When it's time to celebrate, a glass of wine may be just what's in order, especially since so many studies have proven it to be so good for us. In fact, alcohol, in general, has certain health benefits, like reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as decreasing the risk of developing gallstones. However, all these happy benefits come with a huge caveat: they are only seen in moderate drinkers (which for women means one glass a day). Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of breast cancer as well as a host of other well-known alcohol-related problems.
Wine is one of the best ways to celebrate the benefits of one-a-day drinking. But not all wine is equal, and there are definite cons to go along with all those antioxidant pros in your glass.
- Pros: Most people know that red wine contains the most resveratrol, the antioxidant found in wine skin that may up the drink's heart-healthy qualities by preventing blood vessel damage as well as reducing LDL cholesterol. Red wine also contains flavonoids, another important antioxidant.
- Cons: Most of those red-wine-touting studies have been on animals, and the amount of wine we'd have to drink to equal the same amount given to mice would counteract any of the supposed benefits. Also, those 129 calories a glass can add up, even if you are only drinking one a day.
- Pros: White wine may be beneficial to your lungs. Research has shown that drinking white wine helps keep lung tissues healthy.
- Cons: White wines are the most acidic, meaning they're the worst for your teeth. In addition, whites contain far less of the heart-healthy and cancer-preventing antioxidants than reds do, and have about the same amount of calories.
- Pros: Sparkling wines like Champagne actually have the same healthy benefits as red wine, since bubbly is often made with both red and white grapes. In fact, Champagne was found to have as many of those beneficial polyphenols as a cup of hot chocolate. Also, a glass of sparkling contains fewer calories than red or white — 80 vs. around 120.
- Cons: Champagne inspires similar health concerns as other types of wine, and for many, it's a common trigger for migraines.
If you don't currently drink, the health benefits of wine are no reason to start. Remember to drink responsibly too!