Sipping a glass of wine after a long day helps us relax, but a new study finds it can also boost our heart. New research from the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that drinking three glasses of red wine a week might reduce lower blood pressure and improve heart health. We’ll certainly cheers to that!
A recent study published in the AHA’s journal Hypertension looked at the positive effects of drinking red wine on a weekly basis. The researchers found that participants who drank about three glasses (125 ml of wine per glass) weekly experienced a 3.7 mm Hg drop in blood pressure levels over time. They noted that red wine is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds called flavonoids.
Drinking this amount of wine supplied the participants with enough flavonoids to promote good gut bacteria to fully process these compounds. Previous research has linked gut bacteria with high blood pressure due to excess amounts of salt entering the body through the digestive tract. Ultimately, this lead to the researchers finding that flavonoids increased heart-protecting benefits for participants like helping to control blood pressure.
These flavonoids have also been found to decrease your chances of developing cataracts. It’s safe to say that a glass of red is good for your health in more ways than one! While this gives us a reason to sip a cabernet more often, the study’s authors point out that a balanced diet can improve heart health even more.
“A better understanding of the highly individual variability of flavonoid metabolism could very well explain why some people have greater cardiovascular protection benefits from flavonoid-rich foods than others,” lead investigator of the study, Aedín Cassidy, PhD, said in a press release.
Basically, your everyday foods and drinks can contain varying amounts of flavonoids, which can either have more or less perks for protecting your heart. So if wine is not your thing, the researchers also found that participants who consumed high intakes of berries, apples, tea, and dark chocolate had similar results for promoting the growth of gut bacteria and reducing blood pressure. So you have plenty of options for getting your fill of flavonoids throughout the day.
Although this study is great news for red wine lovers, the AHA encourages everyone to consult a doctor on the pros and cons of drinking alcohol in moderation. This way we can indulge responsibly while still getting the health-boosting advantages.