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Health & Medicine

3 Ways Drinking Wine Can Reduce Stress

— January 29, 2021

The recommended glass intake for women is one per day, and that for men is two. 

Wine as a stress reliever? Shocking, isn’t it? How can an alcoholic beverage be a stress reliever, you ask? Well, it all bottles down to what red wine is made of—crushed grapes. They are a surprisingly rich source of a specific antioxidant, resveratrol, found on grapes’ skins.

Antioxidants are known for their oxidative stress-relieving properties. Oxidative stress can cause several terminal illnesses, including cancer. It beats logic to take alcohol to relieve stress because you may end up causing more harm than good. Why would you not source this antioxidant from other richer sources like eating whole berries and grapes?

Well, sometimes you just want to drink some wine after a long and tiring day, and red wine is one of the best alcoholic beverages with numerous health benefits for your body.

Let’s take a deep dive into understanding why red wine is an excellent solution for your stress by first exploring what makes it work.

What is Resveratrol?

As mentioned above, resveratrol is an antioxidant found in berries, grapes, peanuts, and red wine. It is concentrated in the skins and seeds of berries and grapes, and these are the significant components essential in the fermentation process of red wine. 

Grapes are also rich in other antioxidants that make red wine so beneficial to human health. This includes:

  • Catechin
  • Epicatechin
  • Proanthocyanidins

These antioxidants have many health advantages, including:

  • Fighting inflammation
  • Blood clotting
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Reducing the risk of cancer.

However, not all wines contain resveratrol. White wine is made from the grape’s pulp and not the skin and hence lacks resveratrol. Apart from this antioxidant, white wine like Semillon contains the same antioxidants as red wine, which are responsible for weight-loss and anti-aging.

How Red Wine Helps Reduce Stress

  1. Resveratrol Can Block Enzymes Linked to Stress

Research indicates the antioxidant resveratrol, found in red wine, shows anti-stress capabilities. It blocks the expression of the enzyme responsible for the levels of stress in the human brain.

Corticosterone regulates the body’s stress responses. If you have too much stress, you are at risk of excessive amounts of the hormone circulating through your brain. This can lead to the development of anxiety and depression, among other mental disorders.

Resveratrol also impacts several neurological processes. According to a study, taking between 2-7 glasses of wine weekly can reduce depression and stress. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that in the United States, depression and anxiety affect 16 and 40 million people, respectively.

Resveratrol can serve as an effective alternative to treating people who have depression and anxiety disorders.

  1. It’s a Great Way to Relax

Many of us know that wine can induce relaxation when taken after a long hard day. By now, you’re probably conversant with some sort of medical advice about the dangers of stress and anxiety. Reducing them is an integral part of a healthy life.

On its own, alcohol contains many sedative properties that work in hand to put your brain at ease. Even the least 12 to 15% percent of alcohol, the typical amount in wine, can do the trick marvelously.

Drinking it can reduce stress significantly because of the natural calming effect it has on the human body. 

Wine can depress your Central Nervous System, thus slowing down your senses. This also includes your thoughts. If your mind has been overworking and racing all day, a glass of wine can do the trick by alleviating all your worry, stress, and anxiety.

Image by Samuel Branch, via
Image by Samuel Branch, via
  1. Wine Helps with Digestion

Although it’s a long stretch to relate digestion to stress levels, in the real sense, our organs are connected in unimaginable ways. The brain and the gut connection are often powerful. 

Having a stressful day can affect your appetite levels, and as a result, you eat less. The cycle can reverse itself because having indigestion can lead to anxiety, which is a symptom of stress.

Taking some wine after a meal will help your stomach convert the harmful chemicals into a less toxic and dangerous state before they circulate in your body. 

Red wine is excellent for the bacteria lining found in your large intestine. Polyphenol compounds in wine are plant-based and can influence intestinal bacteria’s balance.

Bacteria in your digestive system may sound like a foreign and bad thing, but they aid in effective digestion when they are in balance in your stomach. These bacteria also help regulate immunity and the production of vitamin K.

Final Thoughts

How you choose to act after this revelation is totally up to you. However, consuming wine in significant quantities can do the opposite and increase your levels of stress. You can also suffer from alcoholism and addiction, which may be a doorway into mental disorders like anxiety and depression.

Like everything in life, drink wine in moderation. This way, you will feel its effects much more effectively over your body. The recommended glass intake for women is one per day, and that for men is two. 

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