If there’s anything in this world that’s better than a glass of crisp, cool champagne, I don’t know what it is. There’s just something about the way it tickles your throat on its way down; the warm trail it leaves as it traverses down your chest; and the resulting buzz you feel after the glass is done, leaving you yearning for more. On Sunday mornings, after a night where you perhaps indulged a bit too much, a champagne-heavy mimosa can help bring you back to life, effectively improving your shaky mental health.
Okay, so that isn’t a true improvement on mental health, but a short-term fix to a hangover. But, would you believe that evidence derived from recent studies has led many experts to claim that champagne, in extreme moderation, can lead to improvements in the human mind? It sounds outlandish, I know. However, we have compiled a list of improvements that a glass of bubbly every now and again is purported to play a part in. Check it out.
- Champagne may play a part in Alzheimer’s prevention.
There aren’t many mental afflictions more scary than Alzheimer’s. Slowly, all the thoughts and memories a person has accumulated over a lifetime—even things as simple as recognizing the faces of loved ones—begin to slip from their grasp, as brain tissue begins to die. Alzheimer’s is undoubtedly a slow and painful demise, and though there is medicine on the market that can slow and even temporarily halt its symptoms, there is no cure. However, new studies show that there may be a correlation between drinking champagne and Alzheimer’s prevention. A 2013 study revealed that consuming approximately three glasses of bubbly a week can improve one’s spatial memory, which is responsible for processing the aspects of one’s environment, and is a specific element that is degraded in Alzheimer’s patients. The reason behind this is the phenolic compounds in the champagne, which possess elements similar to the brain-boosting properties found in red wine grapes. Bear in mind that doctors caution this correlation is loose at best, and has not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Still, with a disease as terrible and debilitating as Alzheimer’s, there’s probably no harm in being optimistic.
- Champagne has been proven to boost general brain power…in rats, that is.
While we haven’t yet secured concrete evidence to the brain-boosting abilities of champagne in the minds of human beings, extensive testing conducted on rats has shown a fairly strong correlation between bubbly and the functionality of the brain’s hippocampus and cortex, which are both integral parts of memory storage. The proteins in each of these two regions are lost throughout time, but when champagne is introduced into the equation, the reduction of these proteins slows down considerably. Now, granted, this maintenance of proteins responsible for new memories might be offset by general alcohol consumption—nobody’s staking the claim that alcohol itself is responsible for the improved ability. But, if one sticks to few enough glasses that they aren’t completely impaired, it may be fair to say that they will remember the evening a bit more clearly.
- A few glasses of champagne per week improves and repairs cognitive function.
Champagne functions with a slightly different mechanism than its sister beverage, red wine. The latter has long been purported to have brain-improving elements thanks to its flavinoids. However, champagne doesn’t have any of these elements, and thus relies on various other mechanisms in order for it to manifest its benefits. The benefits have been compared to those resulting from consuming foods rich in polyphenol, such as blueberries and cocoa. If the findings hold true, it may not be long before champagne is offered up alongside our orange juice and oatmeal in the morning. Hey, why not have a glass before heading off to work? From the sound of it, it might just help you do your job that much better.
- Quite simply: Champagne can help a person relax, which in and of itself is a mental health improvement.
The science behind champagne’s quantifiable benefits on brain health may be lagging behind the facts. It is an inevitable process of life that people will try to find the silver lining among products that have previously been deemed “bad”—in this case, of course, that is champagne. Conversely, there will always be those who try to find the bad amid something purported to be good—say, vegetables, or exercise. But say what you will about champagne’s ability to stave off a terrible mental illness or help you remember the events of the night more clearly. One thing that cannot be denied is champagne’s ability to help someone relax. Now, certainly, all things in moderation, but at the end of a stressful but successful work week, there aren’t many things that can put a person’s mind at ease better than a glass or two of this bubbly, golden nectar. Sure, this isn’t the most scientific statement in the world, but even the world’s greatest minds cannot deny champagne’s ability to ease a person’s stress, at least temporarily.
At this point, even though there is a fair amount of research out there—with more studies being conducted every day, as scientists continue to push for further understanding of the benefits of this beautiful and tasty French export—we can’t say with the utmost confidence that champagne is going to have a particularly positive impact on one’s mental health. However, it would also be a fair claim that there are far more harmful alcoholic selections one could make when determining what beverage to sip on when the time arises. If consumed in moderation, at the very least we can say that one is not performing any semblance of harm to their body if they have a few glasses of champagne a week. So, hey—call it a day. You deserve it! Pop that bottle of bubbly you’ve been keeping in the fridge, put your feet up, pour yourself a glass, and cheers to your health—and, just maybe, your mental health.