What is it about red wine that has people up in arms? For one, no one wants to promote drinking alcoholic beverages. If you are not a drinker already, then starting to use red wine to increase your heart health may not be such a good idea. Alcohol can become addictive and can bring more harm than good for the non-drinker.
But, if you already enjoy a drink every now and then, this information is for you. Red wine is made from the red grape. Grapes contain many antioxidants. We know that these substances are instrumental in reducing the signs of aging. Keeping the body young includes increasing immunity, protecting vessels of the heart and vascular system, improving mood and increasing metabolism while reducing appetite.
In grapes, the antioxidants are found in the skin. When red wine is created, the skin of the grape is used to give it its deep red color. The skin contains flavonoids and non-flavonoid antioxidants.
Flavonoids have been shown to lower bad cholesterol in the body. It is the LDL cholesterol that increased plaques and poses the threat of strokes in the body. They are also found in cocoa (dark chocolate), berries and apples.
Non-flavonoid antioxidants have been found to help increase the health of your heart. When the coronary arteries are clear, then blood and nutrients can reach the heart muscle. One of the substances in this category is resveratrol.
Resveratrol is a substance found in grape skins that has been getting a lot of attention lately. It has fueled research into the health benefits of the heart from alcohol. There are supplements of it on the market but as of yet, there are no recommendations for daily levels and how much may be needed to positively affect the heart.
Tests in mice and preliminaries show that resveratrol can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The amounts of resveratrol used were far higher than we could ever get from red wine. But, if larger doses work, can smaller ones have a cumulative effect over time? The jury is still out on that one.
For now, your doctor may recommend a little red wine each day to help your heart do its job. If you already consume wine on occasion, having a glass a day (five ounces for women and twelve for men) can keep the heart doctor away. Remember - drinking too much can reverse any positive effect that you are deriving from those red grapes.