Brace yourselves: The holidays are here. As you scramble to wrap all those last-minute gifts and prep yourself for a full day surrounded by your entire extended family tomorrow, go ahead and enjoy a nice glass of red wine—science says it will lower your stress levels.
We've known about the benefits of red wine, particularly of the compound resveratrol, for a while—it can lead to glowy skin, prevent cavities, and has even been tied to a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and other conditions. But we all know, too, that a glass of merlot can be the perfect antidote to a brutal day at the office—even if science hadn't figured out why yet. Now, a new study published in the journal Nature backs us up: Researchers found that a small dose of resveratrol can help your body better deal with stress. (Before you pour, check out 5 Red Wine Mistakes You're Probably Making.)
Here's how it works: Reservatrol (which is also found in grapes and cacao beans) stimulates a specific stress-response protein, PARP-1, which then activates a number of genes that repair DNA, suppress tumor genes, and promote longevity genes. “Based on these results, it is conceivable that moderate consumption of a couple glasses of red wine (rich in resveratrol) would give a person enough resveratrol to evoke a protective effect via this pathway,” lead author Mathew Sajish, a senior research associate in the Schimmel laboratory, said in a press release. Basically, it's proof that your glass (or two) of vino can help you stress less and live longer.
Well, isn't that some news to toast to this holiday season? Olivia Pope would approve! (Last-minute party planning? Here are 13 Can't-Go-Wrong Wine and Cheese Pairings.)