The benefits of red wine
You may have heard that drinking red wine can help protect the heart against cardiovascular disease. Though not fully understood, researchers believe a combination of the alcohol and antioxidants in wine, particularly in red wine, work to protect the heart muscles and blood vessels from the damaging effects of disease and unhealthy lifestyles. In addition to the overall health benefits of antioxidants, red wine also helps to increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol and decrease inflammation and the chance of forming clots.
However, there is a fine line between healthy drinking and risky drinking. You can take advantage of the heart-healthy properties of red wine by drinking just one glass per day (or seven glasses per week). Doctors recommend no more than that, because heavier drinking can actually harm the heart. In fact heart disease is the leading cause of death in people who abuse alcohol.
That being said, enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner can be an added benefit to an already healthy lifestyle, which should include these recommendations from the American Heart Association:
- Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol
- Exercising and following a low-fat, healthy diet
- Not smoking
- Maintaining an ideal weight
And, by the way, the same antioxidant compounds found in red wine are in dark chocolate too.
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