Drink Up: The Health Benefits of Red Wine

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/15/2013 | 03:30 PM EST

Who said drinking wasn't healthy?

Whether you’re a social drinker or a full-out lush, you’d be happy to know that there are actually great health benefits to drinking a glass or two of red wine.

While it’s important to keep in mind that moderation is always key, the right amount of red wine a day can protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases, among other things. So now you have an excuse to head over to the nearest liquor store and purchase a nice bottle of merlot. Just don’t over do it.

Here are some reasons why red wine should become your next best friend:

Good for Your Heart - Studies show that people who drink light to moderate amounts of alcohol may be less likely to develop heart disease than those who do not. It’s also important to note that over drinking isn’t good for you either. Red wine can increase the amount of “good” cholesterol - known as HDL - and decrease the chances of forming clots in blood vessels.

Age Well - Everyone wants to preserve their youth. Luckily for you, red wine contains a number of antioxidants that can slow down the signs of aging and prevent a number of illnesses like Type 2 diabetes. One to two glasses of red wine a day can prevent you from many of the diseases among the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

Prevents Cancer - Quercetin, one of the many antioxidants in red wine, may help prevent lung cancer. Research has shown that resveratrol, the same red wine antioxidant that helps protect your heart, can also kill cancerous cells. In addition, a study shows that women who drink just under two glasses of red wine a day are able to reduce the risk of breast cancer because it decreases levels of estrogen, while elevating levels of testosterone. The more estrogen women are exposed to, the higher their risk of developing breast cancer.

Prevents Decaying of Teeth - Red wine hardens your enamel, which prevents tooth decay. Also found is red wine is polyphenols, which prevents gum disease, and even helps treat it by reducing inflammation in the gums.

(Photo: David Silverman/Getty Images)

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