The unexpected health benefits of drinking ProseccoJanuary 1, 2021
Just in case you needed another excuse to say “bottoms up” to your favourite bubbly…
Please always remember to drink responsibly.
Whether it be a cheeky post-office drink with your work wife or raising a glass in celebration, there’s nothing quite like popping open a bottle of prosecco. Heck, just the sound of it gets us excited.
And, while it should go without saying that drinking too much is always bad for you (to help lower your risk of “alcohol-related harm”, the NHS has published a number of recommended guidelines online), it turns out that the odd glass of responsibly enjoyed prosecco might have some unexpected health benefits.
So, in the name of serious research, we’ve dug out a few of our favourites…
A few sips a week can lower your blood pressure
We always knew that prosecco held a very special place in our hearts, but we didn’t know it was working wonders while it was in there.
According to research conducted by scientists at the University of Reading, those boozy bubbles contain polyphenols (aka plant chemicals laden with antioxidant properties). This helps to lower your blood pressure and increase your circulation – which reduces your chances of having a stroke and gives your heart a health boost.
Sip a glass once a week to reap the benefits, says Jeremy Spencer, PhD, the senior researcher.
It contains traces of zinc, magnesium, and potassium
Writing in The Healing Power of Champagne (an important tome that we definitely need to add to our bookshelves), Tran Ky says that sparkling wine contains natural trace elements of zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Which is a pretty big deal, especially when you consider the fact that all of them have proven to be serious mood boosters. Guess that explains our prosecco highs, eh?
It could prove beneficial to your lung tissues
Prosecco may take our breath away, but it’s actually good for our respiratory systems; like so many other varieties of white wine, the bubbly tipple is believed to keep lung tissues healthy.
That’s right: as reported by the BBC, a research team from the University at Buffalo carried out tests on a random sample of 1,555 people from New York.
In each case, researchers carried out lung function tests and collected information about alcohol consumption.
Researcher Dr Holger Schunemann said: “Red wine in moderation has been shown to be beneficial for the heart, but in this case the relationship was stronger for white wine.”
It can heighten sexual desire
Prosecco is here to help us climax – and, yes, we’re deadly serious.
According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women who drink one to two glasses of bubbles enjoy heightened sexual desire. Again, it’s all thanks to the drink’s rich antioxidant profile; this triggers nitric oxide production in the blood, which relaxes artery walls, and increases blood flow down south, creating feelings of sexual excitement.
It may help to counteract memory loss
While you may have alcohol pegged as terrible for your memory (it’s always harder to remember who you’ve texted after a night out), it turns out prosecco could be good news when it comes to boosting your cognitive functions.
Research from The University of Reading has shown that drinking one or two glasses of bubbly a week may counteract the memory loss associated with ageing.
There is even some evidence to suggest that it could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders, such as dementia – although, as the study was not conducted on humans, health experts have urged prosecco fans to err on the side of caution.
Professor Jeremy Spencer, who conducted the study, cautions: “We encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption and our results suggest that a very low intake of one to two glasses a week can be effective.”
It boasts some antioxidant properties…
Just like red wine, prosecco contains flavonoids that have antioxidant properties, which can help prevent cancer. In fact, according to a study from the University of Barcelona, white wines may have a higher antioxidant capacity than red wines.
If you fancy boosting the flavonoid content of your tipple, we recommend popping an antioxidant-rich strawberry or two into your champagne flute – and be sure to gobble them up when you reach the end of the drink, too.
…which could prove beneficial to your skin
All those antioxidants we keep talking about? Studies have proven time and time again that it detoxifies, smooths, evens, and plumps your skin – and it’s particularly good for those who suffer from oily skin, or people who have to deal with breakouts on a regular basis.
Just remember that less is definitely more when it comes to drinking – and you should avoid partaking in anything more than one glass a night.
Otherwise… chin chin!
Please drink responsibly
To help lower your risk of “alcohol-related harm”, the NHS has published a number of recommended guidelines online.
- not regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week
- if you drink as much as 14 units a week, it’s best to spread this evenly over three or more days
- if you’re trying to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, it’s a good idea to have several alcohol-free days each week
The guidelines add, “Regular or frequent drinking means drinking alcohol most weeks. The risk to your health is increased by drinking any amount of alcohol on a regular basis”.
You can calculate how many units of alcohol are in a variety of different drinks using the Drink Aware unit calculator here.
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