Healthy Beverages

5 Drinks That Fight Heart Disease
cappuccino decorated with heart shape

Heart disease may be partly genetic, but it's also largely preventable. We've all heard the same sage advice: To keep your heart healthy, you should eat well and exercise regularly. But those aren't the only lifestyle tweaks you can make. What you drink makes a difference, too. Here's a short list of sipping suggestions that'll help keep your heart health on track.

Fight Heart Disease With Coffee

Here's a surprising fact: Coffee registers more antioxidant activity than cocoa or tea -- both of which get significant billing for their antioxidant levels. In addition to being a rich source of antioxidants, coffee has another thing going for it: It's widely available almost everywhere, which means you can quaff it regularly.

Moderate drinkers may enjoy heart-protective effects thanks to the antioxidants in coffee, which appear to inhibit inflammation and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. One large, long-term study of more than 83,000 women demonstrated a 20 percent lower risk of stroke in those who drank at least two cups of coffee daily as compared to non-coffee drinkers and those with a lower intake.

Sipping suggestion: Aim for moderate coffee consumption, which ranges from two to four cups per day. Drink less if you experience insomnia, restlessness, or fatigue.

Fight Heart Disease With Pomegranate Juice

Until recently, pomegranate juice was a specialty item, but these days it seems to be everywhere. Its popularity has captivated nutritional researchers. University of California researchers measured the antioxidant capacity of pomegranate juice at up to three times that of red wine or green tea, and preliminary research suggests that regular consumption of pomegranate juice may lower cholesterol, reduce arterial plaque (a risk factor for heart disease), and increase blood flow to the heart.

Sipping suggestion: Drink fresh pomegranate juice whenever possible. Reconstituted versions are good, too, as long as you avoid pomegranate juice with added sweeteners.

Fight Heart Disease With Red Wine

Red wine contains lots of cardioprotective compounds, including resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grapes that becomes highly concentrated during the winemaking process (which is why red wine wins over grape juice). Resveratrol has antioxidant properties and is thought to protect the blood vessels in the heart and help prevent blood clots from forming. There's also some evidence that suggests moderate consumption of red wine may raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

Sipping suggestion: Moderate consumption of red wine -- no more than one 5-ounce glass for women and two for men -- is healthy for most adults.

Fight Heart Disease With Black Tea

Black tea goes through a process of fermentation after the leaves are harvested and dried. This processing changes the chemical composition of the leaves, thereby producing some powerful antioxidants that help support heart health. Black tea has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, improve blood vessel function, and improve blood flow in coronary arteries. Not bad, for such a simple drink.

Sipping suggestion: The longer you steep your tea, the greater the phytochemical benefits, so opt for hot tea (iced tea tends to get diluted ) but avoid bottled (antioxidants can lose their potency over time), and skip the milk and sweeteners. A few cups a day may help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Fight Heart Disease With Green Tea

Like black tea, green tea contains lots of heart-healthy antioxidants. The primary difference is that green tea isn't fermented. A 2004 study showed that a higher consumption of green tea resulted in a lower risk of coronary artery disease. Indeed, there's a wealth of research that links green tea consumption with lower cholesterol, along with lower risk of blood clots and stroke -- and it's anti-inflammatory to boot.

Sipping suggestion: Like black tea, allow green tea to steep for at least a few minutes, avoid the bottled versions, and aim for one to three cups daily.


3 months ago, said...

Good service. need to join on your site.


4 months ago, said...

when I get stressed on coming back from work, I used to take one glass of red wine. I feel this reduces my stress and strain. I have heart pulpitrations sometimes. Is this beverage is good for heart. and maintain a healthy heart ?


7 months ago, said...

Top drinks for a healthy heart.!


about 1 year ago, said...

Excellent book. Thank you. Hopefully adult kids will take the lessons to heart and be ready BEFORE they age! One comment: Some supplemental insurance plans like cancer, critical illness (that covers Alzheimer's) and accident can continue unreduced for life and can be a great tax free financial windfall in later years. Again, great job. Thank you.


about 1 year ago, said...

Never saw answer to a year old question! does decaf coffee and or tea count as a positive drink???


almost 2 years ago, said...

How long ago was this article written and when was the research done? I don't think this is as up to date as it should be. Apparently what I've been doing all my adult life, works, FOR ME! Everyone is different and advice without examination should be given with caution. When I read some of the comments it's obvious that some people have never done any reading on the subject and will follow anything told to them. You have to know your source.


almost 2 years ago, said...

Interesting article. I am 85, I don't drink coffee or any kind of tea or wine and my Cardiologist assures me (after the usual tests) that unlike my parents who both had cardiac problems I have a very healthy heart. I guess I'm the exception to the rule!


almost 2 years ago, said...

You are recommending coffee. That is deadly for the many who suffer from atrial fibrillation like I do. Also, in foods you recommend to avoid due to allergies, those eliminate the best vegetables and fruit that would be part of a healthy diet. Hot water with lime/lemon and a bit of honey as well as herbal teas that do not contain any drug-like chemicals like Chamomile which has been found to be carcinogenic if ingested daily, are much better than stimulant-containing (caffeine) beverages. Chocolate is also a no-no due to its stimulating effect.


over 2 years ago, said...

Coffee also elevates cortisol levels which is called by some physicians....the death hormone. Moderation, moderation, moderation!


over 2 years ago, said...

Yes the 5 drinks of all I will get coca and buy pomegranate tea I alreadt drink black green an lipton no sugar tea love teas will pass on coffee do not like taste thanks for the info


over 2 years ago, said...

All these drinks are available, simple to prepare and have shown the benefits each drink gives.........Learning to enjoy these drinks will be a whole lot better than the sugary drinks. Thanks so much. Lynda


over 2 years ago, said...

All good suggestions.


over 2 years ago, said...

Didn't know how good pomegranate juice was. And always like to hear that cofee is OK; I drink 3 - 4 cups a day. No insomnia!


over 2 years ago, said...

Is decaf coffee or tea just as effective?


over 2 years ago, said...

As a "friend of Bill W.", with many sober years - I don't drink wine (sure I sometimes miss it - hey I am of Italian background!). But I long ago discovered the pure joys of oolong tea, made from leaves. We purchase it in Chinatown. I love the smell as it steeps and, always drink several cups a day. It's delicious with a deep flavor: can't recommend it enough! When I read up, I learned oolong is also beneficial - it enhances mental clarity and general brain function.


about 3 years ago, said...

Moderate amount of beer consumption is also good to calm you heart.


over 3 years ago, said...

I have a friend who is need of your e-mails as she does not know about all the recco's u send for healthy eating, drinking and taking good care of herself healthwise. Please add her to your e-mail list and send her everything u have sent me. Her e-mail is rappanne@aol.com Greatly appreciated!!


over 3 years ago, said...

can u please tell us all whether reg. coffee or decaf????? can u e-mail me this info?? bwest14@optonline.net.


over 3 years ago, said...

Specifying the dosage is healthful.


over 3 years ago, said...

Black tea may be healthful


over 3 years ago, said...

red wine may be healthful.


over 3 years ago, said...

Still confused about decafe coffee and regular re: are they both of equal value?? did not know about black tea, thank u for that and now i will goback to pomegranite juice[pure] Thankyou, again and keep these e-mails coming!!!!


over 3 years ago, said...

confirmed i am doing the right thing!


over 3 years ago, said...

Especially about the coffee. What about decaf?


over 3 years ago, said...

The explanation as to how long to steep tea and sipping instructions were helpful.


over 3 years ago, said...

does this include DECAF coffee? What if the caffeine is arrhythmogenic to those already w/ heart disease???


over 3 years ago, said...

this was a very good article i used these items every day thanks hope more people take notice on having good health i had two heart attacks but now i am much aware about my health


over 3 years ago, said...

does decaf tea/coffee/green tea count as well


over 3 years ago, said...

The lowering of cholesterol is quite interesting, and is less strong than black quitw a different flavor.


over 3 years ago, said...

Does anyone know if intant coffee is as beneficial as brewed?


over 3 years ago, said...

Information extremely helpful in realizing how these drinks can help anyone with heart disease. I'll definitely start drinking several of these drinks now!


over 3 years ago, said...

coffee and tea, I'm on the right track...


over 3 years ago, said...

Reminds to drink more juices, dark teas and coffee. Not bothered by lack of the green tea.


over 3 years ago, said...

I wish ;you would list all things on one page instead of making the reader continually keep mousing. The alzheimers_enews@alz.org does this by letting one chose on its first issue whether to see it as a web page or not. Then one can easily see the choices and click only those it wants to read.


over 3 years ago, said...

the information on coffee, green tea, red wine, pomegranate although eat the seeds not the juice. All of which I drink/eat moderately. Did not know about the black tea. So if stroke runs in my father's family ... these can all be doubled to insure my avoiding a stroke ... yay


over 3 years ago, said...

love to read infos such as this.


over 4 years ago, said...

just knowing I`m headed in the right direction. S0 far everything listed for foods that are heart smart are all my favorites, except for one and i guess I`ll have to learn to like figs.