Happy Hour Day is on the horizon, November 11th, to be exact, and it’s time to start planning your celebration. Before you head out with the work crew for a drink after you’ve clocked out for the day, read up on how a glass of wine can boost your health and what to avoid to prevent the dreaded hangover.
The health benefits of red wine have been talked about for a very long time, so most people have at least heard that a glass of red wine can be good for your health. But what about other types of wine and what are the health benefits. Let’s dive deeper.
While recommending red wine in moderation, most medical health professionals also tack on the warning that moderation is key, meaning only a glass or two a day. That said, there do appear to be some health benefits from red wine, especially where your heart is concerned.
Experts link the antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and resveratrol to increased levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol and increased protection of the blood vessels.
White wine lacks the skins of the grapes, which means that the phenolic content is lower than that of red wines. But that doesn’t mean that white is less beneficial than red. In fact, white wines have a higher antioxidant capacity than reds.
White wine is packed with antioxidants, epicatechin, quercetin, and resveratrol. These compounds have been known to help with weight loss, disease prevention, improved lung health, and a healthier heart.
Rosé has become a very trendy wine lately, walking the middle ground between red and white. If you are a big fan of this varietal, you’ll be happy to know that rosé wine has similar health benefits to reds and whites.
You get the protective benefits from antioxidants that help improve cardiovascular health and protect against certain illnesses, including cancer.
Benefits of All Alcohol
While red wine gets the credit, it’s true that other types of wine, and indeed other types of alcohol, can have health benefits, when used in moderation. The benefits that you may get from alcohol include:
♦ Higher HDL cholesterol
♦ Reduced formation of blood clots
♦ LDL cholesterol is less likely to damage arteries
♦ Blood vessel endothelium layer functions better
How to Skip the Hangover
Now that you’re convinced a happy hour is in order, and a glass of wine will give you some health benefits, how do you avoid the downside of alcohol? Other than the obvious, there are actually some tips that will help you select wines that have fewer negative side effects.
This is a big one when it comes to skipping the hangover. Additives are often the sole cause of your fuzzy feeling and even the red stain on your teeth.
These additives don’t even need to be included in the label, so if possible, dig deep to find wines that don’t include the following:
♦ Mega Purple & Ultra Red: These coloring agents are responsible for the staining of your teeth and the color of some wines. But they don’t just add color, they also add sweetness from sugar. If you don’t react well with dyes and sugar, then this could be your post-party crash culprit.
♦ Sawdust: Love that oaky taste of a chardonnay? Your favorite wine might be getting the flavor from wood chips and sawdust and not an oak barrel.
♦ Commercial Yeast: Yeast is needed to cause fermentation, but natural yeasts take time to work. Commercial yeasts speed up the process, and many of them contain GMOs.
♦ Sulfur: Sulphur can act as a stabilizer in wine, and it can also kill unwanted bacteria and yeasts. That doesn’t sound too bad unless you’re someone who is sensitive to sulfur. This agent does need to be disclosed on the label, so it’s easy to spot.
♦ Sugar: As mentioned, sugar can be mixed in with some dyes, and it’s typically added during fermentation, but sugar usually increases the alcohol content. Natural wines have lower alcohol for this reason and tend to leave you with less of a headache.
♦ Fining or Clarifying Agents: If you’re vegan, this is especially important to you. Many of the finishing agents used to change the flavor profile are not vegan. These agents are often egg whites, dairy products, fish bladders, gelatin, protease, and casein.
♦ Pesticides and Herbicides: Most non-organic wines have traces of both of these types of chemicals.
If all of this information has you questioning the health benefits of wine, then you’re asking all the right questions. Natural wines and organic wines definitely score higher on health versus downfall spectrum.
Natural wines have all of the polyphenols that you want, so you can get the health benefits of wine. They also help you avoid all of the additives that will give you a headache or have negative effects.
Not only that but natural, unfiltered wine has live bacteria that are healthy for your gut microbiome. That means that in addition to the other benefits that are noted in all types of wines, opting for a naturally made brand gives your gut an added health boost.
Waking Up To Wellness
National Happy Hour Day is the perfect excuse to gather up your co-workers or your besties and head out to your local watering hole for a glass of wine. Not only will it give you a chance to unwind and socialize, but it’s also good for you.
Whether you prefer red, white, or rose, all wines have some health benefits that are pretty well documented, as long as you stick to a glass or two. Indulging in more can actually be more harmful than helpful.
If you want to boost your benefits even further, look for natural organic wines that are unfiltered. These wines don’t have the additives that are often the cause of hangovers or other side effects associated with alcohol. This doesn’t mean you can drink more; it just means that drinking these wines in moderation gives you more health benefits without downsides.