The secret to living to 100? This woman is convinced it’s wine.
Florence Bearse of Bangor, Maine, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, told WLBZ the key to living a long life is a glass of wine.
“I like my wine. Don’t take it away from me,” she told the broadcaster.
On her birthday, Bearse drank a glass of red, and was also treated to birthday cake, gifts and balloons. Working in the restaurant industry, WLBZ notes, Bearse said she learned how to dedicate her life to serve others.
Centenarians and wine
This isn’t the first time booze has been lauded for leading to a long life. Other centenarians have attributed their longevity to alcohol: in 2016, Antonio Docampo, who was 107, drank a mix of brandy and red wine daily, Mic reports.
And 105-year-old Eileen Ash, a yoga-loving grandmother in Norwich, England, said two glasses of red wine every day was the true key to living a long and healthy life, the BBC reports.
Vancouver-based registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen says the official rule on moderate drinking within a healthy lifestyle, is to consume no more than one standard drink a day for women and two a day for men.
“The clincher here is what constitutes a standard drink. A 750-ml bottle should pour five to six drinks. Some wine goblets can easily drain a third of the bottle,” she tells Global News.
Health benefits of wine
There have been countless studies on the health benefits of wine, especially red wine. One University of Alberta report found a glass of red wine was equivalent to an hour at the gym, Huffpost U.K. reports, while another study found red wine in moderation could also be beneficial to heart health.
“The vast majority of research points to the polyphenols in red wine — not white — being the beneficial component,” Nielsen says. “White wine is made by removing the skin of the grapes before fermentation, which is where most of the phytochemical compounds are found. So if you’re drinking as part of a healthy lifestyle, red is the better choice.”
What drinking in moderation looks like
However, Nielsen says, if you don’t drink much, you shouldn’t start just because of this research (or because of anecdotes told by booze-loving 100-year-olds). “You can get plenty of anti-inflammatory polyphenols from berries, green tea and naturally processed cocoa,” she says.
“While there is evidence that a moderate amount of wine may have health benefits, we also have to weigh that against the potential risks for the individual,” she explains. “If there is a strong family history of cancer, it is worth noting that any amount of alcohol consumption above zero increases risk a bit.”
If anti-inflammatory living and cardiovascular health are concerns, she says, red wine isn’t a bad idea.
“To keep your body as healthy as possible, I recommend going at least two or three days without any alcohol consumption, in line with national guidelines. Even better, keep drinks to the weekend most weeks, but just remember, you can’t save up your weekly allotment and spend it all in two days.”