I have to admit it. I love wine, especially with dinner.
Just one glass of course.
For years research has told us that drinking wine is a heart-healthy habit. After all, wine is made from grapes which are packed with the antioxidant resveratrol which is known to be cardioprotective.
However, there’s one big problem that’s often ignored…
While resveratrol is great for your health and the health of your heart, a growing amount of research says alcohol, even in moderation, isn’t.
In fact, last year, a review of 592 separate studies found that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption and that drinking is linked to 23 different health dangers including multiple types of cancers and heart problems.
Now a new study is shedding even more light on the dangers of alcohol and warning that the glass of wine you drink with dinner or the nightcap you have before bed could cause dangerously high blood pressure and lead to a stroke. Can this be true?
Even moderate intake increases your risk
The study, published in The Lancet, looked at the effect of low to moderate levels of alcohol consumption and its effect on blood pressure and stroke risk.
The researchers, from Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the University of Oxford, followed 500,000 Chinese people for 10 years to measure their risk versus their daily drinking habits.
For the purposes of the study, one drink was considered:
- A small glass of wine
- A bottle of beer
- A single measure of spirits
They found that just one to two drinks per day increased the risk of stroke by 10 to 15 percent. And when the number of drinks went up, so did stroke risk. At four drinks a day, the risk of stroke was a whopping 35 percent!
This led study co-author Zhengming Chen from the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford to say, “There are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke.”
A safer alternative
This means that drinking a glass of wine for the heart-protecting benefits of resveratrol could actually leave you at higher risk, not lower.
But to get the necessary resveratrol in your daily diet to support heart health, drinking alcohol isn’t your only answer, and maybe not even the best answer, considering you’d really have to drink more than one glass to get what you need.
Instead, if the health benefits are your goal, consider ditching the alcohol and simply take a quality supplement with 20 mg of trans-resveratrol per day.
And if you would still like to enjoy the feel of a cocktail, without the alcohol, try these amazing “mocktail” options:
- Pom Collins — Mix pomegranate juice, soda water and a splash of lime for a cool, refreshing cocktail with no alcohol but plenty of antioxidants thanks to the pomegranate fruit. If you want to supercharge that antioxidant power, garnish with pomegranate seeds as well.
- Shirley Temple — A simple mix of grenadine and ginger ale makes this an easy drink to fall in love with — but don’t because of the sugar content.
- Virgin Pina Colada — A classic, without the alcohol, blend coconut milk, pineapple juice and ice with one tablespoon of honey.