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February 18 National Drink Wine Day useful for moderate drinking

People helping at Cruceiro Reixo's grapes harvest stop for lunch in the region of Ribeira Sacra on October 8, 2013 in Amandi near Monforte de Lemos, Spain. Wine maker Ramon Marcos Fernandez runs the Cruceiro Reixo wine cellar as a family business.
People helping at Cruceiro Reixo's grapes harvest stop for lunch in the region of Ribeira Sacra on October 8, 2013 in Amandi near Monforte de Lemos, Spain. Wine maker Ramon Marcos Fernandez runs the Cruceiro Reixo wine cellar as a family business.
Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

National Doughnut Day (June 6) and National Bagel Day (February 9) do nothing more than widen a waistline, and while more made-up days are fun and a reason to eat, National Drink Wine Day on February 18 is one of the more useful celebrations.

Antioxidants, called flavonoids, are present in red wine. Flavonoids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Yale-New Haven Hospital recommends Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir.

However, the American Heart Association (AHA) does not recommend drinking alcohol solely to lower heart disease risk mainly due to other risks (alcoholism, weight gain from calories, diabetes risk).

Alcoholic beverages do prevent platelets in the blood from sticking together, which reduces clot formation and reduces heart attack or stroke risk, but AHA confirms that aspirin may do so in a similar way.

A serving of alcohol (four ounces of wine) can increase the level of HDL (good cholesterol). Other food or drink where these are apparent are in grapes or red grape juice so those who aren't a big fan of alcohol may want to check out the ingredients for nonalcoholic red wine.

But for moderate wine drinkers, one glass per day is sufficient for women and two glasses a day for men. Just don't forget about that 30 minutes of exercise per day (150 minutes total recommended for a week), which does more for the body than wine will ever do.

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