Is wine good for my heart? I get asked this question a lot by my patients. And the research is mixed, as it is for our beloved coffee! One day it's good and the next a new study says it may not be. That's because we are all different. Our physiology is different. How our body metabolizes is different. So there isn't a straight answer here, but I can share a few things that I do know. Although red wine (not white) is NOT a health elixir, it does have some health benefits owing to the polyphenols in it. One in particular you may have heard of is resveratrol. Resveratrol which is found in the deeply pigmented skin of red grapes does have some wonderful health benefits:
- It acts as an antioxidant preventing free radical cell damage leading to chronic diseases and cancer
- It can help to lower inflammation
- Helps prevent diabetes
- Helps prevent cognitive decline
- Helps to reduce heart disease risk by reducing inflammation and clotting
(HACK: thick-skinned grapes have higher levels of resveratrol like in a Malbec)
There is research that shows it can reduce hsCRP levels which is a marker of inflammation and can significantly raise your risk for a heart attack (FYI, a very cheap test that I routinely run with my patients). But keep in mind, there are better ways to lower inflammation than drinking wine so you can't use that excuse for your habit 😉 Resveratrol is not only found in red grapes but also in deep purple coloured fruits like blueberries and blackberries as well as raw cocoa powder. Although there may be some health benefits to drinking red wine, if you are struggling with any of the following conditions, you may want to re-evaluate your relationship with it and reduce the time you spend together:
- perimenopause/menopause- It can worsen those dreadful 'tropical moments' - by affecting the body's temperature and cooling systems wine can exacerbate hot flashes and night sweats
- insomnia, unrefreshing sleep - wine can interfere with the production of hormones that help with sleep, it can disrupt deep sleep, and increase trips to the bathroom, leaving you feeling less rested in the morning
- Anxiety or depression - alcohol acts as a depressant in the body, but also can disrupt blood sugar and can lead to dehydration triggering symptoms that can exacerbate anxiety like headaches, fatigue, increased heart rate
- gas, bloating or any digestive concerns - wine, and alcohol in general can muck up your gut and oral bacteria and messed up bacteria can contribute to more inflammation and heart attacks, so you may want to consider a probiotic
Remember, moderation is always key but that does NOT mean a few glasses throughout the week with dinner and more on the weekends.
So, for those of you who are considering working with me to reduce your risk of a heart attack, rest assured you can still enjoy your wine but I will help you to choose wisely 🙂
Disclaimer: The information presented on this site does not constitute medical advice and does not replace the advice from your doctor. Always consult a qualified health care professional when changing or beginning a new health plan.