My wife thinks it’s a conspiracy but she’s wrong

Friday 11 July, 2014 

  • My wife thinks it’s a conspiracy but she’s wrong

  • The ‘naughty’ drink that reduces stroke risk by 20%

  • The tale of the wine-dispensing doctor and his amazing experiment

I’m not sure if you read last Friday’s letter, but I was writing about foods that help control blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.

After the emailwent out, Lara read it and said: ‘I’m shocked, Ray. Usually you use these letters as an excuse to talk about drinking wine or eating chocolate. But you’ve not mentioned them in this list.”

“No,” I said, “Because I was saving wine up for a letter all of its own!”

Cue: exasperated face-palm from my wife.

The truth is, Lara thinks the letters are a conspiracy on my part to allow me to drink, eat chocolate and curry, smother stuff in honey or chuck piles of garlic into every meal.

But to prove my point this time, I showed her a page that I’d torn from the Daily Express, with the headline:

Red wine’s a tonic says doctor

And then headlining a separate article beneath…

Odd tipple ‘is good for your eyesight’.

“Look! See!”

The article was about a cardiologist named Dr William McCrea from The Great Western Hospital in Swindon. For ten years he’s been handing out 125ml glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon twice a day (this is MY kind of doctor!)

He claims that the red wine has reduced the risk of a second heart attack I his patients by half – and the risk of stroke by 20%.

It’s all thanks to the antioxidants in red wine, called flavonoids, which keep cholesterol from damaging your artery walls.

A few years ago, a study at the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland, found that people who consume foods rich in flavonoids are less likely to suffer from heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, asthma, and type-2 diabetes.

They claim that quercetin is one of the best flavanoids - found in apples wine, onions and green tea. These work best when combined with Kaempferol - found in onions. Another vegetable with anti-oxidants is garlic. This may also help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Garlic also contains sulphur-containing substances, one of which is allinin. When garlic is crushed, the allinin becomes allicin. This substance is thought to reduce the blood's tendency to clot and may ALSO help lower blood pressure.

So let’s look back at those foods…

Onions, apples, red wine, garlic…

….Those are classic elements of the traditional French diet!

No wonder the French suffer far fewer heart attacks than we Brits. And that’s despite smoking more and having a fattier diet!

The wine-dispensing legend that is Dr McCrea points to these French statistics and says:

“If you drink no more than two glasses it has a beneficial effect on coronary disease. It prevents clots from developing inside the arteries, raises good cholesterol, which is called HDL, and it causes dilation of the arteries.”

If you don't – or can’t – drink wine, then you could try freshly squeezefruit juice. However, Dr McCrea says “You would have to drink five litres of fruit juice to get the same benefits as two glasses of red wine”.

My view is that you can get much closer to the ‘red wine effect’ if you go for purple grape juice and use a juicer to get all those flavanoids locked inside the grape's skin.

Or… even easier… try a Grape Seed extract like this

This formulation is made from a special blend of red and white varietal grape seeds and is extracted through a process that protects the antioxidant properties of the fruit.

I would highly recommend this, as daily doses of pure grape seed extract can help make your blood vessels stronger and more flexible. In turn, this reduces blood pressure and lowers the stress placed on your heart.

What's more it has been shown to inhibit free radical oxidation of cholesterol by up to 1,000 times better than vitamin E.

A breakthrough study about grapes

A study conducted jointly at the University of Arizona and the University of Munster in Germany found that pure grape seed extract interferes with the clotting of blood initiated by small cell fragments in the blood called platelets better than aspirin does. In fact up to five times better than aspirin does.

This helps keep blood flowing smoothly through your circulatory system.

So there you have it: two glasses of red wine… mushed up grape skins… or a grape seed supplement a day will keep the doctor away.

Not quite as catchy as “an apple a day” but you get my point!

Yours, as ever




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