The news often tells us that a daily glass of wine is good for our health. It is supposed to promote a healthy heart and decrease the risk of getting some cancers. However, how much do we really know about the daily glass of wine? Is it really good for women’s health?
NOTE – I was going to call this post ‘Women having a daily wine’ as a bit of a pun but I thought it might get me into trouble!
This post will talk about all the good and bad health issues associated with wine and then try to determine whether a daily drink is a good idea.
Should women drink a daily glass of wine?
Ever since I can remember my mom has had a glass of wine with dinner. I noticed a lot of friends also have a glass or two of red wine after work and although I don’t drink myself I wanted to do some research and see whether the daily glass of wine really is as good as its supposed to be.
This post is not intended to be a complete guide to wine and alcohol consumption. It is just a few points that you might like to consider if you are interested in whether the daily wine is good for your health. I will go through and have a look at the negativities and the benefits.
Health benefits of a daily drink
First up we should look at the health benefits that a daily drink of wine is supposed to provide. Then we will contrast these with the potential harms and see how it works out.
1. Daily glass of wine helps the heart
Studies have shown that a daily glass of wine with dinner can help you reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 40%. That is a significant number that women should pay attention to. Why? Because heart disease is the number one killer of women. Many women fear breast cancer as the top killer because it gets so much media attention but the fact of the matter is it is a heart attack that will most likely kill you. And, drinking a glass of red with dinner might prevent that.
It is not fully understood why wine helps prevent heart attacks but it is thought that it is because certain compounds in wine make your blood thinner and less likely to form clots. The numerous studies done on wine and the heart are all aligned with the fact that a daily glass with dinner can really help.
2. Can prevent cancers
The second benefit worthy of noting is that some wine is supposed to prevent certain types of cancer. As usual with this type of study the results have been mixed. Not everyone agrees that a daily wine can prevent cancers.
3. Can help relaxation
You don’t need a study to tell you that a glass of wine can be relaxing. And with the amount of physical health problems caused by stress and tension it would be fair to say that relaxation can be very good for your health.
However, using wine as a tool to relax can also create problems. We will have a look at this later in the post.
4. Reduces kidney stones in women
A harvard study has also shown that wine (amongst other beverages) can decrease the changes that a woman will get kidney stones.
Negative aspects of a daily drink
Now we should look at some negativities that are associated with drinking wine on a daily basis.
1. Excessive drinking culture
In Australia this week there has been a lot of press and media attention given to new research that is showing that Australia’s culture is too heavily dependant on alcohol. It has shown that over two million Australians are going to have brain damage or health problems due to excessive drinking.
This problem is mainly to do with young people between ages 12 and 25 who are binge drinking. As the brain is still developing at this time and alcohol consumed can have quite serious effects.
However, the problem is also about this drinking culture that Australians have adopted. While the study was focussed on Australia the problem is a universal one. Australians, Americans, British, etc. all drink for similar reasons. It might be to celebrate a special occasion, relax after work, get pumped up for a sport match, socialize with friends… we seem to need booze for everything!
This is the major negativity associated with daily drinking – habit. When one gets into the habit of drinking wine with lunch and dinner and inbetween then problems start to form. Alcohol habits are dangerous because it always leads to esculation; you need more and more to be satisfied.
So, if you HAVE to have a daily glass of wine to relax then you are already in trouble. If it has become a habit and gone beyond being a treat or a healthy activity then one needs to take a step back and assess your position.
2. Exceed two glasses per day? Expect problems.
The standard amount of alcohol women can drink per day is two medium glasses. It is said that if you stick to this (or under) amount you will reap some health benefits. If you go over, however, you can reverse all the benefits.
Drinking more than two glasses per day can lead to an increased risk of liver damage, breast cancer, stroke and alcoholism. It is interesting to note that these are some of the problems that a daily glass of wine is supposed to prevent!
It is therefore necessary to note that too much of a good thing can lead to some very serious health problems.
While it is clear that drinking a daily glass of wine can provide some benefits it is not without danger. This is particularly so if one has a problem with addiction or forming bad habits. The dangers of drinking more than two glasses a day seem to be more prominent than the benefits associated with drinking less.
A glass of wine a day will not be any benefit if you do not look after your body with other aspects of your diet and by exercising. Do not expect a nice red to reverse the damage you have done to your heart by eating fried foods and sitting on the couch. Like everything in health you need to take a balanced and careful approach.