From National Coffee Day to National Watermelon Day to National Running Day, it seems there’s a “National Day” for everything lately. But our inner health nut is especially excited about National Drink Wine Day falling right in the middle of Heart Awareness Month. Not only is a nice glass of red wine relaxing and delicious, it comes with a touch of one of our favorite heart-healthy nutrients: Resveratrol.
Resveratrol, the potent antioxidant substance found in red wine, has remarkable health benefits. In fact, according to experts, supplementing your diet with resveratrol can even slow aging and increase your lifespan by up to a whopping 70%!
So in light of National Drink Wine Day this month (February 18), we’re pouring out 8 reasons why you should raise a glass and join in on the celebrations. Cheers!
1. Red Wine May Ward Off Heart Disease
Fascinating research has found that resveratrol, along with other antioxidant compounds found in red wine, may help guard you from heart disease. The report, published in Nutrition Research, concluded that extracts made from grape seed and red wine, most notably resveratrol, contain a variety of compounds that may help prevent against diseases related to inflammation, including cardiovascular disease.
2. Resveratrol Activates an Anti-Aging Gene
Say hello to the fountain of youth! Scientists are excited about preliminary research showing that resveratrol can actually activate a powerful anti-aging gene known as SIRT1. This gene has been shown to be associated with slowing the overall aging process – a 2013 study suggested that increased doses of resveratrol may directly affect the activity of SIRT1, leading to improved health and extended life span.
3. Resveratrol Promotes Weight Loss
If you’re hoping to shed a few extra pounds, you may want to consider taking a resveratrol supplement. According to a presentation at the Endocrine Society’s 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, resveratrol may reduce the amount of overall fat cells in your body. So fill a glass and say goodbye to those pesky fat cells!
4. Red Wine Helps Protect the Liver
Bottoms up! Researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that a glass of wine a day can cut your risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in half. They note that red wine is your best choice if you want to reap the health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption, as resveratrol and the other antioxidants found in red wine have been shown to help fight off a multitude of diseases.
5. Resveratrol Can Mimic the Effects of Exercise
Looking for a guilt-free excuse to skip the gym today? You’re in for a treat! A study published in Journal of Physiology revealed that the amount of resveratrol found in a single glass of red wine may be as beneficial for long-term cardiovascular health as a one-hour gym session. And for when you do decide to hit the gym, you may want to treat yourself before heading over! Resveratrol can increase your overall endurance and enhance your exercise performance.
6. Red Wine Can Boost Colon Health
Here’s a convincing reason to tell your friend who prefers a glass of white over red that it’s time she switches over! A recent study found that only about 3% of participants who drank more than three glasses of red wine each week had abnormal colon cell growth, compared to 9% of participants who drank white wine. That’s right – resveratrol has even been found to help your colon cells mature normally and lose the ability to divide.
7. Resveratrol Can Reduce the Risk of Diabetic Nephropathy
Emerging research adds another reason to the list of why everyone should add resveratrol to their diets – a recent study found that upping your intake of resveratrol may reduce your risk of diabetic nephropathy. This progressive kidney disease affects many of those who suffer from diabetes. So if you or a loved one has diabetes, it is highly recommended to discuss with your doctor the advantages of adding a resveratrol supplement to your daily regimen.
8. Resveratrol May Help Decrease Your Cancer Risk
And if all of the above health-promoting qualities of red wine aren’t impressive enough, this one is sure to be the cherry on top! The report published in Nutrition Research revealed that the antioxidant-rich extracts found in red wine dependently inhibit the proliferation of colon cancer cells. And resveratrol may even help ward off breast cancer. According to Eleanor G. Rogan, Ph.D., lead author of a report published in Cancer Prevention Research, said, “Resveratrol has the ability to prevent the first step that occurs when estrogen starts the process that leads to cancer by blocking the formation of the estrogen DNA adducts.” These significant findings mean that resveratrol could halt the progression of breast cancer, since it’s often fueled by heightened estrogen levels.
So what are you waiting for? Pour yourself a glass of red wine and toast to your health!
 Colman RJ, et al. Science. 2009 Jul 10;325(5937):201-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1173635.
 Nutrition Research. 28(11): 729-737, Nov 2008. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2008.09.001.
 Hubbard BP, et al. Science. 2013 Mar 8;339(124):1216-9.
 Anderson, JC et al. Amer Jo Gastroentero 2006; 101(9):S209.