Cheers! to Your Heart

It’s safe to assume that most adults have asked the “Is red wine good for my heart?” question. While it’s never recommended to begin drinking alcoholic beverages to increase heart health, there are some benefits to enjoying a moderate amount of alcohol each week.


Although there’s no solid evidence that certain types of alcohol are better for your heart than others, red wine is commonly known to contain antioxidants such as resveratrol that work to strengthen your heart and improve “good” HDL cholesterol. Even the alcohol itself, when consumed in moderation, of course, serves as an anticoagulant by reducing clotting in your blood vessels.


According to the American Heart Association, the risk of heart disease in those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol is lower than that of nondrinkers. But what is “moderation?” The AHA defines it as no more than two alcoholic drinks a day for men, and one a day for women who are not pregnant or nursing. And one “drink” is equal to 12 oz. of beer, one 4 oz. glass of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits and 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.


We would be remiss if we didn’t remind you that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increases the risks of alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stoke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents.  So consuming alcohol is a choice that must be made in the context of your overall health state. If you are unsure or have concerns, consult your physician.


If you’re looking for a delicious heart healthy snack-especially with Valentine’s Day around the corner-try combining a piece of dark chocolate (cocoa content of 70 percent or higher) with a small glass of red wine. Both treats contain resveratrol, making your heart happy. Cheers!

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.