College o”f DuPage Nursing Student Bree Morales asks, “Is drinking one glass of red wine the equivalent of going to the gym and running on the treadmill for a good 30 minutes?
To answer this question, it is important to first mention that there are several thoughts and opinions about the consumption of red wine and its effects on the body and impact on health. First, the components that make up wine include water, ethanol, glycerol and polysaccharides, acids, phenolic compounds, and of course good ‘ole grapes (Markoski et al., 2016). Knowing these components is necessary to determine if there are actual benefits to drinking red wine.
According to Golan et al., (2019), the components of wine may contribute to antioxidant, lipid regulating, and anti-inflammatory benefits in the body. Antioxidants fight off compounds that may be harmful if the levels are too high in the body (Arnarson,2019). They are found in certain foods and vitamins. Lipids (fats) function as an energy reserve, regulate hormones, transmit nerve impulses, cushion vital organs, and transport fat-soluble nutrients likes vitamins (Libretexts,2021). Anti-inflammatory effects in the body reduce inflammation or swelling.
Castaldo et al., 2019 reports that the intake of red wine is related to a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD involves atherosclerosis or the buildup of plaque, a hard substance that occludes the arteries from providing blood, and therefore, oxygen and nutrients to the myocardium (heart muscle) and other tissues in the body (Dechant,2018). It explains why the antioxidant properties of resveratrol, a plant compound found in red wine from the skin and seeds of grapes and berries (Jennings, 2017), is effective in preventing CHD. Resveratrol is responsible for providing cardioprotective effects by changing lipid profiles, reducing insulin resistance, and decreasing oxidative stress (Castaldo et al.,2019).
Overall, red wine decreases inflammation or swelling in the body and helps to fight “bad” compounds that can harm the body; it facilitates fat cell regulation of hormones and assists with nerve transmission as well as the transport of vitamins in the body. Therefore, drinking a glass of red wine provides several health benefits. When trying to determine whether or not a glass of red wine is a good choice, remember the numerous benefits it may provide to the body, both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and how it helps to facilitate lipid regulation. In addition to drinking red wine, however, daily exercise and a well-balanced diet with adequate hydration are also necessary for overall health. Always remember to drink responsibly.
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