The 7 Surprising Benefits of Wine

Let's face it, sometimes the highlight of our day is popping the cork on a bottle of wine when we get home from work. But did you know the classy beverage choice packs a punch of health perks as well?

Winos rejoice as we run down 7 of our favorite beverage's best benefits:

7. Wine is good for your heart

That warm fuzzy feeling from sipping your favorite red or white? It turns out that wine isn't just good for our mood, but our hearts too! Studies have shown that five ounces of wine a day for women and two ounces of wine per day for men can help protect our hearts.

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This moderate consumption ends up equaling a 30% reduction in the risk of a heart attack when compared to non-drinkers. That means those happy hour outings aren't only mentally necessary -- they're physically necessary, too!

6. Wine lowers your risk of stroke

For those less frequent drinkers, wine can also have a positive effect on health. Studies have shown that moderate wine drinking on a monthly, weekly or daily basis all results in a much lower stroke risk. The study analyzed all different ages, sexes and both smokers and non-smokers and found that wine specifically reduced the risk of ischemic stroke. Beer and hard alcohol on the other hand? Not so much!

5. Wine reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes

Wine drinkers also enjoy an added protection against developing Type 2 diabetes. This is largely thanks to resveratrol, found in red wine, which improves sensitivity to insulin.

Those already living with diabetes can also reap the benefits of wine -- as its been shown that the ethanol in wine aids in glucose metabolism, which helps control blood sugar levels. And red wine goes one step further! Red wine contains polyphenols, which help regulate blood sugar so effectively that they rival certain diabetes drugs.

Red wine is abundant in polyphenols. The polyphenols in wine interact with cells involved in the development and storage of fat and the regulation of blood sugar.  The amount of polyphenols in a small glass of red wine appears to rival the blood sugar regulating activity of certain diabetes drugs.

4. Wine can cut the risk of multiple types of cancer

Red wine can help prevent not one, not two but three types of cancer! The reservatrol in red wine is believed to help kill cancer cells by cutting off the pathway of their food. For both genders, the risk of colon cancer splits in half with moderate consumption of red wine.

Women who drink red wine gain better protection against breast cancer, since red grapes specifically suppress the enzyme aromatase, which breast tumors use to produce their own estrogen and grow larger. And men have a 52% less chance of developing prostrate cancer if they drink an average of four to seven glasses of red wine a week.

3. Wine promotes healthy blood vessels and blood pressure

Yet another health benefit you gain by the glass? Healthier blood vessels and lower blood pressure! Yep, red wine's antixoidant properties help your arteries stay flexible, which in turn helps lower your blood pressure.

2. Wine can lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Sip and stay sharp! Studies have shown that wine in moderation can help prevent cognitive diseases. These include dementia and Alzheimer's disease, with researchers discovering those who enjoyed glasses of wine saw a 23% less likely risk of developing one of these issues

1. Wine prevents vision loss

Drinking wine helps keep your nose in shape, but did you know it helps your sight as well?

Resveratrol to the rescue once more! Studies done with wine shows red wine's secret weapon helps stop blood vessel growth in the eyes, the cause of age-related macular degeneration. Those that drink wine moderately also were less likely to get cataracts at a rate of 32% less than nondrinkers.

Need another reason to feel superior to beer drinkers? Wine drinkers had a 43% less chance of developing cataracts than those who moderately drank beer.

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