Diane Becker, "Country Life"

It’s surprising, with all the health information in the media and from our doctors, that drinking red wine isn’t one of the top tips. In fact, red wine should nearly be prescribed to everyone over the age of 50.

One study says drinking a glass of red wine is as healthy as spending an hour at the gym. I think I could drink wine instead of going to the gym pretty easily.

It’s all because grape skins (That’s why white wines aren’t as healthy \h— no skins during fermentation) contain a compound called resveratrol that’s the reason for all of the health hype. For instance, resveratrol that is supposed to help with weight loss by making fat easier to burn — kind of like raising your metabolism rate.

It’s also been proven that resveratrol lowers high blood pressure. In one study, two glasses of non-alcoholic wine lowered the chance of heart disease by 14% and stroke risk by 20%. That is like taking medicine but a little more enjoyable.

Another study showed that regular, moderate red wine drinkers show a significantly lower chance of developing dementia \h— definitely another reason for wine to be prescribed to everyone over age 55.

Red wine is also supposed to help with digestion and can even lower cholesterol. In Bible times they regularly drank wine with their meals. Jesus’ first miracle was changing water into wine (and people commented on how good it was.)

Other research shows red wine may decrease the incidence of breast cancer, lower inflammation in your joints and possibly even improve fertility. It’s full of antioxidants, so who knows all of the health benefits.

You don’t have to buy a $50 bottle of wine to get the best benefits. The cheapest wine is said to have the same amount of antioxidants, although it may not be as enjoyable to drink. Pinot noir is said to have the highest content of resveratrol. It also has fewer calories than other wine varieties because it has less sugar. Other varieties that are rated as the healthiest are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Red Zinfandel.

There are warnings on anything that you read about the health benefits of red wine that you should only drink one or two glasses a day or you can risk the harmful effects of drinking too much alcohol. Most articles say if you are a teetotaler now you shouldn’t just dive in to drinking a glass of wine every day. Still, if you drink now and then you should definitely consider increasing your red wine intake.

I’m thinking a glass of red wine may be my new drink to have with dinner. It’ll be one of the more enjoyable health habits to cultivate.

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In other news

LYONS — Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur Northeast stuck with the Sutton Mustangs the entire night here in the Class C2 high school football playoffs Friday night, but the Wolverines couldn’t come up with a play down the stretch as they were eliminated in the semifinals, 38-28.