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Discover How Wine Can Boost Your Happiness

Wine is cherished by people worldwide for its unique flavor and aroma. Recently, scientists have been exploring the relationship between wine and happiness and have discovered that those who drink wine tend to be happier than those who don't.




 

With its rich cultural and historical tradition, wine has played a significant role in promoting happiness and creating memorable moments throughout the centuries. Beyond its unique aroma and taste, wine has the power to bring us closer to friends and family, providing an environment conducive to celebration, socialization, and human connection.

 

On this International Day of Happiness (March 20), let's take the opportunity to learn about the latest insights into the relationship between wine consumption and health.

 

Have you ever considered that drinking wine could actually benefit your health? There are many conflicting opinions on this, but moderation seems to be the key to unlocking wine's surprising benefits.

 


Can wine make me happy?

If you feel better when you have a glass of wine, it turns out there's a chemical reaction happening in your brain. Alcohol stimulates the release of various neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine.


These natural brain chemicals produce pleasant sensations like euphoria, reward, and well-being. The good news is that even when drinking moderately, you'll always experience the chemical release every time you have a glass. However, excessive drinking (or being on certain medications) can deplete your dopamine and serotonin levels, which can lead to depression. So, once again, moderation is important.

 


How much can I drink?

The good news is that you can drink regularly, but always in moderation. If you're used to having a drink daily with your meal, try to skip at least one day a week. And always remember to drink water, lots of water.

I'd also like to mention that for your state of mind, it doesn't matter much if you prefer and drink red, white, or rosé wines. Although for the health of your body, red is recommended.

 


What is moderate consumption?
Women: 1 unit per day
Men: 2 units per day
Consider one unit as a 100ml glass of wine.

 


How do you know if you're drinking moderately?

Don't answer right away! Instead, pay attention and record your drinking habits for 20 days. What did you drink, how much, and on what occasion?


If the result exceeds the information above, you can create habits that aren't immediate abstinence. For example, one of the easiest ways to reduce consumption is to pour yourself half a glass (about 50-60 ml) at home, or at the restaurant, where they often fill the glass to the top, ask them not to.


Wine tastings stimulate the brain more than a math equation!


According to science, the main neurotransmitters that affect our happiness are dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. Did you know that you can intentionally trigger these neurotransmitters? Wine can really play a role in our happiness too.


I've compiled a list of various wine-related activities that can boost happiness hormones.


Serotonin affects mood, memory, sleep, body temperature, and appetite.

Enjoy wine during a picnic in the sun.


There is a correlation between elevated serotonin levels in the brain and increased wine consumption. It is well known that serotonin, a neurotransmitter, promotes happiness and well-being. This also leads people to become more sociable, amiable, and open to conversation.

Dopamine is related to pleasure and joy and helps to act towards goals, desires, and needs.

  • Boost your motivation by pairing your favorite wine with your favorite dinner after a day's work.

  • Commit to a goal, personal or professional, for 10 days and buy a bottle of wine that you'll only open when you achieve it.


Oxytocin is a hormone released by mothers during childbirth and breastfeeding, and by women and men during orgasm. It helps build strong and healthy relationships. When we receive a gift or give someone a hug, our oxytocin levels can increase.

  • Have a glass of wine while petting your pet.

  • Accept the invitation for that romantic date and book a table at a wine bar.


Endorphins are released in response to pain and stress and help relieve anxiety and depression. Similar to morphine, they act as sedatives and analgesics, reducing our perception of pain.

  • Relax after a challenging day by having a glass of wine.

  • Organize a wine tasting at your home with friends.

  • Have wine while watching a comedy movie.



Wine offers many health benefits, including better heart health, lower cancer risk, and therefore, longer life expectancy. Red wine is rich in antioxidants. These help fight cancer and other diseases. Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, helps maintain the health of blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. It also helps lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries.

The same antioxidants can help alleviate depression. They protect cells from damage, which can also help with cognitive function.



To ensure you enjoy wine responsibly and safely, here are some other important recommendations:

  1. Seek to drink the recommended amount to reap all the benefits of wine consumption: two glasses if you're a woman; or three glasses if you're a man. Never more than four glasses a day.

  2. Drink water: stay hydrated during meals. An easy rule to remember is for every glass of wine, drink another glass of water. It will reduce the effects of alcohol on your body and head the next day.

  3. Be careful if you're driving! Remember the importance of avoiding driving after consuming alcoholic beverages.



By following these recommendations, you'll be able to enjoy wine more and better, and everything it has to offer. Let's celebrate International Day of Happiness with moderation and care, enjoying the moments of joy and connection that wine provides us!


I hope this brief exploration of wine and health has been interesting, although with some scientific sources, it's meant to be fun and inspirational.


With proven increased levels of happiness, it's the wine courses I conduct at The Wine Flat Lisbon and also in-home visits. Explore Portuguese wines, from tasting and pairing techniques to selection and storage recommendations. Email me now at somm@teresagomes.com stating how many people there are and when to.

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