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Can Alcohol Actually Help The Heart?

April 12, 2020
Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen

We are all familiar with the idea that eating or abstaining from certain foods is good for your heart. Some types of foods can lower or raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, affecting your heart health in that way. But did you know that there are certain drinks that can positively affect the health of your heart?

 

Water


To start off with, water is always the drink of choice. It is naturally sugar free, cholesterol free, and calorie free, and it’s the stuff that makes your body function. With enough water to get things flowing, your blood easily gets to the places it needs to go–such as your heart.

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Tips For Staying Hydrated

Tips For Staying Hydrated

Red Wine

 

If you’re a wine lover, rejoice! Red wine contains important antioxidants called polyphenols that play a part in protecting your blood vessel linings. A specific type of polyphenol called resveratrol is responsible for the positive effects red wine may have on your heart health. When consumed in reasonable amounts (one glass per day for women, two glasses per day for men), red wine can potentially raise your good cholesterol while also preventing blood clots. 

 

Dark Beer

 

In a similar vein, beer drinkers can also be happy. Dark beers in particular contain both flavonoids, which are important antioxidants, and folic acid. There is a particular amino acid called homocysteine that has been linked to heart disease, and folic acid has been shown to reduce high levels of this amino acid. Be sure to drink only in reasonable amounts.

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Health Benefits of Chocolate and Wine

Health Benefits of Chocolate and Wine

What If I Don’t Drink?

 

This doesn’t mean that if you don’t drink that you should start drinking to get these benefits. What it does mean is that if you already drink a moderate amount of red wine and darker beers, you may be able to reap the benefits from the heart healthy nutrients they do contain. Additionally, if you still want the benefits of resveratrol, you can get it from grape juice without resorting to anything alcoholic (although be careful with amounts because of its high sugar content).

 

When consumed in moderate amounts, certain alcoholic drinks may be beneficial to your heart health.

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