Red wine has often been touted as a beneficial alcoholic drink, and now, in late 2016, another study has come out that claims that a glass of red wine is equivalent to an hour of exercising at the gym. To accompany that good news, we give you five more health benefits of having a glass of wine a day.

A study conducted recently by the University of Alberta, Canada, concluded that drinking red wine is equivalent to an hour-long exercise at the gym. Now, this is not to be taken to mean that it is equivalent in every manner. It’s just that red wine contains a natural phenol called resveratrol, which raises productivity, strengthens the heart and strengthens muscles, thus serving the same effect as exercise.

On this happy note, and since it’s the New Year after all, here are some other surprising benefits of drinking red wine (only red wine, not any kind of wine) so that you can have some without feeling guilty.

1. Red wine contains antioxidants

Antioxidants are widely known to be the ingredients necessary to fight the aging process. Red wine contains a lot of them. Antioxidants also prevent a wide range of degenerative illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes and osteoporosis.

2. It fights fat

This might sound too good to be true, but red wine contains piceatannol, a chemical compound that binds to insulin receptors of fat cells, and thus blocks the pathways necessary for the cells to mature into fat. So a glass of wine a day might just keep the fat away.

3. It controls blood sugar

Resveratrol is a natural compound that helps diabetics in regulating their blood sugar levels. It is to be noted that these benefits do not compound with the amount of wine you have. In fact, one glass of wine per day on average is the ideal amount; by having more, the benefits only go down, unfortunately.

4. It protects your heart

Red wine contains polyphenols that lower bad cholesterol and keeps blood vessels flexible. It helps protect the heart and arteries against the effect of saturated fat, so having a glass of wine a day will stave off cardiovascular diseases to a certain extent. The wine also helps reduce the likelihood of clot formation in your blood vessels, lessening your risk of stroke.

5. It fights the onset of cancer

Guercetin, a chemical compound found in red wine, has been found to be a key factor in the fight against lung cancer. According to some researchers, having a glass of red wine three or four times a week can starve any nascent cancer cell in the body, so why not make it part of your daily intake?

It is to be noted that none of these benefits mean that red wine is a panacea that will cure all ills. It just happens to contain chemicals that will help us fight these conditions, thus reducing their likelihood. A reduced likelihood does not mean that the possibility goes away, unfortunately.

So enjoy your glass of wine. But make sure that it does not go beyond a glass a day.

Deepak Gopalakrishnan

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