Even though it might be freezing outside and we have a shopping list longer than our arm, it's good to know that Christmas brings in one delightful alcoholic benefit to indulge in.
We've all heard the age old saying that red wine is good for you (opens in new tab) because of its antioxidant content. But does the same apply to mulled wine, after you've added sugar, juice and spices into the mix?
Whilst drinking a glass of this warming festive tipple will do nothing to prevent or cure a hangover (opens in new tab), it seems that certain ingredients in the traditional mulled wine recipe (opens in new tab) (which dates back to the 2nd century) carry some surprising need-to-know health benefits. Bottoms up...
1. It can act as a painkiller Have you noticed that everything feels that little bit less achy after a mulled wine or two? That's thanks to the cinnamon and cloves in the drink that feed us eugenol, which has local anaesthetic and antiseptic properties that can ease dull pains like toothache, according to bt.com.
2. It slows down ageing Put away the lotions and potions to keep the crow's feet at bay, mulled wine is here to help you out. Resveratrol, which is found in red wine, is thought to help rejuvenate cells and slow down the ageing process. Don't mind if we do!
3. Anti-inflammatory properties What's a glass of mulled wine without a cinnamon stick? Its helpful antioxidants can help reduce swelling and bloating (opens in new tab), as well as restoring normal tissue function.
4. It can help your heart function Although it's not best to down a whole cask of mulled wine in a bid to have a healthy heart, a glass of the stuff can aid heart functioning by optimising good cholesterol and minimising bad cholesterol.
5. It can keep your bones strong A recent study showed that drinking 1-3 glasses of red wine a day may slim your risk of osteoporosis. Those who drank that measure had greater bone mineral density that non-drinkers or heavy drinkers.
Although there may be some pleasant upsides to the festive beverage, do drink responsibly to ensure that the more pressing health risks from alcohol are kept at bay.
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