Mulled Wine May Aid Health

It’s the time of year when walking into someone’s house means you might get issued with a drink as you enter the door.

It’s essential to remember that you can say no. If you do not want to drink for any reason, you can always say no! You don’t need to offer any justification. Many of us feel pressured to drink and “join in” at the holidays. But you can join in the party fun without drinking.

If you wish to drink, you may be comforted knowing that mulled wine may offer you some health benefits. While drinking alcohol in excess is never healthy, a glass of mulled wine may boost health. Some studies have said that no amount of alcohol is acceptable. However, others have found that red wine can boost longevity and cognition. If you choose to drink, wine might be your best choice.

You should never start drinking for your health. If you don’t drink, don’t start thinking it will help you. But, if you drink, the resveratrol in red wine has anti-inflammatory and anti-disease properties. It can also be found in healthy foods like tomato skin and peanuts. A study has also found that wine can increase HDL cholesterol or “good cholesterol” by 11 to 16 percent.

Mulled wine is made by heating red wine, spices and a sweetener. If it contains sugar, you need to add it to your daily carb count. It contains melatonin that can help lower stress and aid sleep. In addition to resveratrol, red wine has the antioxidants catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidin. They can boost heart health and may prevent some forms of cancer.    

The spices in mulled wine make it more beneficial than regular wine. For instance, cloves can aid gut health. They improve digestion, fight indigestion and can ease constipation. They also contain a natural anesthetic that can help toothaches. Nutmeg in mulled wine may boost liver and kidney health and prevent kidney stones. Mulled wine may reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel health because it contains cinnamon. Star anise in the wine can help keep blood pressure normal.  

All of these benefits have been studied separately. Research has been done on the different ingredients. Dr. Sunni Patel warned there is no scientific evidence to directly suggest that mulled wine is better than the sum of its parts. And it’s true that the spices are included in small amounts per serving. But, compared to sugar- and calorie-heavy Christmas cocktails, mulled wine is a low-carb option.

Dr. Sunni said, “The spices commonly used in mulled wine, such as cinnamon, cloves and star anise, may offer certain health benefits, including potential effects on blood pressure.”

Mulled wine isn’t a health food, but it is one of the healthiest Christmas drinks as it can offer some health benefits and is much lighter in carbs!

Banner image: Hannah Pemberton via Unsplash

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