I love to curl up with a glass of red wine and a great book. Does that count as a guilty pleasure? Nope!
In fact, there are many proven health benefits from a daily glass of wine, if you know what kind to look for and when to drink it.
Read on, so you can feel guilt-free about your love of vino, too…
Wine Has Proven Health Benefits
If you want to maintain a healthy weight, a glass of wine can help! Research shows that people who drink a daily glass of wine tend to be leaner than teetotalers, plus have a lower chance of becoming overweight.1
Lower insulin sensitivity
Wine can also improve insulin sensitivity, which is associated with a lower risk of both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.2 Considering both diseases are key factors in determining how long you live, that’s a pretty big win.
In fact, if you’re interested in extending your lifespan, I’ve got more good news for you! Resveratrol – a compound that’s especially high in red wines – triggers genes like SIRT1, known to improve longevity.3,4
Wine can also be your best friend at the end of a long day because it releases the calming neurotransmitter, GABA.5
It’s important never to use wine as a bedtime sleep aid – it can actually interfere with quality rest because of its effects on your blood sugar. However, a glass of wine after dinner is a great way to signal to your body that it’s time to transition from hectic daytime to relaxing evening.
How Much to Drink
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing! That goes for healthy habits like exercise, sleep, and drinking water, as well as wine.
The key to getting the health benefits of wine while avoiding potential problems is controlling the amount you drink. Women do best with one glass, while men can drink up to two glasses a day.
Remember, not only does overdoing it put you at risk for an unhealthy dependency, wine can also be estrogenic for women. That means drinking more than a glass a day may increase the risk of breast cancer.6
How to Choose a Healthy Wine
When deciding on a healthy wine, the question I’m asked most often is, “Red or white?” The real focus should be on sugar impact!
Whether it’s red or white, always go for the dry wines, and avoid those fruity, sweeter options. Wine shouldn’t be high in sugar because the fermentation process should absorb all of those grape sugars.
Here’s where quality matters: cheaper wines don’t always complete the fermentation process and may even have added sugar. This turns your wine into juice – not good!
Finally, you want to look for biodynamic, organic wines. Dry Farm Wines is my favorite go-to source of reliable, organic, low-sugar impact wine. They travel the world looking for wines that are both incredibly tasty and good for you.
When to Drink
So wine before a meal, during a meal, or after? My first thought is “Yes, please!” but the real truth is that after dinner is best.
Anytime you consume wine, your body will focus on metabolizing the alcohol first. By drinking after your meal, you make the priority your clean protein, slow-low carbs, and healthy fats, rather than alcohol.
Of course, if you can’t limit yourself to just one or two glasses of wine, it’s better to avoid uncorking, period. And if you don’t already drink, there’s no need to start!
I feel confident drinking wine because:
- I can limit myself to one glass a day.
- I know I can take it or leave it.
- I never use it to help me fall asleep. (That’s what Sleep Candy is for!)
If you feel the same, then be happy knowing that there are proven health benefits to be gained as you sip away.