Sure Red Wine Has Benefits, but Wait, White Wine and Champagne are Healthy Too?

Red wine has gotten a wonderful reputation health-wise, which rivals its savory flavors and soothing effects. But its sibling, white wine, and rich uncle, champagne, have been slightly overlooked since red wine has taken the spotlight. As it turns out, the white variation and the bubbly offer health advantages as well.

LDL cholesterol levels lower with consumption of red wine. This is good because lower LDL, less of it found in arteries to form plaque. Plaque hardens arteries, blood pressure rises, and the risk of heart attack increases.

Another beneficial element derived from the red grape is polyphenols. These antioxidants help reduce formation of unwanted blood clots and keep blood flowing through vessels smoothly. Resveratrol, found in red grape skins, also helps moderate blood pressure and can lower total cholesterol.

White wine may not have as many benefits as red because the skins are removed before processing. However, the white grape still contains nutrients and antioxidants. White wine hasn’t been studied as much as its rosy sibling even though it’s full of the same plant flavonoids, which protect cells. Researchers at the University of Barcelona claim that white wine may be higher in antioxidants and also offers stronger anti-aging effects.

Researchers reported that both red and white wine improved cholesterol levels if the drinker was exercising two or more times per week. Also both reds and whites may be able to help diabetics regulate their blood sugar. They each seem to improve glucose control.

Another group out of the University at Buffalo School of medicine found that white wine improves lung health. In 2010, researchers from the University of Wisconsin discovered that white wine protected cells from breast cancer as well as red wine did. With all of this good news about reds and whites, we must presume that champagne must offer healthy benefit, too!

Champagne is a sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wines are champagne. Champagne is a geographic region of France. There are six specific types of grapes from that area and the wine is made through a specific production process called “methode champenoise.” The guidelines for making the bubbly are very strict, one being that the grapes must be handpicked and another that the stems are not removed during filtering.

One advantage researchers discovered during testing champagne-consumers was that there was a significant boost to spatial memory after having a glass. They added that those with dementia had a better ability to recognize their surroundings (and their home) after indulging in a bit of champagne. In fact, the researchers suggest drinking three glasses a week for maximum benefit. As with any alcoholic beverage moderation is key.



Epic Formula to Completely Breaking Your Drinking Habit

With a determined mindset and a plan, changing any habitual behavior can be possible. If drinking alcohol is on your list of habits to break, rest assured that with the right resources, it can be done. Along with a little perseverance and our epic formula, you will be on a successful path to completely breaking your drinking habit.


Identifying “Why” You Want to Break a Habit

Anything you want to succeed at in life requires motivation. Identifying why you are attempting to achieve a specific goal is what will keep you on your path. Your “why” is what will motivate and re-motivate you during your journey.

Identifying why you want to break your drinking habit is the first essential step of the formula. You need to be honest with yourself because your motivation matters. You can keep your “why” private, or you can share it with others for support. We will explore that concept further below. In the meanwhile, here are some common reasons for wanting to completely change your relationship with alcohol:

  • You have brain fog too often
  • You have a medical condition that requires cutting back or quitting
  • You are losing things that are important (money, job, relationships)
  • You want to look and feel healthier
  • You are joining a religion
  • You want to stay out of jail
  • You want to lose weight

It’s important for you to acknowledge and write down the reason(s) you are making a choice to break your habit. You will need this information now and later in order for the formula to work.


How to Completely Change Your Drinking Behavior

At this point, you should know why you are embarking on a mission to break a particular habit. Along with this understanding, a mindset of non-judgment must accompany it. Your job is to stick to the epic plan without criticizing yourself. You’re making a positive choice. Now, take the ride, and feel a sense of reward and accomplishment!

The formula for breaking your drinking habit consists of:

1) Cutting Back and Cutting down. If you normally drink three glasses of wine with dinner, cut down to one. If you drink every night of the week, perhaps allow yourself Friday or Saturday your evening to partake. When cutting back occasions to drink, still keep in mind that cutting down is still part of the equation.

2) Replace the Activity. Instead of going to happy hour, use that time to take a yoga class, watch a movie, or participate in a different social activity that doesn’t revolve around alcohol consumption. Exercise is an awesome replacement because it can lift your spirits and help detoxify your body.

3) Reward Yourself. Instead of spending $10 on a glass of Merlot, use it towards that grilled salmon plate you’ve been wanting to try. You could also treat yourself to a dessert since you’re not using empty calories on alcohol. Or, you could save the money you’re not using on drinks and buy something nice to add to your wardrobe (especially if you’ve lost weight.)

4) Remind Yourself. Here is where your “why” comes in handy again. When you’ve had a setback or you no longer see the use in breaking your habit, look back at your original reasons. Reminding yourself why you made this choice can help you re-motivate and feel more positive and determined.

5) Assess Your Success. After you’ve followed the epic formula for a while, check in with yourself and see you much you’ve accomplished. Do you have a clearer mind? Are you getting more exercise? Have you lost any weight? Have you kept your job? Have you found a job? Have you saved any money? Do you look better? Are you getting better rest? Do you feel better overall?

Ask yourself questions based upon your unique motivation for breaking your drinking habit. Chances are your responses will shed some positive light and a sense of a job well done.


Do I Have to Include Others in My Epic Formula?

The answer to this question is completely up to you. Some sources believe that your journey to breaking a habit is a private matter. You may have enough strength to accomplish your mission on your own. If this is your case, when others ask why you’re not drinking, you can simply respond with, “I’m on a 30-day cleanse”, or “I’ve accepted a personal challenge.”

Other sources believe that including others in your formula can be beneficial. Sharing your goals with loved ones can keep you accountable. It can also allow them to cheer and support you. Some people also find strength when they’re able to enlist a buddy to join them on their journey.


Habits Sometimes Fall Hard

Setting goals and accomplishing them are completely realistic and doable. However, when it comes to breaking a habit, especially drinking, there can be unsavory side effects that come with the territory. To be on the safe side, it’s necessary to understand what those may be.

When cutting down or abstaining from alcohol intake, each person may react differently. Some symptoms may be:

  • Changes in sleep patterns; bad dreams
  • Irritability, short-temperedness; poor concentration
  • Decrease or increase in appetite
  • Headache or nausea

If you experience severe symptoms such as: confusion, fever, trembling, or hallucinations, contact a health care provider immediately.

Following the tenets of this formula should completely ensure breaking your drinking habit. And, keep in mind, change can often be quite excellent. Best of luck and best of health on your life’s challenges!




Cheers! Can A Cocktail Lower Your Risk of Stroke?

There are so many contradictory reports these days on alcohol and its possible health benefits. For sure, heavy drinking is a health impairment, but a new study shows moderate consumption may actually reduce the risk of a stroke.

Three Cheers for One Drink!

There are clinically two types of strokes. An ischemic stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain.

Ischemic strokes account for about 87 percent of all strokes, according to the American Stroke Association. The research from the newest Swedish study claims that a lower risk of ischemic strokes exists when one or two drinks per day are consumed.

Last Call

Unfortunately, for those light-to-moderate drinkers, the risk of hemorrhagic stroke did not decrease. However, heavy drinking (three or more per day) increases the risk of both types of strokes. The journal BMC Medicine recently published those results.

The Research Team’s Study

Researchers from England and Sweden analyzed the results of 25 separate studies. The good news was that light consumption of alcohol decreased the odds of the more potential type of stroke. Again, however, heavy drinkers were offered a warning.

Those who indulged in three or more libations daily actually became more likely to suffer a hemorrhagic stroke—even though normally (without heavy drinking), a person is actually 5 times more apt to suffer from an ischemic stroke.

The researchers suspect that it’s the way that alcohol affects the body that changes the general “stroke susceptibility” rule to date.

Drink (Lightly) and Be Merry

Indulging in beer, wine, or spirits in moderation, in general, won’t create many health conflicts. And as read, sometimes a drink or too can be beneficial. We’ve read many reports about the benefits of red wine, for example.

The concern here is that alcohol has been connected to a decrease in fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is a protein that helps the body form blood clots. This is why oftentimes we hear about those with an abundant amount of alcohol in their system—they are challenged with the ability to stop bleeding, especially when they’re injured.

It makes sense then that the risk of hemorrhagic stroke would increase with elevated levels of alcohol in the bloodstream.

No Party Poopers!

A drink or two, whether at home, during dinner, or at a celebration can be relaxing and enjoyable. Pacing oneself can be helpful. Perhaps have one cocktail and then refresh with a couple of glasses of water while socializing. Then, have your second, if you desire. Remember to stay hydrated and have food in your stomach, too.

Never drink alcohol and drive a vehicle of any type, even after just one drink. It’s not worth your life or anyone else’s. Also, if you suspect you are pregnant, it’s best for the baby and mom’s health to abstain. As the ads say, please drink responsibly. For more current studies on health food and drink, check out Thrive!


Which Drunk Are You?

According to research based on a study of 374 undergraduate students, there are four different types of drunks. They categorize as: Hemingway, Mary Poppins, Nutty Professor, or Mr. (Ms.) Hyde.

Three Sheets to the Wind

The “Hemingway” group, which comprised almost half the drinkers, were drunks who could handle their alcohol. They didn’t become too unorganized, didn’t start fights, and didn’t change character invariably-just like Ernest Hemingway.

Jeckyl or Hyde?

Almost 25% of the group had personality changes, mostly hostile and less responsible. These Hydes were actually half of the women and half of the men.

Up, Up, and Away

Fifteen percent were Mary Poppins, sweet as sugar when getting drunk, and another 12% were Nutty Professors getting goofier and more extroverted.

Besides the kitschy names, the study was conducted to see if addiction and recovery methods might vary and be more helpful depending on the drunk group to which you belong.