Enjoying wine can be an incredibly pleasurable experience, but if you’re looking to get the most out of your alcoholic beverage consumption, switching from regular wine to fortified wine could be the best thing you do for your body this year! Although these wines come with slightly higher alcohol content than regular wines, there are many health benefits associated with fortification that may be right up your alley! Here are 10 ways that fortifying your wine can benefit you greatly!
1 – Longevity
A review published in 2013 in Phytotherapy Research found that drinking one to two glasses of red wine per day could increase your lifespan. It’s important to note that other research, including a study published in 2007 in The Archives of Internal Medicine, has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk for heart disease and death from any cause. So make sure you keep your wine intake moderate.
2 – Lower risk of cancer
This has been attributed to certain antioxidants that are present in fortified wines, including resveratrol. Resveratrol is a compound that can help prevent tumours from forming and spreading. A 2009 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested wine drinkers are less likely to get cancer compared with those who don’t drink alcohol at all. So, if you’re looking to reduce your risk of cancer, having a glass or two isn’t necessarily a bad idea.
3 – Stronger Immune System
Research suggests that wine containing sulfites can help our bodies produce stronger white blood cells, which defend us against illness and infection. Our immune systems function better when they’re strong, so if you want to stay healthy through cold and flu season (or anytime), pop open a bottle of fortified wine.
4 – Boosted brain function
A few glasses of a fortified wine a day can keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay. Studies show that antioxidants called polyphenols, which are abundant in red wine, help reverse cognitive decline in older adults. Polyphenols may also help fight against stroke and heart disease. This is likely because these heart-healthy compounds boost blood flow to your brain as well as protect it from free radical damage. Fortified wines contain higher levels of healthy polyphenols than other forms of wine like white or rosé.
5 – Improved sleep quality
One glass of a fortified wine before bed offers several health benefits. It helps to reduce stress, which in turn decreases production of cortisol—the stress hormone that prevents us from falling asleep. In addition, wine contains flavonoids (anti-inflammatory properties) that have been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety; these flavonoids are also known to produce beneficial effects on sleep patterns. Finally, research has shown that consumption of red grapes may help people with insomnia by promoting sleep cycles.
6 – Lower risk of heart disease
Research suggests that drinking red wine in moderation may reduce your risk of heart disease, a condition that can result in cardiovascular disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. A study published in 2002 by scientists at Cambridge University found people who drank red wine regularly had an unexpectedly low rate of death from cardiovascular causes, while those who did not drink were two times as likely to die from these causes.
7 – Can be used as an alternative to alcohol when celebrating special occasions
If you find yourself attending a lot of social events that involve drinking, and feel like you’re overdoing it with your alcohol consumption, have no fear. Fortified wines provide a good alternative to beer or wine if you’re looking to cut back on alcohol. These are usually lighter in both taste and calories compared to other forms of alcohol and will not leave you feeling hungover. Of course, it’s always a good idea to drink with moderation when consuming any type of alcoholic beverage.
8 – Great for recovery after surgery
Recovering from surgery requires a lot of rest, so it’s helpful to have a drink that can be consumed without using your arms or hands. Fortified wines are light and easy to sip, and are great choices during recovery periods. In addition, fortified wines contain vitamin C, which is known to increase endurance after an operation. Cheers!
9 – Prevents diarrhea during pregnancy
Women need to consume a certain amount of folic acid while they are pregnant in order to prevent birth defects. If you’re already planning on having a baby, it may be time to start consuming more fortified wines so that you can do your part in maintaining your baby’s health. Fortified wines also contain other nutrients such as iron and calcium which are essential for overall wellbeing during pregnancy. Consuming large amounts of fortified wine may help you cut down on prenatal vitamins and supplements, saving you some money over time.
10 – A healthier option than sugary drinks
If you’re looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy body, fortified wines like sherry and vermouth are great alternatives to sugary drinks. A cup of red wine has about 5 grams of sugar, compared to about 50 grams in a can of soda. Some fortified wines, such as PX (pale oloroso) and sherry, also have health benefits associated with antioxidants and polyphenols, which help support cardiovascular health.