There are plenty of people who start the day with a big mug (or two) of coffee and end their day with a glass (or two) of wine. Perhaps they have the right idea.
Coffee and red wine have more in common than most people think—and it's not just that there are plenty of snobs on both sides. In moderation, both coffee and red wine have been shown to offer potential health benefits—and they can both help us do the things that make us feel a greater sense of "well-being" and fulfillment.
Drinking red wine has long been touted for its health benefits. But over the last decade or so, it's felt like research has finally started to catch up on the health benefits of coffee as well.
Drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of wine won't solve all of your problems—but what thing does? They can both help us in little ways, both with our health and in experiencing more "quality of life."
And, you know, sometimes we need all the help we can get.
Here are five benefits that coffee and red wine have in common:
Coffee and Red Wine Both Contain Powerful Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important because they scavenge harmful things in the body known as free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to inflammation. Some research has even linked oxidative stress to chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.
All coffee contains antioxidants, and red wine also packs a powerful punch thanks to its high levels of polyphenols.
So next time you reach for a cup of coffee or glass of wine, know that you're not just indulging in one of life's pleasures—you're also supporting your health!
Studies Show Both Can Improve Brain Functioning and Help Prevent Cognitive Decline
Some researchers believe there's a connection between moderate red wine consumption and improved memory and prevention of cognitive decline—and the same goes for coffee.
An active compound in red wine is resveratrol, a polyphenol that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and while research is still ongoing, it's currently thought that drinking red wine in moderation may possibly help delay the onset of Alzheimer's (See: New Evidence Resveratrol May Slow Alzheimer's - https://time.com/4032194/red-wine-alzheimers/) and dementia.
At the same time, while there are multiple studies showing how drinking coffee can be beneficial for memory and brain function, there has also continued to be promising research into the relationship between coffee/caffeine consumption and Alzheimer's. (See: Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer's disease: - http://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20182054/)
Both Can Bring You To a Specific Time and Place
Like wine, coffee also has its own sort of "terroir"—the flavor of coffee depends on its surroundings. This means you can truly taste the differences in coffee grown in different regions, climates, farms, and soils—even if they're the exact same type of bean!
Just like wine, the best way to enjoy (and learn about) coffee is to experiment with different types from different places. When you can't physically travel across the globe to a faraway place, the flavor and aroma of a great cup of coffee can make you feel like you're there.
Both can let you experience a small part of a specific place and time, whether you've been there before, or never been there in your life.
Both Can Help Us Slow Down and Relax
While most of us are aware of how a glass of red wine can help people unwind after a long day, many of us just think of our coffee as a morning pick-me-up; a way to make it through the work day alive.
And while it's true that coffee can give us a much-needed energy boost when we need it, it can also help us relax when we don't need the energy. That's right—the same beverage that can make us feel pumped up can also help us wind down and de-stress.
Whether it's a daily (or thrice-daily) coffee making ritual on our kitchen counter, or chilling at our favorite coffee shop, coffee gives us the "excuse" we need sometimes to let ourselves slow down, be present in the moment—to "stop and smell the coffee," so to speak.
Both Can Help Us Connect with other People
Drinking coffee and wine are commonly considered to be social activities, and with good reason—they can both help us connect with the people around us.
Whether we're enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend or family member, sharing a bottle of wine with our significant other, or even meeting up for a cup of coffee or a drink with our Tinder date—both beverages can help us relax and bond with the people who are most important to us.
And after the last couple years of social distancing, we all know how important those social connections are.
So, there you have it! Five great things that coffee shares with red wine. So the next time you hear someone singing the praises of red wine, feel free to let them know that coffee actually has many of the same benefits!
And, next time you enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee or a glass of red wine, know that you’re not just indulging in one (or two!) of life’s pleasures, it’s a form of self-care that may also support your health—I’ll drink to that!
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