So, I will be the first to admit that my health is not at the forefront of my mind when opening a bottle of wine. Luckily, however, vino actually does serve a purpose in healthiness and heart health in particular. Most know that red wine typically provides the most heart health benefits but did you know that certain varieties offer more than others? The following are the top five best wines for heart health – in no particular order.
Pinot Noir is perhaps one of the most popular red wines on the market. It also happens to be the most beneficial to heart health out of all options on the list. This is because it offers the highest concentration of resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that has been linked to a whole host of health benefits including lowered risk of certain types of cancers, stroke, and heart disease. Dry, light, medium-bodied, with balanced acidity and tannins, it is just as tasty as it is healthy with bright notes of cherry, raspberry, and earthy tones such as mushrooms.
Made from one of the densest grapes, Malbec also provides higher levels of the much-coveted antioxidant resveratrol, making it absolutely excellent for keeping your heart nice and healthy. The grapes, which are typically grown in France and Argentina, make a smooth red wine with robust tannins and succulent notes of chocolate and blackberries. The bonus of choosing Malbec is that it, on average, contains up to four times the amount of antioxidants as Merlot and almost twice as much as Cabernet Sauvignon!
Don’t let the misleading name fool you, Petite Sirah packs quite the punch flavor (and health) wise. This robust, peppery red wine is deeply colored with rich, dark fruity flavors and highly bold tannins. In addition to resveratrol, this variety has decent amounts of procyanidin. This flavonoid protects the cardiovascular systems as well as the heart. It has also been known to block nitrosamines, a carcinogenic, work in conjunction with vitamin c to lower breast cancer risk, and overall aid in the protection of healthy cells.
Another crowd favorite, Merlot is also quite popular in the vino world. Medium-bodied with hints of black cherry and plum flavors, this particular red wine brings along plenty of heart health benefits. Merlot contains high levels of resveratrol and procyanidin. It promotes cardiovascular health as well as lowering blood pressure. As a healthful little bonus, Merlot also contains several different vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants.
Cabernet Sauvignon, a personal favorite, might be last on our list, but it is certainly not the least. The complexity of its aromas definitely helps with its popularity – full-bodied with firm tannins. It also boasts a rich taste of varied dark fruity flavors and savory notes of black and bell peppers. In addition to the usual cardiovascular and health benefits of red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon helps stimulate a specific protein’s production. This protein plays a major role in cellular health.
As with anything, whichever red wine variety you choose, moderation will always be key. Red wine in general has more benefits to offer than white wine varieties do. This includes higher concentrations of iron, riboflavin, manganese, niacin, and potassium. Going with any red variety is a sip in the right direction. Those we discussed today, however, are the best choices – for your heart, health, and most importantly, your tastebuds.