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Wine (Like Yogurt!) Contributes to a Healthy Gut

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In recent years, we've seen a lot of headlines claiming that alcohol, and especially wine, can have some major health benefits when consumed in moderation—pretty much the most awesome health news we've heard in, well, ever. Tons of research has lauded heart-healthy benefits associated with drinking a few glasses of wine each week (especially red) and your favorite grape beverage has been linked to lower risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. (And, it's Confirmed: 2 Glasses of Wine Before Bed Helps You Lose Weight.) See, splitting a bottle with the gals at dinner really isn't anything to feel guilty about.

But according to a new study from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, we now have even more reason to feel good about having a glass or two when we get home from work. In addition to more traditional gut-friendly foods like yogurt (hey, probiotics), wine also has a positive impact on the microbial diversity in your gut.

The study—in which researchers analyzed the stool samples of over 1,000 Dutch adults—set out to examine how different foods impact our bodies' microbial communities, the delicate balance of bacteria that live on and in your bod helping you process food, regulate your immune system, and generally keep everything running smoothly. There's even some early evidence that the diversity of your body's microbial community can impact mood disorders and a whole spectrum of diseases like Irritable Bowl Syndrome. In other words, keeping a healthy mix of diversity is in your best interest. (Check out 6 Ways to Bolster Good Gut Bacteria (Besides Eating Yogurt).)

The researchers found that wine, coffee, and tea promote microbial diversity in your gut. "There is good correlation between diversity and health: greater diversity is better," explained Dr. Alexandra Zhernakova, a researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the first author of the study, in a statement.

They also found that sugar and carbs have the exact opposite effect, so if your aim is to sip something good for your gut, stay away from the lattes and sip your glass of rosé with sliced up fruit instead of cheese and crackers.

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