Is there anything that says Christmas more than a steaming mug of mulled wine at a festive market? It turns out the tipple has some genuine benefits for your health too.

Red wine is full of cholesterol-lowering antioxidants

The red wine that makes up the bulk of your mug is full of antioxidants that are thought to boost your HDL ‘good’ cholesterol and reduce LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. Mix up your mulled wine using a Rioja (or any variety of red wine which uses Tempranillo grapes) and you could see your cholesterol levels dip by 9% according to a study from Madrid.

Mulled wine is good for your heart

As well as red wine being thought to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease (when drunk in moderation, of course!) thanks to its antioxidant polyphenols, the nutmeg added to mulled wine also lowers the risk, and boosts your heart function.

Can red wine keep you looking young?

You might have heard the word ‘resveratrol’ bandied around as a skin saviour, and it turns out that the tanins in red wine are packed with it. The secret lies in its ability to rejuvenate cells, slow the ageing process and fight damaging free radicals in your skin. In fact, a study from Georgetown University Medical Centre found that resveratrol’ could slow the effects of Alzheimer’s by protecting the brain from damage. Get a second hit by accompanying your mulled wine with some dark chocolate.

Lower your stroke risk with a glass of red

Resveratrol also helps to remove the chemicals which can cause blood clots, and studies have shown that a glass a day (but no more!) can lower your stroke risk.

Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory

As well as adding that hint of sweetness to your mulled wine, cinnamon is a bit of a health hero! It has an anti-inflammatory effect and can help reduce swelling in conditions like arthritis. As an added bonus, red wine and cloves also have anti-inflammatory properties.

Mulled wine can boost your immune system

There’s nothing worse than leaving work for the Christmas break to be immediately struck down with a cold. Happily, a ‘medicinal’ weekly mug of mulled wine can help you fight infections! The antioxidants in red wine are great for topping up your immune system and fighting free radicals.

Help your liver with nutmeg

Pop some nutmeg in your spice mix and do your liver a favour! The organ, which will no doubt be working overtime at Christmas, gets a cleansing detox from nutmeg, helping it to process alcohol, pollution and other toxins.

Drink mulled wine to stop constipation

If festive food is weighing heavy on your tummy, make sure to add cloves to your mug of wine. The ingredient is thought to increase gut motility and digestion power, reducing indigestion and constipation.