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Is it wishful thinking to assume that moderate drinking of wine could ever be deemed truly healthy?

While there have been studies showing that the chemical makeup of fermented grapes, especially red ones, can reduce cholesterol, improve heart health, and slow endometriosis progression in women, there are also connections to depression, breast cancer, and of course, alcoholism. But what about its effect on the gut? It’s a mixed picture, scientists say. When used wisely, wine can provide some excellent health benefits in your gut. 

The polyphenols in red wine can improve gut health by bolstering the biome – the collection of microbes – that affect not just digestion, but the diseases we develop or avoid, and maybe even our moods and mental health. Mind you, wine consumption in some can lead to indigestion, inflammation, nausea, and bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine caused by wine’s antioxidants. But for others, who consume it in moderation, wine can contribute to healthy diversity in the gut biome. Of note, scientists say you don’t have to be a regular wine drinker to enjoy the bacterial benefits. A little, it seems, can do a lot. 

To maximize the positive impact of
a relaxing glass of wine and minimize the potential negatives:

• Choose low-sugar or no-sugar-added wines to limit inflammation

• Focus on red wines, which tend to be drier, to reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease associated with sweeter wines

Above all, drinking wine is a choice. You can eat fruit and nuts to get beneficial polyphenols. However, if you find drinking wine pleasurable and experience no adverse side effects, one glass every two weeks will favour the gut biome. Cheers!