The health benefits of red wine

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Now we all love a night in on the sofa with a glass of red wine as much as the next person.

But we can't help but feel, as we tuck into a bottle of Merlot for the third night running, that nagging sense we might be slowly destroying our body from the inside.

After all, we all know that drinking too much alcohol can be disastrous for weight loss and one to avoid if you're on a diet thanks to its calorie content.

However, it's definitely not all bad news and scientific studies now show there are numerous health benefits to drinking red wine, including helping you live longer, preventing heart disease and risk of strokes. As if we needed another reason to top up our glass...

1. Red wine has the same effect as an hour at the gym

Put down your salad and stop paying for that gym membership, the place you need to head to get fit is to the wine aisle.

Scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada have confirmed, what we've been telling ourselves all along, that drinking red wine is basically the same as going to the gym for an hour.

This miraculous news, and the perfect reason to stock up the wine supplies this evening, is because red wine holds the same natural compound as grapes and nuts - resveratrol.

Resveratrol is a chemical compound, which improves physical performance, heart function and muscle strength when tested on mice.

Jason Dyck from the university said; 'Resveratrol showed results similar to what you would see from extensive endurance exercise training.'

So there you have it, wine equals the same results as putting in the hard grind at that spinning class. But from the comfort of your sofa. It's a win win situation.

Researchers in Alberta have been looking into the idea that resveratrol could help patients who are physically unable to exercise but want to get fit.

Having one glass of red wine could enhance our heart, muscle and bone strength.

In moderation it has also been proven by scientific studies to prevent blood clots, slow brain decline and reduce cholesterol levels.

Not only that, but it certainly improves our mood and wellbeing. Do we need to say any more to convince you?

Unfortunately, though, if we want that perfect summer body, toned abs and less wobbly bits, that might take a little more effort on our part.

The research only applies to one glass, after which the negative effects start to kick in. An average 175ml glass of red wine contains 120 calories, so we might need to consider offsetting it with a celery stick or two every once in a while.

Oh well, you can't have it all.

2. It keeps away bed bugs

Now, we aren't insinuating you need any help keeping your house clean and tidy.

Of course, we all have toddlers to ensure the place remains spotless at all times...

But if you ever needed some reassurance that there aren't little filth bugs living in your house and feeding off your dead skin cells whilst you sleep, then keep drinking that red wine.

Research suggests that bed bugs, which live off human blood in your matress (sorry we did say this wasn't clean), are much less interested in you once you've had a couple of drinks.

Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the USA found that drinking more red wine lead to fewer bed bug bites.

Better quickly top up before bed then.

Or, of course you could just try tackling the bed bugs themselves. But this sounds like a much more fun way of approaching the issue.

3. It helps you live longer

If you've ever woken up the morning after a long night with a bottle of red and felt like your dying, then you're doing it wrong.

Turns out that red wine can actually make you live longer.

Resveratrol, the same chemical compound we can all thank for quitting our gym memberships, is also responsible for helping humans live longer lives.

Resveratrol suppresses molecules in the human body which cause inflammation.

It also suppresses compounds in your bloodstream which interfere with the production of insulin.

All excellent news for those of us who want to reach 100 with a bottle of our favourite red in our hand!

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