Long life expectancy can be achieved through some simple lifestyle changes. Alongside eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, plenty of sleep, moderate alcohol intake and not smoking are also important.
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When it comes to what foods and drinks to consume to live longer, the ingredient in mulled wine have been shown to hold a host of benefits.
Mulled wine is made from red wine mixed with various spices, including cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
While it should be consumed within alcohol guidelines – no more than 14 units a week – here are the benefits of enjoying the festive tipple this Christmas.
Small mounts of red wine have been linked to more health benefits than any other alcoholic drink, and relationships between wine-drinking and lower risk of heart disease have been drawn.
Drinking small amounts of red wine may reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to retain ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in the blood.
Oxidative damage and the oxidation of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol may be reduced by up to 50 percent.
Some studies have even suggested populations already at a high risk of heart disease, like the elderly, may benefits even more from moderate wine consumption.
Many studies have shown moderate wine drinkers are at lower risk of death from heart disease compared to non-drinkers or beer and spirit drinkers.
Red wine’s powerful plant compounds and antioxidants, such as resveratrol, have also been proven beneficial.
Resveratrol is found in grape skin and is produced in some plants as a response to damage or injury.
The antioxidant has been linked with fighting inflammation and blood clotting, as well as a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Resveratrol has also been shown to make test animals live longer.
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But it should be noted the resveratrol content of red wine is low, and you would have to consume several bottles per day to reach the amount used in animal studies.
Cinnamon has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol.
It reduced levels of total cholesterol, ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while ‘good’ HDL cholesterol remains stable.
A review study concluded a cinnamon dose of just 120mg per day can have these effects.
Ginger has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
In a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3g of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers.
Research has shown the compounds found in cloves could help keep blood sugar under control.
If blood sugar remains high over a long period of time it can increase the risk of serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease.
An animal study found clove extract helped moderate blood sugar increases in diabetic mice.
Animal studies have shown taking high-dose nutmeg supplements can reduce heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high triglycerides levels.
More human studies is needed, but other health benefits of nutmeg include anti-inflammatory properties and improved blood sugar control.
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