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Red Wine for Heart Health

February 4, 2011

February is American Heart Month, and today is National Wear Red Day—a movement to spread awareness about heart disease risk in women. Yen Yoga is offering free classes TODAY for anyone who comes into the studio wearing red! And throughout the month, we’re sharing tips on ways to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Red wine has long been thought of as a heart-healthy treat. And while the jury is still out on the nitty-gritty health facts about wine, there is some evidence that supports the thought that red wine can be good for your heart.

Red wine is packed with antioxidants called polyphenols that help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. These antioxidants come in two forms: flavonoids and nonflavonoids. The nonflavonoids are of particular interest to researchers, because they appear to help prevent arteries from becoming clogged with fatty blockages. However, these studies mostly involved mice — not humans. Which is why researchers have not been quick to label red wine as a health food.

Resveratrol is the nonflavonoid that’s received the most attention from researchers, as it might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces “bad” cholesterol and prevents blood clots.

Of course, alcohol itself is associated with a range of health issues (high blood pressure, high triglycerides, liver damage, obesity, certain types of cancer, accidents, etc.), so consuming it to combat heart disease is not condoned by the American Heart Association nor the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The key, as with most things, is moderation, which is defined as an average of two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.

For more information on red wine, resveratrol, and heart health, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website. And don’t forget to stop in to Yen Yoga today wearing red!

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