Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
In spite of the fact that spring has begun, we're not about to ditch our beloved cold-weather favorite, red wine. It's not that we don't appreciate a chilled Italian white varietal or a sparkling celebratory wine, but the benefits of red wine are convincing enough to keep us interested primarily in the dark-hued varieties.
Like green tea, blueberries and eggplant, red wine contains a high number of antioxidants, which may prevent or delay some types of cell damage and are believed to help with your general ability to fight infection and disease.
Since red wine contains large amounts of this important element, doctors say drinking in moderation is heart-healthy and can even help prevent cancer. It's the resveratrol, in particular, a specific type of antioxidant, that can kill cancerous cells. According to FitDay, "Scientists have found that resveratrol, when used in conjunction with radiation therapy, can penetrate cancerous cells and induce apoptosis."
The Mayo Clinic notes that other antioxidants called polyphenols "may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart," which is how the drink gets its heart healthy stamp of approval. These polyphenols are also said to help in gum disease prevention and tooth decay. Next time you catch yourself with red wine-stained teeth, remember that the liquid is working to harden the enamel, thereby helping to keep your mouth in good shape.
The thing to keep in mind is that moderate drinking is the name of the healthy game. Although the Wine Folly site mentions a couple of interesting studies, one claiming that wine drinkers have a lower mortality rate than individuals consuming spirits and beer on a regular basis, and the other suggesting that the brain function of moderate drinkers declines less rapidly than non-drinkers, our reasonable conclusion is that steady sipping of any kind (one drink a day for women, two for men) probably won't do any harm and may even do some good.