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Mulled wine could lower high cholesterol by 12% but how much you drink matters

Christmas is not known for moderation. Your fridge brimming with decadent treats like cheese and pigs in blankets are a witness to that. While indulging once a year is acceptable, poor dietary decisions can raise your high cholesterol, hiking your risk of cardiovascular problems. It is therefore imperative to enjoy yourself without overdoing it. However, a beloved Christmas drink could actually have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels.

Characterised by a slightly spicy yet sweet taste, mulled wine is an essential part of the festive period.

With temperatures creeping closer to zero and Christmas markets popping up across the country, this staple drink is definitely not scarce during December.

While a warming cup of the beverage is a great treat, wellness expert Tyler Woodard from Eden’s Gate explained it could also compliment your cholesterol levels.

Woodard said: “When drunk in moderation, the resveratrol element in wine can help lower cholesterol levels as this acts as a barrier to any toxins within the body that could potentially cause blood clots

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“Red wine, which is the base of mulled wine, helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases as this includes antioxidants which help fight against any illness and boost the immune system. 

“All of these factor into reducing high cholesterol and overall a healthier wine to consume, in moderation.”

While grapes packed with polyphenols are definitely up for the task of busting cholesterol, cinnamon could also do the job.

Woodard said: “Cinnamon is an ingredient included in mulled wine which can help lower cholesterol levels as it can reduce any inflammation and swelling. 

“There are many healthy ingredients included also, such as citrus fruits, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes honey which can all help with general health and reduce inflammation. 

“Citrus fruits in particular contain healthy vitamins which help to boost the immune system, therefore playing a part in lowering cholesterol and inflammation levels.”

Don’t take just the expert’s word for it as research from The Complutense University of Madrid also suggests that a specific type of red grapes can “significantly” impact cholesterol levels.

The Spanish research suggests that Tempranillo grapes used to make certain wines, such as Rioja, may reduce high levels.

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The study participants, who took the same grape supplement found in red wine, had a nine percent decrease in their “bad” cholesterol.

Furthermore, those with high cholesterol levels saw even a greater drop measured at 12 percent.

While mulled wine contains some impressive ingredients, it’s still an alcoholic drink that should be enjoyed in small amounts.

Woodard said: “Drinking too much might not give you the health benefits you wish for and could turn into further health issues.

“This beverage includes a high percentage of natural sugars and over-consumption can in fact spike sugar levels and therefore create headaches and pains the next day.

“In addition to this, the high percentage of alcohol included can also increase blood pressure and heart diseases if over-consumed. 

“Alcohol can also become an addictive substance; therefore it’s recommended to drink in moderation and within recommended guidelines.”

In case you aren’t aware, the NHS recommends not drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

Woodard suggested that a glass or two of the festive drink enjoyed in moderation should be fine.

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