Wine lover? Well, you’re in luck. You can tell all the folks hounding you about your “bad habit” to take a hike. Because new research proves, yet again, that sipping on wine should be a guilt-free pleasure.
An occasional glass isn’t JUST delicious, experts say. Each sip could also come with some impressive health benefits.
The new study finds a light or moderate wine hobby could offer you some extra protection from one of today’s leading health concerns… and its treatment side effects.
A key compound in your favorite glass of vino could help put you on the path to better blood pressure. Which could mean cutting back on sickening blood pressure meds at the same time.
But if you’re a teetotaler and never touch the stuff, don’t fret. You’re in luck too. Because the same study reveals another way to get similar benefits without so much as a sip.
“Wine nutrient” reduces blood pressure
The truth is once you start taking drugs for high blood pressure, it’s hard to stop them again. You’re typically expected to take them for the rest of your life.
Even worse, in most cases, your doctor will add more meds as your BP continues to rise with age.
But there is a surprisingly simple way to fight back. One that could naturally reduce your odds of developing high blood pressure in the first place.
Plus, if you’ve already been diagnosed with hypertension and are taking BP meds, this same solution could also potentially dial down your dosage.
The new research reveals how a potent class of nutrients found inside some fruits, berries, and your favorite red wines could help spare you from a lifetime of fighting hypertension.
These powerful age-fighting antioxidants are called flavonoids. And the study finds the nutrients can deliver BP-cutting benefits no matter how you consume them.
If you prefer to SIP your flavonoids in a glass of wine, and it’s ok with your doc, then go right ahead. Because the study finds just under 3 drinks a week could help cut your systolic—”top number”—blood pressure by an average of 3.7 mm/Hg.
Of course, it isn’t the first time we’ve seen heart-related benefits with red wine. In fact, I wrote about how many glasses of vino are linked to better heart health in a recent Healthier Talk. If you missed that one, click here to catch up. Oh, and keep in mind that’s NORMAL-sized wine glasses, so no cheating.
Want to EAT your flavonoids instead? No problem. The best natural sources are berries. Making them a daily part of your dining habits could cut that same systolic BP by 4.1 mm/Hg.
The only downside is that you need to eat 4.5 ounces every day or close to it. And, of course, that’s typically more berries than most folks eat.
You can meet your daily berry quota by tossing them into salads, topping your yogurt or steel-cut oatmeal with them, or blending them up with some ice cubes and full-fat milk for a simple smoothie treat.
Flavonoids fight hypertension via the gut
The study also uncovered one surprising reason for the connection between better BP and flavonoids. Regardless of the source of the nutrients, they trigger positive changes in your gut flora.
Specifically, flavonoids lead to better overall “diversity” of your probiotic bacteria. And that’s a key marker of both good digestive health and better overall cardiovascular health.
More research is needed to pinpoint precisely how the flavonoids are delivering their blood pressure benefits. But the team behind the new study believes the bacteria changes are responsible for up to 15 percent of the positive changes to BP.
Flavonoids are available in supplements as well. But by far, the best way to get them is from your diet. And there’s no reason you have to choose between wine OR berries. Go ahead and enjoy them both.