Is Alcohol Healthy?

I get this question all the time.

“Can I still be healthy and drink wine?” “Can I lose weight and still drink?”

The answer is yes to all the questions. With that being said, I do need to explain. So please keep reading .

Alcohol and the body

When you break it down from a nutritional stand point, alcohol doesn’t have too many benefits to offer your body. Drinking alcohol can affect hormone production of estrogen and cortisol in women. Men have a biological advantage over women when it comes to breaking down alcohol. With more percentage of water in the body, more regulated hormones, and typically larger than women, men can digest alcohol better without as many side affects.

Alcohol is broken down into carbon dioxide and water. The alcohol is processed through the liver and the chemical structure of the breakdown of alcohol taxes the liver to work harder. When the body has alcohol in it, it takes more work for the body to break down and use other nutrients within it. If you drink a cocktail is carbonation your body actually digest the alcohol quicker due to the carbonation within it.

When you consume alcohol your body actually is inhibited from absorbing B12, folic acid, zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B1. This inhibition of nutrient absorption can suppress your immune system.

Benefits of Red Wine

With all that being said about the effects alcohol has on the body there is a benefit. The benefit comes from red wine. Red wine (well wine) is made from grapes. Many fruits contain an anti-oxidant called polyphenol. I want to clarify something, there are many polyphenols just to clarify. The polyphenol found in red wine is called resveratrol.

Resveratrol, found in a glass of red wine can actually benefit your health. The anti-oxidant has shown in studies that when a glass of red wine is consumed with a balanced healthy lifestyle it can reduce chronic inflammation associated with chronic heart disease. The ability of the resveratrol to counter the free radicals that increase inflammation and harm the cardiac cells fight against the harmful free radicals. By reducing the free radicals the reduction of inflammation occurs.

The high anti-oxidant concentration found within red wine along with a balanced healthy lifestyle studies have shown that is can increase the longevity of your life. The key here is moderation and balance. Too much and the body is thrown off and not in a state of balance or homeostasis.

The Mediterranean blue zones of :

Ikaria (in Greece)

Sardina (Italy)

Have shown that a moderate intake of red wine along with a healthy lifestyle benefits the longevity of your life.

Again the key is balance. When it comes to alcohol, red wine offers some wonderful health benefits in moderation. Pair a glass of red wine with a balanced meal and after go for a nice stroll to receive all the health benefits.

So to answer the questions that started this entire article. The answer is yes healthy is a lifestyle that requires balance and moderation. When all of the pieces of the puzzle are put together correctly your body is happy and healthy.


You should consult with your doctor before consuming alcohol. The intent of this post is not to encourage alcohol or red wine consumption. Rather it is to educate you on the nutrients found specially in red wine.

About the Author

Alexandra Golovac, Health Coach

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