#44. Wine, Grapes and Cheese (64 non-drug ways to lower BP).

As far back in 1970s or perhaps even earlier it seems that researches noticed that the French although they have high fat diet, and often have high blood pressure seemed to have much lower heart disease.  Eventually, the researchers began to track down diet factors, such as wine, cheese, and grapes that appear to have a protective effect from adverse health events, even if they don’t lower BP.

This result was bit of a surprise. How can something that doesn’t lower BP protect the heart?   New research in last decade is now suggesting that grapes contain substances that modify gene behavior of heart cells to produce more protective substances.  Red wine contains a protective antioxidant — the flavonol called resveratrol that is thought to be an anti-aging substance. Eating a small wedge of cheese blocks the enzyme that creates angiotensin II, thus keeping your arteries more relaxed, and keeping your BP down. Angiotensin II is a peptide that constricts your arteries and increases the retention of water and sodium.

Alcohol is a powerful drug, has very damaging effects on liver and brain in even small amounts.  Accident rates, violence, and host of other factors also are factors. So, I don’t recommend that folks partake of something that is dangerous , and can also become addicting.

A handful of grapes a day seems a small price to pay for better heart health. I’ve upped my consumption of dark red grape juice, and consumption of red grapes.  Sure grapes are bit more costly, $10 a month, but benefit goes to the entire household.  And since I love cheeze, I enjoy a little bit knowing that it is helping me.


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