Love, chocolate and red wine 'good for heart'

   Feb 14, 4:22 pm

Washington, Feb 14 (ANI): Eating dark chocolates, drinking red wine and being involved in a healthy, loving relationship are good for the heart, says a cardiologist.

"There are a couple of different theories behind why that might be," said Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute cardiologist Julie Damp, M.D.

People who are married or who are in close, healthy relationships tend to be less likely to smoke, are more physically active and are more likely to have a well-developed social structure, she said.

They are also more likely to have lower levels of stress and anxiety in their day-to-day lives.

"There is a theory that people who are in loving relationships may experience neuro-hormonal changes that have positive effects on the body, including the cardiovascular system," Damp said, explaining that there are certain hormone levels in the body that vary depending on the level of an individual's stress and anxiety.

"This has not been proven, but the idea is that being in a relationship that is positive may have positive effects on your cardiovascular system over long periods of time," Damp said.

In fact, studies have shown that relationships that involve conflict or negativity are associated with an increase in risk for coronary artery disease.

Studies also suggest dark chocolates and red wine are good for the heart, as well.

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants have positive effects on many different body systems including the cardiovascular system. The high concentration of cocoa in dark chocolate appears to be what offers the flavonoid benefit.

"Dark chocolate has been shown to be associated with lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels and improvement in the way your blood vessels dilate and relax," Damp said.

Further study is needed to know exactly which type of chocolate and how much of it is the most beneficial, but studies have shown that people who eat chocolate more than once a week have lower risks of heart disease and stroke compare to people who eat it less frequently.

Flavonoids are also present in red wine. Multiple observational studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption, which is one drink a day for women and one to two for men, is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

However, Damp cautions that there is not enough evidence to encourage people who don't currently drink to start drinking. (ANI)

Consumption of Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood uric acid levels Oct 2, 1:03 pm
Washington, Oct 2 (ANI): A new study has revealed that consumption of Montmorency tart cherries caused changes in uric acid metabolism, which can have an impact on joint pain.
Full Story
Pill coated with tiny needles may replace injections Oct 2, 12:57 pm
Washington, Oct 2 (ANI): Researchers have devised a novel drug capsule coated with tiny needles that allows the drug to be taken orally instead of as an injection.
Full Story
Living next to highway can send your BP soaring Oct 2, 12:21 pm
Washington, Oct 2 (ANI): A new study has revealed that living near a major roadway can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Full Story
Now, enhance liver detoxification enzymes with `Gold of Pleasure` oilseed Oct 1, 4:09 pm
Washington, Oct 01 (ANI): In a new study, scientists have found compounds in the Camelina sativa seed, also known as Gold of Pleasure, that boost liver detoxification enzymes by almost five times.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY