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Cheers to That! 7 Unexpected Benefits of Red Wine

Cheers to That! 7 Unexpected Benefits of Red Wine

Kicking back with a glass of red wine is a great way to wind down after a long day. Researchers have long touted vino’s heart healthy value, but what if I told you there are several other health benefits to sipping on red wine every now and again? Here are 7 other benefits of red wine that you probably didn’t know about.

1. Protects your smile.

When it comes to red wine and your teeth, it has been labeled as a big fat stainer, which can be true. However, evidence shows that wine also protects your teeth from bacteria. Proanthocyanidins (flavonoids with antioxidants) in red wine help prevent bacteria from sticking to your pearly whites, thus preventing cavities and plaque buildup. Now, that’s a reason to smile.

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2. Aids digestion.

A glass of red wine with your meal may do more than just ease conversation. Polyphenols in wine help your gut lessen the harmful effects of certain chemicals before they are distributed throughout the rest of your system. They also tell the body to release nitric oxide, which relaxes (stretches) the walls of your stomach as it fills with food, helps counteract effects of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and improves digestion.

3. Whittle your waistline.

Red wine not only helps make you feel more satisfied and suppress your appetite (so you eat less), but studies say it also can halt the growth of fat cells through a substance called piceatannol. Basically, the substance stops the fat cells from fully forming or maturing into full-blown fat. The result? A lesser chance of becoming obese.

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4. Strengthen your bones.

Recent studies show that moderately consuming red wine helps maintain strong, healthy bones. This connection is especially evident in the case of postmenopausal women. Stronger bones mean a lesser chance of developing osteoporosis. However, it’s a balance; over-consumption has the reverse effect and can make bones weaker and more brittle. Remember: moderation is key!

5. Fight a cold.

It’s true: the high levels of antioxidant-rich polyphenols impede the multiplication of viruses once they’re in your system. It also helps lower your susceptibility to flu and cold viruses in the first place. According to a study in Spain, individuals who drank two or more glasses a day had a 44% lower incidence of colds than non-drinkers.

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6. Prevent cancer.

Perhaps some of the most exciting research reveals red wine’s cancer-fighting powers, thanks to the presence of polyphenols (especially resveratrol). Polyphenols, found in grapes, have some incredible antioxidant attributes that include protection from the free radicals that damage cells and DNA and lead to cancer. In particular, resveratrol has proven to impede the growth of cancer cells and incidence of tumors in studies with animals. Researchers are hoping to use this knowledge in future cancer prevention and treatment.

7. Live longer.

Not only does resveratrol potentially prevent cancer, it might also fight aging. In a fascinating new study on worms, resveratrol was shown to extend lifespan by 60%! It accomplishes this by both preventing disease (such as cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes) and by triggering the so-called “longevity gene” (SIRT1) which further boosts overall health and wellness. Scientists have high hopes for the future of resveratrol in extending human lifespan and vitality.

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These are just six of the benefits of red wine—there is other research that suggests it helps lower cholesterol, prevent the onset of dementia, and even promote better lung function. Just remember that these health returns are reaped from moderate consumption (aim for around 1 glass a night for women, 1-2 for men) and that extreme consumption actually reverses many of these benefits.

As long as you keep this in mind, sit back, relax, and keep on pouring!

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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