read between the wines


Raise your hand if you like wine!

Raise your hand if you are really confused about if it’s healthy or not! 

Keep reading to learn some health benefits, risk factors and other fun facts involving wine.

I am going to start with the Red vs Wine battle:

Why is red wine all over the place with its health benefits, but not white?

Well….that’s because red wine has higher levels of resveratrol which is found in red grapes. It is seemingly the base of all the benefits of red wine. White grapes don’t have this compound which is where the difference lies. 

Disclaimer: obviously alcohol of every kind is a toxic substance that can lead to dependencies and addiction. Alcohol is one of the few drugs where withdrawals from it can seriously harm or kill you. It also inhibits your cognition and decision making so please, always drink responsibly. 

Let’s dive into the nerdy stuff. 

I’m a bad news first kind of person:

  1. Sleep: alcohol seeps into your blood ending up in the cells of your body- slowing them down. The depressing of your cellular activity is one of the reasons why wine can make you drowsy. But it also reduces the quality of your sleep.
  2. Calories: wine may add really up to your total calorie intake. Brand and type pending- but an average 5oz glass of wine is 100 calories. And let’s be honest, none of us are drinking 5oz in a glass- we top that bad boy off. Let’s assume our ‘glass’ is 200 calories- you have two glasses four times a week? That could be 1600 calories- an entire days worth of food just in alcohol. 
  1. This also doesn’t include the drunk munchies and the dietary choices made. 
  1. Blood pressure: excessive alcohol (anything over the daily recommendations) can lead to increased blood pressure, increased triglycerides in the blood and with habitual use- can lead to stroke.
  2. Cancer: but then again, everything these days causes cancer. Wine does contain toxins, and with increased intake over time, that’s a lot of built up toxins in your body. 
  3. Depression: and a lot of other psychological symptoms as well. Alcohol is a depressant, it inhibits production and uptake of the neurotransmitters that make you happy. 
  4. Addiction: there is ALWAYS the risk of developing bad habits and going from wanting to needing a glass very quickly. Remember there are always other methods for stress relief and outlets to look too instead. 

Let’s get to the good now, eh.

  1. Heart: I mentioned earlier it can increase blood pressure..well at appropriate amounts it can actually IMPROVE blood pressure. How? ANTIOXIDANTS BABY. Antioxidants really are the magical little miracle makers they are hyped up to be. 
  2. Cholesterol: resveratrol helps increase your body’s production of HDLs (the good guys), which ultimately helps out your blood pressure as well and helps prevent stroke and cardiovascular disease. 
  3. Vision: say what? Yeah, antioxidants protect your lens from oxidative damage as well. This can help prevent cataracts in the future. 
  4. Cancer: that big bad ugly thing. So on the good side, antioxidants help fight free radicals, which cause damage to cells especially damage caused by cancer cells. NOW- there is some recent research in lung cancer that the use of antioxidants as a treatment can make symptoms worse. So, keep in mind the effects on wine and cancer is geared toward preventative (as all this is). 
  5. Dementia: This was fascinating to read about ( the link between wine and dementia is that compounds like polyphenols help decrease inflammation and alter lipid profiles in the body that can lead to dementia. 
  6. Gut health: this one is a double edged sword for the IBS and IBD population. Certain compounds in wine may be acting as prebiotics, helping improve gut health. Unfortunately for us gut challenged folks alcohol in general is an irritant on our systems. Not that we listen to our guts half the time, but it’s something we all think about as we continue to pour our glasses. 

I could have added a lot more to both lists, but I tried to keep it to relevant research/research summaries. I also saw a lot of google summaries that provided accurate conclusions of a lot of this as well- which was a happy surprise to see.

Here’s a fun wine fact for you:

Super centurions:

There are few clusters of people across the globe that live well past their 100s. One of those places is the island of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy. A large chunk of their population livel past 110 years- and are up moving around functioning STILL DOING MANUAL LABOR like the total BA MOFOs they are. There are eight ‘secrets’ to living the super centurion life (this holds true to the few other ‘hibs’ as well), one of those? DRINK WINE. I poop you not. Genetics helps too but I am focusing on the wine. 

^this was literally something I had to write a paper on so I have dug deep into this community.

But the key to this story:

Moderation. There was a case study on this man, I followed his story quite intently and ended up really focusing on him during my study. He drank multiple times every day but he considered a drink, maybe 4-5 sips. Glasses of wine to them mean something TOTALLY different to us here in America. 

I am unsure as what the RDA is in Italy, or if the island of Sardinia cares, but here in America they recommend no more than 1 drink a day for women, and 2 drinks a day for men. 1 drink= 1.5oz of hard liquor, 5oz wine and 12oz of beer. 

^think of the lines on a solo cup, that is literally what it is there for. The very bottom, is hard alcohol, the one in the ‘middle’ though it’s lower than the middle is wine and the top is for beer. Who would’ve thought a solo cup could be educational. 

Thoughts on no wine:

I need to get this off my chest: let’s stop shaming others for not drinking. I can’t stand that. If someone chooses not to drink don’t laugh or shun, and the reason why is none of your dang business. If you kick someone out of your friend circle or don’t want them around cause they won’t drink- go take a look in the mirror. Drinking wine is not a character trait and if it is, please go seek professional help. Just be a kind person and respect other people’s choices.

Now that that’s done- yes someone may just not like wine and drinks beer or maybe only the hard stuff- I can cover those in another post if interest is there. That is totally their choice what (legal) toxins they choose to put in their body.

of all things listed- no alcohol is also the healthiest choice. Yeah you could be ‘missing’ some of the health benefits of red wine but it’s benefits you can get from other foods and sources. You could just go right to the source and eat grapes. Just saying.

Moral of the story

Just remember moderation, please drink responsibly and be a good human.