Women and Red Wine: 5 Surprising Benefits

Red wine’s health-boosting benefits have long been touted as yet another excellent reason to imbibe without guilt. So long as it is consumed in moderation, the much-loved elixir appears to do more good than harm, assisting in everything from diabetes protection to a lowered risk for heart disease. As research continues to study the benefits of a diet that’s washed down with a glass or two of red wine, a bit of new logic is finding its way to the top of the reporting pile: It turns out that women may benefit from drinking red wine even more than men do — and in more surprising ways.

To the unflaggingly committed red wine lover, no reason beyond the experience of the wine itself has ever been needed to justify enjoying a glass, but no harm can be done in making a good glass of wine taste even better. Resveratrol — the plant-derived, antioxidant compound found in high concentrations in red wine — is an impressive health and immune-system booster. Resveratrol gets the bulk of the credit for why red wine consumption is linked to better health, but what is most fascinating is that it seems to affect the genders differently, and women’s benefits are arguably better than men’s. Here is a closer look at the ways in which drinking a glass or two of red wine can benefit a woman’s health.


Hello, Libido!

Believe it or not, scientists have actually gone to the trouble of researching whether or not drinking red wine had any effect on a woman’s sex drive. Researchers at the University of Florence studied 800 women between the ages of 18 and 50 to find out how red wine affected their libidos. The women were grouped into three categories: those who abstained from alcohol altogether, those who consumed less than one glass a day and those who drank one to two glasses of red wine a day. It turned out that the women who consumed one to two glasses of red wine a day reported an increase in sexual performance and sexual appetite. While the reasons for this increase aren’t entirely clear, researchers believe it may have more than a little to do with certain chemical compounds in red wine that direct blood flow to a woman’s erogenous zones.

Brain Booster

For women who want to perform a little better at crossword puzzles and trivia games, the cheat sheet may be as simple as a glass of red wine. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine followed 12,000 women between the ages of 70 and 81. The women who consumed a glass of red wine a day performed better on the cognition tests than the teetotalers. In fact, moderate drinkers’ risk of mental decline was 23 percent lower than that of nondrinkers.

Bad Cholesterol Goes on a Diet

Drinking a glass of red wine each day can have remarkable effects on cholesterol — especially for women. HDL or “good” cholesterol has been seen to increase as much as 20 percent, and LDL or “bad” cholesterol production levels are held enough in check to significantly lower risks of heart disease and heart attacks — sometimes by as much as 30 percent. Since one in four women in the United States dies of heart disease, any help in bolstering heart health is especially welcome.

The Fountain of Youth

The anti-aging benefits of red wine are multi-faceted. Studies have long shown that red wine drinkers live longer than beer and liquor drinkers, but red wine’s old age-busting mettle gets more nuanced than that. Once again, we can credit the antioxidants in red wine with making it such a youth-inducing drink. Because red wine’s antioxidants combat the kinds of free radicals that wreak havoc on cells, the more antioxidants you consume, the healthier your cells become. Healthier cells reveal themselves in more vibrant-looking skin, shinier hair and robust nails and cuticles. Of course, healthier cells are also less disease-prone, which will keep you feeling younger, too.

A Key to Better Digestion

Digestion can be greatly aided by fermented foods and drinks. Because it contains plenty of prebiotics, probiotics, microbes and lactic acid, anything fermented will increase the levels of good bacteria in your GI tract. Red wine, because it often goes through a secondary fermentation process, has even more of these tiny helpers, making it that much more useful in aiding good digestion.

Red wine may not be the answer to every problem plaguing the contemporary woman, but at least you can tell whose team it’s on. When it comes to enjoying your path to better health, all a woman needs to do is sit back, relax and drink a tall glass of her favorite red.