Eating for Life

It's the red, not the wine

Red wine gets its rich, ruby hue from antioxidant polyphenols, which may be the secret to its heart-healthy power. A new Greek study found that arteries relaxed immediately after a single glass of alcohol-free red wine almost as much as they did following a serving of the real thing — by 6.1 and 10.5 percent, respectively — in 15 people with atherosclerosis (arteries blocked by plaque). Blood vessels need to stretch with each heartbeat or blood pressure rises, as does the risk of obstructed arteries, leading to heart attack and stroke. Polyphenols may help nip that process in the bud, experts say.

Find plentiful polyphenols in juice made from Concord grapes as well as in green, black and oolong tea.