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If you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal then you could be contributing to your health and well being. When consumed in moderation, red wine has been reported to have significant health benefits. However, you need to be mindful of quantity. According to Drinkaware.ie women are recommended to drink no more than 11 units of alcohol per week with at least two alcohol-free days. The benefits are out-weighed by the damage done by over indulgence, so it is important that they are spread out over the week and not saved for one session or big night out.
 
What is one unit of red wine?
 
A unit of red wine is 100mls – a standard bottle of wine is 750mls, so each bottle contains 7.5 units.
 
If you find that your wine glass seems to hold half a bottle, then it’s probably a good idea to invest in a smaller glass.
 
3 reported health benefits of red wine
 
1. Heart Health
Diseases of the circulatory system are the number one killer in Ireland. Red wine contains substances called antioxidants which help by increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood stream. Recent research on a substance called resveratrol shows it may help prevent against damage to blood vessels and prevent blood clots which in turn can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Other alcohols, when drunk in moderation, report health benefits also but resveratrol is found in greater concentration in red wine.
 
2. Cancer Prevention
Excessive alcohol intake has been shown to increase your risk of cancer, particularly of the digestive system and liver. However, research has shown that substances called phenolic compounds found in green tea and red wine work to interfere with several processes that help cancer cells grow and are now thought of as a key weapon in preventing and fighting the disease.
 
3. Anti-Aging and Cognitive Function
Healthy cells not only make you look better on the outside, but mean that you have healthy tissues and organs on the inside. To keep your body looking good and fighting fit you need to ensure that you are eating plenty of foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants combat the effects of aging and help fight disease. Red wine contains high levels of antioxidants and, drunk in moderation, red wine can actually improve cognitive function say the experts. A study carried out at Northumbria University has shown that polyphenols in both wine and chocolate increase the blood flow and oxygen to the brain and could boost its power.
 

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