Have you been feeling especially anxious lately? It’s no surprise – whether is school, your job, family, bills, or other responsibilities, there is no shortage of things that can cause or add to your stress. Fortunately, we can enjoy one of the oldest and tastiest beverages while winding down at the end of the day. As long as we drink it responsibly, a glass of red wine can be an excellent stress reducer. On top of that, a single glass of red wine has several additional health benefits – even more reason to enjoy that single glass. Here’s how a glass of red wine can help reduce stress:
Alcohol has Sedative Qualities
Alcohol, generally speaking, has the power to calm our nerves because it is a central nervous system depressant. Accordingly (and unlike caffeine, which is a stimulant), alcohol has a naturally sedating effect on the body. This means that it relaxes you and can help you sleep.
Doctors suggest that having a single glass of wine at dinner can have a calming effect. However, if you consume too much alcohol too close to bed time, it can actually interfere with your body’s natural circadian rhythms and have an adverse effect on relaxation. Doctors also recommend that individuals with gastric reflux disease, or GERD, should steer clear of wine consumption, especially before bed, because that glass of wine can aggravate that condition.
Managing stress is extremely important to living a healthy life. Doctors believe that stress reduction can lead to having a healthy, well-rounded life. Stress reduction also helps individuals sleep at night and get more rest, which results in more energy during the day. You may feel less irritable and prone to anger, and may notice increased cognitive function, memory and intuition if you decrease your stress level.
Other Benefits of Red Wine
A glass of red wine has a number of other health benefits beyond stress reduction. Some of these benefits include improved cardiovascular health and immune system function and maintenance, and possible even cancer prevention! Red wine contains resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes, and scientists are exploring whether it may halt the production of cancer cells in breast cancer patients.
Resveratrol can also benefit your cardiovascular system by increasing your body’s levels of so-called “good” cholesterol (HDL). In order to achieve the full benefit of the resveratrol, red wine should be sipped very slowly.
Both red and white wine have abilities to boost your immune system, and studies have also shown that both types of wine have antibacterial properties against streptococcus.
Moderation is key!
Scientists agree that drinking wine (and any other alcohol) in MODERATION is key to achieving the health benefits. If you drink in excess, the positive benefits that wine can offer disappear, and can lead to alcoholism, as well as many other health problems.
What is “moderate” drinking?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines moderate drinking as having one five ounce glass per day for women, and up to two glasses of the same size for men. Anything beyond this is considered to be excessive and can be unhealthy, possible adding stress to your life, rather than reducing it.
With that in mind, we recommend reaching for that bottle of red and popping a cork today! Remember that moderation is key, and of course, never drink and drive.
This guest post was written by Steve Bronson in association with Doctore Imaging. They’re radiologists concerned about quality patient care and overall mental health.
The views expressed herein are those of the author himself, and not necessarily those of any medical facility or physician. This article is intended to provide those reading it with information about matters of current interest. It should not be construed as legal or medical advice concerning a specific topic and should not be acted upon without contacting the appropriate professionals.