Beverages that boost your heart health
You probably know that proper nutrition can help keep your heart healthy, but did you know that what you drink can also keep your ticker in shape? Here are some of the heartiest drinks, backed by significant scientific research:
Although this was once considered a vice, we now know that drinking coffee has many “health benefits”, including benefits for the cardiovascular system. The journal Circulation showed that people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day had a significantly lower risk of heart disease. Other studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption (about four cups per day) is also associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart failure.
Smart ways to enjoy: more is not necessarily better when it comes to coffee. Three to five cups per day show cardiac and other health benefits. In addition, some people feel nervous or may have trouble sleeping. Make sure you maintain healthy coffee by limiting the amount of cream high in saturated fat and sugar.
- Red wine
In recent years, some studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption to a decrease in heart disease. Researchers believe that the compounds found in red wine, known as polyphenols, can help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation.
If you drink alcohol, including red wine, do it in moderation. Moderate drinking means an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (One drink is 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of strong alcoholic beverages per 80 ounces or 1 ounce of strong alcoholic beverages per 100 ounces.) Men over 65 years of age should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day. Age-related changes, including reduced ability to absorb alcohol, lead to an increased risk, regardless of gender.
There is much evidence that tea can help improve heart health.
This is because tea – green or black – is a good source of compounds known as catechins, which are part of a group of herbal chemicals called flavonoids. Studies show that flavonoids can help reduce inflammation and, in turn, reduce the accumulation of plaque inside the arteries.
Iced tea or hot tea is a healthy, non-nutritive drink unless you add cream or sugar. Black and green tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine – from 20 to 45 mg per cup of eight ounces. This is about half as much caffeine as in 8 ounces of coffee. If you are sensitive to caffeine, drink tea at the beginning of the day (before noon) and limit it to three cups or less.
- 100% Concord grape juice
Would you like to drink wine to get heart health benefits? No problems! Dark purple Concord grapes in 100% grape juice provide strong plant polyphenols; in fact, 100% grape juice made from this particular grape has many of the same benefits as red wine and polyphenols and also promotes healthy blood circulation.
Concord grapes are hard to find fresh, but you can enjoy 100% grape juice made from this American superfruit all year long. He is delightful on his own, mixed with shelter as a spritzer or as a cocktail. One of my favorite ways to enjoy is Sangria from Concord Grape Virgo. It is delicious, easy to make, and perfect for any occasion.