Is Red Wine the Only Heart Friendly Alcohol?

The consumption of alcohol has become a source of debate in regards to health benefits vs. the potential destruction that too much drinking can cause to the body and to the lifestyle. Red wine has received quite a bit of press concerning the benefits that this particular alcoholic drink can have for the body, especially the heart. It was once believed that certain elements contained only in red wine help decrease the risk of heart disease. This is, in fact, one of the benefits of drinking red wine, but these benefits can be found by consuming other foods as well. Likewise, alcohol itself contains certain benefits, therefore it can be said that the consumption of any alcoholic beverage has healthy aspects.

Benefits of Alcohol

Studies have shown that alcohol itself can have a healthy impact on the body. Ethanol, contained in alcoholic beverages, may help to raise levels of HDL, the protective cholesterol which is considered to be good for the body. HDL helps to reduce clotting and protect against plaque buildup, two of the major components of heart disease. Of course, due to the risks associated with alcohol consumption, this study, like others, recommends less than 2 glasses per day of beverages containing alcohol. Regular physical exercise can also raise the levels of HDL cholesterol.

Antioxidants, Flavonoids and Reservatrol

Antioxidants, flavonoids and reservatrol are all elements contained in red wine. Each of these have been studied and evidence has been produced to show that these can be healthy for the body. These beneficial substances can be found in other types of foods as well, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of alcohol and red wine consumption, before relying solely on these beverages to provide essential vitamins and minerals to the body. 

  • Antioxidants – help prevent the formation of free radicals, which are cells that may lead to cancer and other health problems. Antioxidants can also be provided by foods like berries, nuts and chocolate.
  • Flavonoids – can eliminate mutated cells and carcinogens which are toxic to the body. Other foods containing flavonoids include tea, citrus and dark chocolate.
  • Reservatrol – properties which may lead to anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging. May also significantly reduce blood sugar levels. Reservatrol can be found in red grapes, peanut skins, blueberries and cranberries.

The Bottom Line

Just like everything else, alcohol has its benefits and its downfalls. Anything, whether considered healthy or otherwise by the mainstream media, must be consumed in moderation. Conflicting studies and research are produced for all medications, natural supplements, chemicals and even organic foods, vitamins and natural herbs. Any one thing in excess can lead to an imbalance in the body.

In order to stay healthy, you must keep your own balance in tune by consuming substances that help to create and maintain a healthy atmosphere. Alcohol has been shown to reduce certain health risks, but studies also prove that it can lead to many devastating issues. Take these into consideration when making your choices.


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