6 Delicious Health Benefits of Mulled Wine
You just know the holiday season is here when you find yourself cozying up to a warming mug full of deliciously aromatic mulled wine more often than not. This traditional Christmas beverage, consisting of red wine and a mix of spices, raisins and fruits, has been popular since the 2nd century.
Apart from being a guaranteed Christmas spirit-raiser, this delightful tipple also packs a host of benefits for your body. If you haven’t prepared a freshly brewed batch of mulled wine yet, here are 6 reasons to make and sip on this classic holiday drink, revel in the feel-good factor and enjoy the health benefits that come along with it.
Health benefits of mulled wine
It strengthens your bones
When consumed in moderation, red wine can lower your risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density, which usually stops increasing sometime around age 30. According to recent research, women who consumed a daily quantity of 11 to 29 grams of alcohol – one to three glasses of wine – have greater bone strength in their hip and thighbones, compared to individuals who do not drink at all or the ones who drink too much.
It can prevent heart disease
Various studies confirmed that red wine can slim your risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks due to being rich in antioxidants which protect your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.
“Research on the potential health benefits of wine show that, when consumed in low quantities, red wine may help raise good HDL cholesterol and slightly thin the blood by reducing platelet aggregation, both of which can support heart health,” Ginger Hultin R.D.N., a dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the American Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition.
It can slow down the aging process
A wine a day keeps the wrinkles away. This appears to be possible due to a compound known as resveratrol, found in the skin of the red grapes. Resveratrol gives the fruits their color, but it can also prevent your brain cells from breaking down during the aging process.
Also, the antioxidants called polyphenols found in red wine can also help you fight off harmful free radicals that are linked to various illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties
“All those winter spices contain anti-inflammatory benefits, with their many antioxidants and special compounds,” Hultin says. Therefore, a couple of sticks of cinnamon sticks cannot miss the mulled wine party!
Apart from giving the festive beverage a special, Christmas-y flavor, cinnamon is packed with antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects and can restore tissue function and boost tissue strength. Various studies also suggest that cinnamon might lower blood sugar, which makes it good for people with diabetes.
Nutmeg can detoxify the body
Nutmeg is another common spice in mulled wine, which brings its own benefits to the table. Nutmeg was originally used as a tonic by the Greeks and Romans, but it can it work as a stimulant as well as a sedative, “according to the body’s needs. In times of stress, it can help lower blood pressure. Conversely, it can lift your mood and acts as a tonic and stimulant, making it beneficial if you are recovering from an illness or are overtired,” as explained in the DK- Healing Food.
Nutmeg can detoxify your body by eliminating the toxins caused by alcohol, medications, pollution and food, which are stored in the liver and kidneys.
See also: 10 Warning Signs Your Liver Is Not Healthy.
Citrus fruits bring a burst of vitamins
Citrus fruits such as oranges go hand in hand with mulled wine and are one of the main ingredients of a successful mulled wine recipe. According to Hultin, “citrus contains the antioxidant vitamin C, potassium and B-vitamins” and is a real treasure trove for human health.
According to a study published in Chemistry Central Journal in 2015, citrus fruits stimulate the production of collagen, have anti-inflammatory and wound-healing potential and can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Speaking of which, check out the World’s 5 Healthiest Fruits You Should Include in Your Diet.
Alcohol should be drunk in moderation
Red wine (mulled or not) can be good for your health but remember – moderation is key. A glass or two will keep the doctor away, but overindulging might be damaging your body more than you think.
“The latest dietary guidelines make it clear that no one should begin drinking alcohol or drink more often on the basis of potential health benefits,” warns Dr. Seema Sarin M.D., head of lifestyle medicine at EHE Health.
So, even if it’s the holiday season, keep your drinking under control. If you want to enjoy the smell of winter without the alcohol, you can also opt for delicious non-alcoholic mulled alternatives, like apple juice, fruit or cider punches.
While excessive drinking is definitely bad for your health, here are 7 ‘Vices’ Your Doctor Actually Wants You to Have.