We’ve all heard the supposed benefits of a glass of wine or a beer every day. Among the benefits attributed to the most famous grape liqueur are: its ability to reduce inflammation, that its consumption increases HDL (good cholesterol), and that it helps the cardiovascular system. What people often ignore is that alcohol is, from the first drink onwards, a toxic and carcinogenic substance. So then, do these low-grade drinks like wine or beer benefit or harm us? The final answer is no; a daily glass of wine is not healthy.
The World Health Organisation’s recommendations
The United Nations agency specialised in managing prevention, promotion and health intervention policies at the international level makes its view on alcohol very clear: there is no minimum amount of alcohol that can be considered safe or beneficial to people’s health.
Moreover, according to a recent article published in the European Society of Cardiology’s Journal “EP Europace”, a daily glass of wine is far less harmless than one might think. “Recommendations about alcohol consumption have focused on reducing the absolute amount rather than the frequency. Our study suggests that drinking less often may also be important to protect against atrial fibrillation.” Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia.
Does wine have any health benefits?
The often quoted virtue attributed to wine is that it possesses resveratrol, a substance present in all grapes and many fruits. Its consumption increases HDL (‘good’ cholesterol), improves our cardiovascular health and increases nitric oxide reserves.
However, it is also true that the amount of resveratrol present in wine is tiny and that it can also be found in other far less harmful foods, such as blueberries and other forest fruits, peanuts and dark chocolate.
The recurrence of alcohol consumption is key
Many studies have found that the number of times one drinks per week is a key factor in the damage that alcohol does to the body. From sleep disorders to cardiovascular issues and neurological complications, there are various health issues related to frequent alcohol consumption. The good news is that it is a risk factor, which along with tobacco, can easily be avoided so that our health does not suffer.
It is important to have fewer drinks, but it is also vitally important to consume alcohol less often.
Benefits for our mental health
If we look closely at why some people try to assert health benefits in wine or beer, we can conclude that it serves as a justification for drinking. Many alcohol consumers typically exaggerate the minimal benefits these drinks provide in order to feel less unhealthy or guilty when they drink. It may be worth reminding such people that one of the side effects of alcohol is its ability to make the nervous system feel depressed, so even on an emotional level alcohol is not a good idea.
If you are considering wine as a viable option due its supposed health benefits, there are much healthier alternatives for your liver, heart and digestive system:
- Do a daily minimum of 30 minutes of exercise.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Do not overeat.
- Avoid alcohol and high-fat meals.
- Fill your refrigerator with fruits and vegetables.
- Get a minimum of 7 hours sleep every night.
- Avoid stress and enjoy the outdoors.