Wine is the favored alcoholic beverage for millions of people across the world. We’ve all heard the rumor — that a few glasses of the stuff a day offers a wealth of health benefits — and while we certainly want to believe it, is it actually true? The answer, of course, is yes and no.
Red wine, historically (and scientifically), is the healthier choice. Studies have proven extensively that the nutrients, specifically resveratrol, present in red wine are attributed to their skins; this explains why whites are a little bit more lacking in the health department.
Resveratrol is a compound that some plants produce to protect themselves from ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Since it behaves similarly to an antioxidant, it has been found to boost cardiovascular health by lowering systolic blood pressure (the pressure exerted on artery walls when the heart beats) and reduce the risk of heart disease. Resveratrol has also been argued to prevent several types of cancers (such as colon, skin, breast, and prostate) by inhibiting cancer cell growth a variety of ways.
In terms of live-improving abilities rather than life-saving, resveratrol can help maintain cognitive functions: by reducing the stickiness of blood platelets, it helps keep the blood vessels open and flexible, which promotes a good supply of blood to the brain. This miracle resveratrol has even been reported to help those suffering from hair loss! The application is up to you: some people simply drink a glass of red wine or two a day, others use it as a rinse and put it directly on their heads. Since the hair loss process typically takes between 10 to 20 years to complete, the earlier you start your red wine routine, the better!
Now, red wine provides a variety of health benefits, but some whites contain a higher antioxidant count — either through actual antioxidants or those compounds that behave similarly — and offer their own perks. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are believed to be responsible for aging. The antioxidants in white wine (such as epicatechin, quercetin, and — of course — resveratrol) contribute to weight loss, protect against bowel and breast cancer, and they may even keep your lungs functioning in tip-top condition.
The caveat to these seemingly remarkable bodily boons is moderation! Scientists say that any benefits can become harmful if consumers go over their daily dose: one glass for women and two for men. Resveratrol is available in supplement form, but you’ll want to discuss its addition to your life with your doctor before you start knockin’ ’em back.
So, there you have it. Both red and white wines are good for you as long as you have ironclad self-control. We recommend sitting down with a glass of wine — maybe the playful, 100% Carignan Pleasant Peasant (a tasty red from California) — and toasting to your health.