white wine poured into wine glass

Want to Age Gracefully? Drink up!

white wine poured into wine glassI don’t drink. Sure, there’s the occasional glass of wine with dinner, but I can probably count those on less than one hand if I looked back over the entire past year. I’d rather have my indulgent, extra calories in the form of chocolate chip cookies!

But a recent Harvard study suggests that women who drink–middle-aged women who drink to be exact–have a better chance of staying healthy as the birthdays keep coming than their non-drinking counterparts. That doesn’t seem fair to me!

This study and others have shown that moderate alcohol intake–one drink each day for women–can reduce inflammation as well as promote healthy cholesterol, improve insulin resistance and keep blood flowing properly. The Harvard study also suggests that moderate middle-aged female drinkers have fewer incidents of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia.

Does this mean I’m going to have to start drinking?!

No. Lead study author and nutrition researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Qi Sun, M.D., said in a recent Health.com article: “If you are physically active, if you have a healthy body weight at midlife, you can have much better odds of achieving successful aging.” She continued, “You don’t have to use moderate alcohol consumption to achieve healthy aging.”

Thank goodness!