benefits of Wine on Mental Health
Here are some benefits of wine to your mental health:
Reduces Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
The reason why many people enjoy relieving stress with wine is that it does an excellent job of relieving stress. Resveratrol, a plant compound that is found in the skins of grapes, blocks enzymes that cause stress, anxiety, or depression.
During excessive mental distress, the body produces a hormone called corticosterone, which surrounds your brain, and can lead to severe mental health damage. A study published in Neuropharmacology conducted by Xiaoxing Yin et al. discovered that resveratrol combats the corticosterone and protects the body from it.
Stimulates Better Sleep
A good glass of wine before bedtime can help promote your sleep, according to a study by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. During the research, participants who drank red or white wine before sleep had a better quality of slumber compared to those who haven’t. However, only those that took red wine instead of white were observed to have their good HDL cholesterol increased and had better cholesterol ratio.
Reduces Risk for Alzheimer’s
Low to moderate consumption of wine can help clear toxins from the brain and tamp down inflammation, even the ones that cause Alzheimer’s disease. Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc, had critically analyzed this unique cleaning process and found out that wine can improve the brain’s ability to clean away these toxins.
The brain cleans wastes by pumping the Cerebral Spinal Fluid or CSF into the tissues, clearing away the toxins, along with proteins called beta-amyloid and tau. These proteins are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Encourages Brain Health
In a study conducted by Yale Neuroscientist, Dr. Gordon Shepherd, wine tasting engross the brain compared to other human activities and behavior. Things such as listening to music, throwing a ball, and doing math homework, needed less stimulation compared to drinking wine. Since wine tasting involves the use of three primary senses of the human body, the brain can easily recognize patterns associated with different types of wine.
The brain needs to be frequently used to avoid becoming dull, just like using a whetstone to sharpen a knife. Our minds need constant stimulation, so engaging in activities that involve complex analysis, such as wine tasting, allows the mind to stay mentally sharp. This doesn’t only help you with your cognitive abilities, but also with keeping your brain free from mental illness.
Wine may have a reputation for being a hazard, but that’s only when you take it in large amounts. Moderate wine consumption has many health benefits, especially on the most neglected health problem of the world. Mental health is as important as our physical health, and with the benefits wine that gives, taking care of them both has never been more fun.