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Sometimes there's nothing better than unwinding with a glass of your favorite vino at the end of a long day, but new research shows it probably isn't just the buzz that's relaxing you—it's an antioxidant! Resveratrol, a compound found in the skin and seeds of grapes and berries, gives wine its heart-healthy label, and it also may boost your brain health, too.
Related: Health Benefits of Drinking Wine
Researchers from the University at Buffalo decided to put resveratrol's anti-inflammatory properties to the test, noting this compound is thought to have anti-stress and anti-depression abilities as well. They studied stress levels in mice, monitoring corticosterone—one of our body's stress hormones that's linked to depression and anxiety—to see if resveratrol could have a positive effect.
The researchers found that resveratrol not only helped protect against a buildup of corticosterone, it also eased the body's stress response. The authors of this study say their research lays the groundwork for using resveratrol as a natural ingredient in antidepressants.
Related: How to Add Wine to a Healthy Diet
"Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders," Ying Xu, MD, PhD, co-lead author of the study, said in a university press release.
The Bottom Line
This study is not an excuse to guzzle down a bottle of wine in one sitting, as consuming too much alcohol can actually lead to worsened mental health. However, we do think these findings are a great excuse to enjoy your favorite bottle of red in moderation—one drink a day for women and two for men.
If you don't like red wine or abstain from alcohol, you can also reap the benefits from consuming grapes and berries in their whole form. More research needs to be conducted on the subject, but we are excited about the prospect of these delicious fruits improving our mental health!
Related: Healthy Berry Recipes