Thanks to a new study by Harvard Medical School, you can totally add drinking red wine to your Christmas to-do list.

According to the research done on 21,000 men and women with an average age of 56 in Italy for over six years, a glass of red wine a day can actually keep the doctor away.

It found that paired with a typically Mediterranean diet a small glass of wine (125ml) a day will reduce a moderate drinker's chances of needing medical treatment.

Several human trial studies have shown that moderate red wine consumption can lower the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and even help you live longer. On the other hand, drinking too much will definitely lead to harmful health risks. So drink moderately.
Several human trial studies have shown that moderate red wine consumption can lower the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and even help you live longer. On the other hand, drinking too much will definitely lead to harmful health risks. So drink moderately.

On the other hand, people who never touch a drop of wine are 11 per cent more likely to find themselves hospitalised.

However, Dr Ken Mukamal of the Harvard Medical School, is quick to add, "We are absolutely not saying that any teetotaller should start drinking to improve his/her health."

This is not the first time a study has discovered the health benefits of drinking red wine in moderation.

Previous studies have shown that wine could be good for your heart as it contains compounds like resveratrol, tannins and phenols that act as natural blood thinners reduce blood clots and lower heart disease.

Here are some additional benefits of red wine:

Weight loss

A 2010 report in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that red wine might be the secret to weight loss. According to the research, red wine-drinkers are least likely to become overweight.

Lowers cholesterol levels

Apart from helping your heart, a plant extract called resveratrol,  found in red wine, grapes and chocolate, is said to lower the levels of bad cholesterol while elevating the good cholesterol levels by 16 per cent.

Fights cancer

The June 2007 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch reports that men who drink an average of four to seven glasses of red wine per week are 52% as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who do not drink red wine, reports.

The study also found that red wine is particularly protective against advanced or aggressive cancers.

Red wine contains a lot of helpful substances
Red wine contains a lot of helpful substances

Increases longevity

Thanks to the presence of resveratrol in red wine, American researchers have concluded that a glass can actually protect the body against ageing.

This is due to the extract's ability to reduce inflammation in humans. This particular advantage is only felt when the wine is drunk in moderation.

Whitens your teeth

Research suggests red wine could actually be good for your teeth. According to a 2014 report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, grape seed extract found in red wine prevents cavities.

After experimenting with fluoride in toothpaste and other methods,  red wine was discovered to be the most effective at removing the bacteria responsible for cavities, gum disease and tooth loss that affect an estimated 60 to 90 per cent of the global population.

Red wine is great for your teeth
Red wine is great for your teeth

Reduces blood sugar and fights diabetes

Blood sugar or glucose is the body's main source of energy. Having too much of it results in diabetes and having too little of it can also be problematic, which is why you need just the right amount which is where red wine comes in.

According to the American Diabetes Association, drinking red wine can lower your blood sugar for up to 24 hours. This is due to polyphenols in red wine.

It has also been discovered that moderate red wine consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes and make the drinker 30% less likely to develop diabetes at all. Tannic acid, one of the non-alcoholic compounds in red wine, can also aid in diabetes treatment.

Once again, Dr Emily Burns, the Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, warns that these results should not be taken as a green light to consume lots of alcohol.

Looks like this Christmas is definitely the perfect time to enjoy all the health benefits of red wine, in moderation of course.

P.S: Drinking too much alcohol is still harmful. Risks include:

Liver and pancreas diseases

Heart failure

High blood pressure

Certain types of cancer

Stroke

Accidents, violence and suicide

Weight gain and obesity