Why Red Wine May Actually Be Good For Us {And Other Heart Health Tips}

Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Touro Infirmary.

After a long, stressful day, it feels good to kick your feet up and enjoy a glass of wine. But is wine good for your overall health? Over the past few years, many studies have been published about the heart health benefits of drinking alcohol. The thought of wine having health benefits makes that glass of vino more enjoyable. Below are a few of the health benefits of drinking wine.

Is red wine more healthy than white?

It is no secret that wine may provide some heart health benefits. One of the antioxidants found in wine is Resveratrol, which is the one thought to have the beneficial effects. It is found in the skin of red and purple grapes. It aids in making the arteries more flexible by lowering blood pressure.

Also, red wine is abundant in polyphenols. The polyphenols in wine interact with cells involved with the regulation of blood sugar, which lowers your blood pressure. The other health benefits of red wine include:

  • Raise HDL (healthy) cholesterol
  • Decrease formation of blood clots
  • Prevention of artery damage caused by high levels of LDL (harmful) cholesterol
  • Improve function of the layer of cells that line your blood vessels (endothelium).
  • Decrease blood glucose levels during a large meal

So does this mean that red wine is good for your heart? This is a tricky question. Moderation is key. Excessive drinking can increase the risk of diseases, including heart disease, liver disease and certain cancer.

How often should you drink wine?

Drinking every day can be a slippery slope that a lot of people can’t safely navigate. One daily glass of wine is recommended for women and one to two for men daily. The American Heart Association states a drink is 4 oz. of wine, 12 oz. beer, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits and 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.

What if you want to enjoy chocolate with your glass of vino? Is chocolate heart healthy too?  

As mentioned previously, in moderation, yes! The cocoa bean is rich in flavonoids-an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing, and from environmental contaminants, like cigarette smoke. Chocolate also contains flavanols, a main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. research shows that flavanols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.

Not all chocolate is created equal! Look for dark chocolate and minimally processed cocoa powder. Most commercial chocolates are highly processed. You should limit your portion to about 1.5 ounces ensure you will reap the health benefit without adding too many calories.

What are a few other ways to love your heart?

  • Engage in regular aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Daily physical activity can increase length and quality of life.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. A BMI greater than 30 is a risk factor for heart disease especially if the excess weight is at your waist- “apple shape.”
  • Eat better! Focus on avoiding processed foods, red meat, salt and sugary foods. Increase your intake of fruit and veggies as well as whole grains, plant based and lean protein.

Click here to learn more about heart healthy habits in Touro’s online health library.

To schedule an appointment or find a doctor, go to touro.com/findadoc.

Women’s Heart Health and Wine Event

Join Touro Infirmary for a Ladies Night Out & Wine Event! Learn about women’s wellness, heart health, nutrition and enter to win raffle prizes. Plus, mingle with some of your favorite Touro physicians.

Thursday, February 22
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Bar Frances
4525 Freret St.,
New Orleans, LA 70115

Must be 21 or older to attend. $10 per person includes wine tasting and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Click here to purchase tickets.

About Elizabeth Clement

Elizabeth Clement is a Certified Physician Assistant. She graduated with her Master in Physician Assistant Studies from LSU Health Sciences Center. She has knowledge of all aspects of the acute care setting, including general care, adult critical care, emergency care and managing cardiac patients. She is also a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer and registered respiratory therapist.

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