Here's What Happens When You Drink Wine Every Day

The Mediterranean diet was developed after scientists realized that people living in Italy and Greece were living longer lives than Americans, and had a lower risk of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and certain cancers (via Healthline). The researchers deduced that it had something to do with what they were eating. Healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados are commonplace as well as nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains, and of course an ample selection of fruits and vegetables. And, a daily glass of red wine.

While most interpretations agree that the inclusion of wine is optional, alcohol is an interesting addition to a diet, especially on a daily basis. You may be wondering why wine is given consideration as a potential health remedy or preventative measure. It turns out there are many benefits of consuming wine in moderation. Of course, imbibing any alcohol on a daily basis also comes with potential risks.

Your heart health may improve with red wine

A number of studies have shown that moderate consumption of red wine will prevent coronary artery disease (via Mayo Clinic). The reasons for this aren't entirely understood, and more research is required, but a number of scientists have posited that the antioxidant content helps to increase the "good" cholesterol (HDL or high-density lipoprotein) levels in the body, and helps to prevent the buildup of plaque, caused by bad cholesterol (LDL or low-density lipoprotein). This helps to prevent blood clots and damage to the arteries and blood vessels. The polyphenols (plant-based antioxidants) of red wine also help to protect the blood vessels of the heart. 

White wine may improve heart health as well, but red wine is more effective due to the higher antioxidant content (via Food). Of course, the positive effects of wine take place when it's being consumed in moderation. This is defined as up to one glass of wine for women, and up to two glasses of wine for men aged 65 and younger on a daily basis.

You may be keeping Alzheimer's at bay by drinking red wine

Resveratrol, one of the compounds found in red wine, was found to have a positive effect on patients suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (via Time). However, it should also be noted that the amount of resveratrol given to patients in the study was significantly higher than the amount which would be consumed just from drinking wine.

That said, there are also studies that show that alcohol consumption in general can help to reduce inflammation in the brain (one of the effects of Alzheimer's) as well as clear away toxins stored in the brain (via Science Daily). Of course, because alcohol can be addictive and can lead to health problems like liver disease, high blood pressure, and obesity, doctors don't recommend taking up drinking just to attempt to prevent other health problems. However, if you're already partaking in red wine, it's one more reason to feel good about your merlot pours. 

You might notice some differences in the color of your teeth when drinking red wine

If you've ever spilled red wine on a white surface, you'll know that it has quite the ability to stain. Red wine doesn't just wreak havoc on tablecloths and shirts, it can stain your teeth as well, both temporarily while you're enjoying a glass of cabernet sauvignon, and also over time. Red wine is full of pigments called chromogens, which easily sink into a porous surface like a tooth (via Colgate). In addition, red wine is acidic, which can wear down the enamel on your teeth, making them even more susceptible for staining (via VOX). 

You should also wait for a while before brushing your teeth after drinking red wine because the mild abrasion caused from brushing can cause the stains to sink in (via Medicine Net). One way to avoid this problem is to make sure your teeth are clean to begin with before drinking red wine, because having any type of plaque buildup on your teeth can amplify the effects of the staining (via Reader's Digest).

Too much wine can pack on the pounds

While a glass of wine in the evening might feel like a better choice than a big bowl of ice cream, that daily vino habit can also ultimately keep you from shedding those pounds you've been fighting with. According to Healthline, wine (like any alcohol), is considered to contain "empty" calories, which means that along with all the calories in your glass come very little other nutritional benefit. 

Aside from the empty calories, there's one more bit of bad news: The body uses that wine as fuel before it burns things like glucose and lipids, which leaves those to settle into the body as fat. When you consider that a 5-ounce pour of wine has about 125 calories, you're easily looking at an extra 375 calories per night with a few glasses of red. Compare that to the recommended afternoon snack, which Healthline reports should be between 150-200 calories, and you can see the issue.

While red wine gets all the attention, white wine has its benefits, too

Although studies have found that red wine will provide more positive health effects compared to white wine, it too has a set of benefits. While the antioxidant content is generally higher in red wine, white wine contains a substance known as caffeic acid, which has been shown to reduce the risk of kidney and heart disease. Another study found that white wine drinkers had better lung function (via Science Daily). The research targeted nearly 1,500 patients and those who drank white wine had a higher pulmonary oxygen capacity.

A short-term beneficial effect of white wine is that it can lead to fewer and less intense hangovers than its red counterpart. This is because red wine contains more congeners, which are compounds created during the fermentation process than red wine (via Healthline). But again, the goal is to drink in moderation, therefore not ending up with a hangover, and to reap any health benefits whatsoever from wine.