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By Ashley Oerman
You might already be using vino to treat your mental health, but red wine may benefit way more than passive aggressive energy on a Friday night.
“Red wine contains antioxidants, particularly polyphenols provided by the grapes,” says Gabby Geerts, Registered Dietitian at Green Chef. “Polyphenols have been shown to improve heart function and blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” she adds. So, yay!
One really important thing though: In order to get that wellness boost, you have to stop sipping after a five-ounce glass. Otherwise, Geerts says, you’ll miss out on the healthy perks—and increase your risk of being seriously hungover the next day.
While, yes, that’s kind of a buzzkill (literally), keep in mind that a little glass is all you need to score massive, science-backed benefits.
Here, more fun facts about the other magical powers of red wine. Cheers!
1. It could prevent cavities.
In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found that red wine (even the non-alcoholic kind) killed more cavity-causing bacteria than water spiked with alcohol. Guess purple mouth isn’t so bad after all, huh?
2. It might keep your allergies in check.
Sounds weird, but it could be legit. In a recent review of nearly 80 studies published in the journal Diseases, researchers suggest that flavonoids, an antioxidant found in red wine, could reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. More research is needed to confirm these findings, but, hey, it’s promising.
3. It could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
In one somewhat gross study from 2017, researchers added wine-derived human gut metabolites—or the substance formed after your body digests wine and is found in poop—to deteriorating neurological cells. Then, something weird happened: The metabolites kept the cells from dying. Voila!
4. It could reduce your risk of depression.
While heavy drinking has been associated with the mental health issue, keeping your vino intake between two and seven five-ounce glasses a week might actually decrease your chances of developing the disorder, according to a 2013 study published in the journal BMC Medicine.
5. It can help keep your blood sugar in check…if you have Type 2 Diabetes.
In a 2015 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, Scientists assigned 224 patients with Type 2 Diabetes to one of three groups. The first (and luckiest) group was instructed to drink 5 ounces of red with dinner every night for two years (PARTY!). The second (and second luckiest) had to drink five ounces of white. The last group drank mineral water. (Sad.) By the end of the study, researchers found that the winos had better blood sugar control than those downing H2O. Plus, the red wine group improved their cholesterol levels. Merlot for all!