B.E. Healthy: Wine

December seemed like the appropriate month to discuss a topic near and dear to my heart… wine! I want to share with my personal wine drinking habits (and my reasoning behind these habits), as well as a few benefits of drinking wine. Let me begin with a disclaimer: if you don’t drink and/or are not of age, please do not start drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverage.

My drinking habits: I drink one large glass of wine almost every day. Occasionally, I’ll pour a glass of sparkling water (into a wine glass of course) when I get home from work. After I’m done with the sparkling water, I ask myself, “Do I want a glass of wine?” Some days I may, and other days I’m good without. Some days I go straight for the wine and don’t waste any time with the sparkling water. We’ve all had those kinds of days, am I right?

In the warmer weather, I’ll drink Prosecco or a sauvignon blanc, and when the weather turns cool, I switch to a red blend or a pinot noir. For me, drinking a glass of wine in the evening is what I do instead of snacking. It curbs my appetite and holds me over until dinner. It’s an after work ritual. Few things are more enjoyable than relaxing on the back porch with my husband, our dog and a glass of wine. You may be thinking that when YOU drink wine, it does not curb your appetite but it, in fact, does quite the opposite! It makes you scarf down everything in sight. Everyone is unique, but I find that if I really take the time to savor every sip and take in the flavors, it does a great job of curbing my appetite. Savoring the wine also ensures that I stop at one (ok, sometimes two) glasses rather than downing a whole bottle. This is a practice and has not always been this way for me.

Have I always only drunk wine? No! I used to drink beer and occasionally a mixed drink, but I find that for me, wine settles much better with my stomach. Not only that, but the health benefits for wine outweigh the health benefits of beer or mixed drinks.

Moderate wine drinkers have a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and moderate wine drinking also lowers your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. While this information alone is great, the benefits continue! Moderate wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers. And remarkably, brain function declines at a much faster rate for nondrinkers than in moderate drinkers.

The physical health benefits are huge, but take note of this last benefit. Women (and men) who drank anywhere from 2-7 glasses of wine a week were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with depression. With depression affecting roughly one in ten Americans… this is a big deal.

The health benefits of wine are plentiful. These mentioned are just a few of the many! I encourage you to do your own research on the health benefits of wine and consider tweaking your drinking habits. Find a wine that you love and practice savoring each and every sip. Cheers to you and your journey to a healthy lifestyle!