Most recent research confirms you should definitely have a glass of red wine tonight...

Let's toast this excellent news!

A link between red wine and better gut health has been found. So if you were planning on cracking open a bottle of Pinot Noir tonight, don’t hold back.

A new study has revealed that there is a link between red wine and better gut health. Not a red wine lover? It’s time to make the switch.

The research, carried out by King’s College London, inspected over 900 twins to check the effects that cider, white wine, red wine, beer and spirits had on gut bacteria.

Interestingly, the red wine drinkers had a more diverse gut microbiome. This microbiome is essentially the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut.

Whilst bacteria in the gut might sound a little daunting, it does in fact play a huge role in body weight, metabolism and even immunity. A healthy gut has also been said to control appetite (bye, bye sugar cravings), and even aid mental health, boosting our mood and helping to quash anxiety.

Put simply: happy gut, happy you.

The scientists carrying out the research explain that red wine contains polyphenols, which could act as an antioxidant to boost gut health.

Nutritionist Rob Hobson explains that these polyphenols could help with weight management, diabetes, digestion issues and even cardiovascular disease.

But sadly, this doesn’t mean that drinking gallons of red wine will do much good.

‘Alcohol should be consumed in moderation as we’re all aware of the dangers of overdoing it - many, potentially life threatening,’ says Rob.

Thankfully, there are several other foods that contain polyphenols, including coca powder and dark chocolate (hoorah!), berries, beans, black and green tea, and even artichokes. Nuts, particularly pecans and hazlenuts, also contain polyphenols, as does soy.

As well as supporting your gut health through polyphenols, Rob explains that a healthy gut also comes by staying hydrated, ensuring a good sleep pattern and limiting stress.

‘Aim to keep sugar to a minimum and try taking a daily prebiotic or probiotic for an extra boost.’

Lucy Gornall

Lucy Gornall is the former Health & Fitness editor at Future and a personal trainer specializing in pre and post-natal exercise.