Wine & Wellness: Enjoying Wine in Moderation

We’ve all been there. When you’re trying to build healthy habits, it’s easy to think you need to drop every guilty pleasure from your life. But did you know you can still drink your favorite wine and live a balanced lifestyle?

In recent years, studies have shown there may be potential health benefits of moderate wine consumption. Wine shouldn’t be something you feel guilty about—you can enjoy a glass and feel good too!

Before we begin, this blog is not offering medical advice. Remember to always consult health care professionals if you have questions. Drinking should always be done in moderation.

Heart and Stress Benefits

Let’s start with the heart of the matter—literally. Moderate red wine consumption has been linked to possible improved heart health. The magic ingredient here is resveratrol,1 an antioxidant found in grape skins.

Resveratrol can help elevate high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels—the good cholesterol our bodies want more of. By increasing HDL cholesterol, red wine could play a role in maintaining a balanced lipid profile, which helps mitigate the risk of heart disease.

According to a study published in Neuropharmacology, resveratrol has even been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety. “Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders,” stated Ying Xu, MD, PhD.

The French Paradox

In 2020, Harvard Health wrote about The French Paradox, which explores the seemingly contradictory relationship between the French diet, known for its rich foods, and the relatively low incidence of cardiovascular disease among the French population.

A key player in the French diet is the regular consumption of red wine.

The French Paradox serves as a reminder that a healthy lifestyle isn’t black and white. Cultural and lifestyle factors intertwine with dietary choices to paint a unique picture of whole body well-being.

How can you incorporate wine into a healthy lifestyle?

“But Cristie, how do you keep the balance when your job is literally about wine?” I’m so glad you asked. Here are my favorite tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with wine.

  • Moderation is Key: Limit your consumption. For most adults, moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
  • Choose Red Wine: Red wine, as we’ve learned, has more health benefits than its counterparts. If you think you don’t like red wine, keep sampling! Think about what you like about your favorite white wines and try to find a red that has similar qualities. Start with a Pinot Noir, known for having lower tannic structure (that feeling that leaves you with that dry-mouth sensation) or a Beaujolais, which tends to have thinner grape skin.
  • Pair with Healthy Foods: Pairing wine with a well-balanced meal can enhance the overall dining experience. So, try to enjoy wine with meals that include healthy, nutrient-rich foods. Check out my blog post on unique wine and food pairings for some ideas!
  • Mindful Drinking: Be mindful of the size of your wine glass and the alcohol content of the wine. You can opt for smaller glasses and lower-alcohol wines to help control your intake.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when consuming alcohol.
  • Exercise Regularly: Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. This could include meditation, yoga, walking – anything to keep yourself moving throughout the day.
  • Know Your Limits: Be aware of your own tolerance and any health conditions that may be affected by alcohol. If you have concerns, consult with a healthcare professional before enjoying a glass.

Keep on sippin’!

As we navigate the world of health and well-being, it’s comforting to know that sipping wine can offer more than just a tasty experience. From cardiovascular health to the possible stress relief benefits, drinking wine can be an asset to your overall wellness. Just make sure you find the sweet spot of balance.

If you’re curious about going deeper into all things wine, you can check out my other blogs where you’ll learn how to master any wine list and explore the best wines for beginners!

Sources:

1: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265635
2: https://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2019/07/032.html
3: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-red-wine-good-actually-for-your-heart-2018021913285
4: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/drinks-to-consume-in-moderation/alcohol-full-story/