Cheers to Better Health: Red vs. White Wine

It seems like almost every day a new study comes out claiming that red wine is practically a health food. But what about white wine? It tastes delicious, but does a glass of pinot grigio or chardonnay come with as many health benefits as a glass of merlot or pinot noir? The short answer is that while red wine does edge out white wine in terms of health benefits, both are believed to reduce your risk for a number of diseases.

Red Wine

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease: Various antioxidants called polyphenols, and more specifically resveratrol, have been shown to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s because they lower LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and help prevent your blood vessels from getting damaged.
  • Reduces cancer risk: Research has shown that flavonoids, another antioxidant in red wine, can reduce the risk of cancer and even protect the body against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Keeps your brain sharp: Resveratrol also goes to work in the brain, protecting it against age-related issues like hearing loss and cognitive decline.

White Wine

  • Keeps lungs healthy: A University of Buffalo study found that lifelong white wine consumption improves lung health. The study showed that white wine can increase lung function by more than three percent.
  • Contains cancer-preventing antioxidants: Researchers from Turkey found that while red wine and red grape juice have higher levels of antioxidants, white wine has a similar protective effect on cells. To further back that up, a University of Wisconsin study found that red and white wine help protect cells from breast cancer equally.
  • Has heart-protecting qualities: White wines don’t have resveratrol, but they do have other antioxidants, including one similar to the kind found in olive oil. As a result, drinking white wine is believed to have some benefits on the heart, including lowering your risk of artery blockage.

No matter which color wine you choose, keep in mind that moderation is key. Experts recommend that  women drink no more than five ounces a day while men keep their intake to 10 ounces a day. Looking to buy your wine locally? Check out our guides to Michigan wineries in east Michigan, west Michigan, central and northern lower peninsula and the upper peninsula.

Is beer more your thing? Check out these blogs to learn more about how to be healthy while enjoying a pint:

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Photo credit: Ken Hawkins


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