With recent science, we know that regular consumption of red wine (that means one to two glasses a day) can counter-balance fatty diets, leading to overall better health. Good news is that eyes can also benefit from the antioxidants shown to decrease risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
Red wine is one of the most readily available sources of an antioxidant called resveratrol found in plants which has shown to fight inflammation, inhibit oxidation of some cells and preserve cell vitality. You can find resveratrol in berries, nuts and grape juice, too for those of you, who like me, aren’t big fans of vino. Red wine happens to contain about twice the antioxidants than the alternatives though and is absorbed more easily by the body.
How does red wine help our vision (at least in the long run 🙂 )?
- Cataracts: After following non-drinkers and moderate drinkers for five years who were age appropriate for cataracts, 32.2% of non-drinkers developed cataracts vs 13% of drinkers.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): In addition to resveratrol, red grape skins show high concentrations of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both proven in clinical studies to combat AMD. A strong negative association between AMD incidence and moderate red wine consumption has been demonstrated. New research also suggests that resveratrol may have value in treatment and management of the disease in more advanced stages by inhibiting new vessel growth. This vessel growth is a sign of progression of AMD to the wet, more debilitating stage.
- Cornea: An enzyme that plays a role in recurrent corneal erosion (in which the surface of the cornea occasionally sloughs off resulting in great discomfort and vision loss) can be suppressed with resveratrol.
Though many of you welcome the encouragement to walk down the wine aisle after the vitamin aisle, remember : don’t drink too much! Moderation is key because ironically, heart disease, cancer and liver disease can become more of a risk when you overdrink.
So, on that note, if anyone has any recommendations for good wine, I’d appreciate suggestions for someone like me who doesn’t know a pinot from a merlot. Cheers!