While it seems each day is being declared a new “national holiday” — national nail polish day, national rotisserie chicken day and national yo-yo day are just a few being celebrated in the first week of June alone — one day we (and these celebs) can certainly get behind National Wine Day on May 25.
In case you’re in need of one more excuse to kick back with a glass of your favorite pinot noir tonight, you’re in luck: red wine is shown to have a variety of health benefits, from reducing risk of heart disease and stoke to increasing life span. Read on for five reasons that moderate alcohol consumption may be better for you than you think.
1. It improves cholesterol
According to TIME, a controlled study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that moderate red wine drinkers — that’s considered one drink per day for women and two for men — show significantly increased levels of good HDL cholesterol compared to their counterparts who were instructed to drink one glass of dry white wine or mineral water every night for the duration of the two-year study.
2. It enhances sleep quality
Participants who were assigned to drink dry red wine in the same study reported a more enhanced quality of sleep than either of the other groups (with just one glass!).
3. It lowers your post-dinner sugar spike (and pairs beautifully with most meals)!
The alcohol in one glass of red wine enables your system to better absorb sugar and calories from food, which otherwise can cause inflammation, according to Dr. James O’Keefe, chief of preventive cardiology at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City. Inflammation can lead to a range of other issues such as diabetes, heart disease and dimensia, O’Keefe told TIME — and just one little glass of wine can potentially help reduce those risks!
4. It’s bursting with antioxidants
There are two major antioxidants in red wine: resveratrol in the grape skin and proanthocyanidin in the seed. Such a small fruit, such big benefits! Antioxidants protect against free radical damage, which is a form of oxidative stress that amplifies aging effects on both the body (wrinkles, heart disease) and mind (Alzheimer’s).
5. It can increase life span
According to Health.com, a glass of red wine a day can trigger longevity genes that improve your lifespan. One study even deemed its benefits notable enough that it suggested red wine be included in the daily nutrition chart recommended by the American Heart Association!