Since the 1990’s we have known that wine contains beneficial health properties that can lower our risk for heart disease. With that being said, it seems that as science has progressed and furthered the initial French research that began in the 1990s, we have only learned of more ways that a few glasses each day could benefit our lifestyle.

And while the giggles and warmth from a glass of wine are enough to have won me over, it seems that it also has the ability to extend your lifetime. In fact, studies have linked the many health benefits associated with wine drinking to lowering our mortality rate and even reducing our high blood pressure.

Even better, the American Heart Association has linked wine drinkers to have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or liquor drinkers.

“Research is being done to find out what the apparent benefits of drinking wine or alcohol in some populations may be due to, including the role of antioxidants, an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol or anti-clotting properties.”

And while heavy drinkers are more likely to reap negative consequences, moderate drinkers, or those who consumed around 14 drinks each week were more likely to reap the benefits.

The study that sparked my interest was the 90+ study, which evaluated over 1,600 people over the age of 90 for their lifestyle habits and other qualities that could have contributed to their long lives. Every six months, researchers would visit the participants and give them rigorous cognitive and physical tests. They collected the data and then compared.

Out of all of the habits observed, those who drank wine and coffee seemed to have their lives preserved more than any of the other participants. And guess what? Those consumption levels were moderate. Even better, was that those who drank coffee and alcohol in moderation were more likely to live longer than the ones who abstained.

“I have no explanation for it,” admitted Dr. Claudia Kawas, a key researcher from the study, at a conference, “but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.”

“Most studies about alcohol consumption, including The 90+ Study, are observational, so we can only say that something about drinking is associated with health and longevity,” registered dietitian Jennifer Markowitz told The Daily Meal. “I’d be curious to see if the coffee and alcohol drinkers shared other important habits or lifestyle factors that might also play into their longevity.”

So, if you, like me, have a bottle of wine sitting on the counter then you have hesitated in opening this evening, worry no more. Go ahead, take a few sips, or even a few glasses and enjoy yourself. As long as your drinking is moderate, and you don’t overdo it, science says you may thank yourself at 90+ years of age for indulging from time to time!

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