Avoid the fat and sugar contained in many Christmas favourites and opt for delicious, fat-free and heart-healthy mulled wine! Here are 7 reasons why mulled wine is the perfect holiday season drink this Christmas!
- It can lower the risk of heart disease & stroke
Studies show that the tannins in red wine contain procyanidins which helps protect against heart disease. Resveratrol also helps to remove chemicals which can cause blood clots and reduce the risk of coronary disease. Studies show that a glass of red wine every day can reduce blood clot-related stroke by 50%.
- Cinnamon boosts brain functioning
Cinnamon is an essential ingredient to any mulled wine recipe! It gives you that warm, “Christmas eve by the fire” feeling that we love! But apart from being delicious, just smelling cinnamon can enhance cognitive processing. Specifically, cinnamon improved working memory, visual motor-speed and attention. 
- It keeps your bones strong
Drinking red wine in moderation can reduce your risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density. In a recent study, females who consumed 1-3 glasses of wine per day had greater bone mineral density in the hip region of their thighbones than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers. 
- Nutmeg can detoxify the body
Nutmeg can help remove toxins from alcohol, drugs, pollution, foods and medication, which have built up in your liver and kidney. Detoxification is essential for good health and when your liver and kidney are detoxified, they are able to perform better and boost your overall health.
- Cloves have high antioxidant properties
Cloves have one of the world’s highest antioxidant values. Including cloves in your diet can help to remove harmful toxins and microbes from your body and boost overall health. 
- It can slow down the signs of ageing
According to Richard A. Baxter MD, Plastic Surgeon and author of “Age Gets Better with Wine”, 1 glass of red wine a day and 2 glasses for men is the secret to anti-ageing. Red wine has skin-friendly grape seed extract & resveratrol, 2 powerful antioxidants that fight free the radicals, which contribute to ageing and age related diseases. However, Baxter warns that drinking more than the recommended amount will have the opposite effect on your health. 
- Red wine promotes longevity
Red wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or vodka drinkers, according to a 29-year-long study. Researchers believe this is because red wine is rich in polyphenols, which help protect against the development of chronic disease. Any diet rich in polyphenols will give you the same benefit, not just drinking red wine- although it certainly is a good option.
If we haven’t give you enough of a reason to enjoy a glass of mulled wine this Christmas season, why not try this recipe below?
- 5 cardamom cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon or 1 large cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 Teaspoons Whole Nutmeg, Grated
- 1½ tbsp maple syrup or 3-5 drops of liquid stevia
- 2 thick slices of a medium orange including the peel
- 2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 2 star anise
Step 1: Put everything, except the red wine and star anise, into a medium saucepan with a cup of water (more water if your pan is big).
Step 2: Bring to the boil and let it simmer away on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the water has nearly evaporated.
Step 3: Add the wine and the star anise, reduce the heat and let it all warm through for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Strain (if you like), decorate with fresh cranberries and serve
This delicious recipe is from Vogue.co.uk. It is great for cocktail parties, easy to make ahead of time and in large batches- it’s the perfect holiday season companion!
 Zoladz P, Raudenbush B, Lilley S. Cinnamon perks performance. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, held in Sarasota, FL, April 21-25, 2004. 2004.
 Connor, L, ‘5 Health benefits to dirnking mulled wine this Christmas’, accessed 18th December 2015 <http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health/5-health-benefits-of-drinking-mulled-wine-this-christmas-a3122986.html.
 Mann, D, ‘Is drinking wine the key to antiageing’, accessed 18th December 2015 <http://www.webmd.com/beauty/aging/drinking-wine-antiaging>