They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, there’s another commonly consumed, red item that comes with some surprising health benefits.
If you guessed red wine, you’d be correct!
Drinking red wine can have benefits – several of them in fact. Today, we’ll be explaining several of them, and what foods to eat with red wine to maximise these health benefits.
Red wine benefits: why red wine might be good for you
When it comes to the health benefits of red wine, we have two components to thank:
- The alcohol content
- The antioxidants inherent in grapes
Let’s start with alcohol.
It’s believed that alcohol acts as a blood thinner. In particular, the alcohol content of red wine contains “good” cholesterol – specifically, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
But that’s only half of the equation. The other is the naturally-occurring antioxidants found in grapes – in particular, resveratrol.
Together, these attributes can have several health benefits…
Protection from heart attack and stroke
When most people think of cholesterol, chances are they’re thinking of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL constricts your vital veins and arteries, and can also create blood clots.
Both of these dramatically increase your risk of heart attack, stroke or even total heart failure.
Luckily, the “good” cholesterol and antioxidants found in red wine reduces this effect, thereby bringing down your risk of heart disease or worse.
Think of HDL and resveratrol as the street sweepers of your circulatory system, keeping your veins and arteries clean.
Helping people with type-2 diabetes
While it’s still early days, the research on this particular benefit of red wine consumption is certainly promising!
Type-2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to process and convert glucose. A consequence is that glucose stays in your bloodstream, which has a number of direct and indirect consequences.
In addition to HDL and antioxidants, red wine contains ethanol – it is an alcoholic drink, after all – which is widely believed to help metabolise (read: helps process) glucose.
Reduced risk of dementia
In 2011, researchers from Loyola University in Chicago discovered a correlation between moderate red wine consumption and lower rates of dementia.
The reason? Our good old friend resveratrol!
As we said above, resveratrol promotes good blood flow – in particular, to the brain. By keeping the veins and arteries clear and reducing the “stickiness” of blood platelets, red wine can help keep your brain supplied with oxygen and nutrients.
This protects you from one of the most common causes of degenerative neurological conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What to eat with red wine? Healthy food and wine pairings (that also taste great)
And of course, it wouldn’t be a wine conversation unless we talked about what to eat with red wine!
While red wine pairs well with a surprising number of different foods, there are certain food and wine pairings that offer additional benefits on top of the inherent benefits of red wine consumption.
Go monochromatic: the benefits of pairing red meat with red wine
Red meat and red wine is an iconic pairing – it’s in the name, after all!
On top of tasting great however, this particular pairing also presents several potential health benefits.
While red meat is one of the most controversial foods out there, there’s no denying that it’s a great source of protein, iron and vitamin B12 – each of which are vital for healthy blood cells and brain development.
Just be sure that the red meat you buy is fed a healthy diet – grass-fed is the ideal here. And as with red wine, it’s a good idea to keep your red meat consumption at a moderate level.
Red wine and cheese
Red wine and cheese – could you think of a more quintessentially French combination?
If you’re unsure what to eat with red wine, pairing your vino with your favourite Gouda, Brie or Camembert is a great way to start.
Just like red wine, cheese is full of good stuff like calcium, which is great for healthy bones and teeth, as well as healing, regrowth and normalising blood pressure.
Additionally, cheese also benefits your cardiovascular system (much like red wine) thanks to its Omega-3 content and the presence of similar antioxidants and “good” cholesterol to red wine.
When it comes to cheese, you’ll want to watch out – while it has several health benefits, certain types of cheese are also high in calories, sodium and saturated fat.
Not to mention, different types of cheese have different benefits, so you’ll want to choose carefully.
Buy red wine online with I Like Wine!
Whether you’re in the market for something heavy like a Pinot Noir or a lighter bottle like a Shiraz, when it comes to red wine, you’ll find it all with I Like Wine!
Our online wine shop gives you’ll have access to a world’s worth of wine – literally. Choose between boutique imported blends, to wines sourced from world-class Aussie vineyards.
Buying red wine online is simple with I Like Wine. All you’ll need to do is log into our online store and fill your cart with your favourite reds (or whites, or bubblies, or spirits!)
We ship nationwide using fast and reliable couriers, meaning you won’t have to wait long for your shipment to turn up (view full T&Cs here).