If you're considering adding red wine to your diet as a way to boost your heart health, take some time to carefully consider the facts.

Antioxidants

Red wine is typically very high in antioxidants, which are chemicals that can help reduce negative substances that affect the heart. According to the Mayo Clinic, antioxidants may have the power to protect against artery damage while also raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) in the body.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is an antioxidant in red wine that has the potential to produce great benefits to one's heart. It differs from the other antioxidants found in red wine in its greater ability to actively reduce levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol. It also may have the potential to prevent blood clots and stave off damage to the body's blood vessels. It is believed to do this by reducing the amount of plaque that builds up in the arteries, according to the American Heart Association.

These findings alone don't mean that red wine and resveratrol are benefiting heart health, but they are saying they're bettering the state of the arteries that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

Adding red wine into your diet

Speak with your doctor before adding red wine to your diet. While red wine may have the potential to benefit your heart and blood vessels through the presence of antioxidants like resveratrol, alcohol can be a damaging and potentially addictive substance.

Alcohol, when consumed improperly or to the point of excess, can damage your liver and cause lowered inhibitions and reduced physical capabilities or reflex time. If you're going to drink red wine for the antioxidant benefits, make sure you're taking it in reasonable amounts. Specifically, the American Heart Association states that consuming one to two alcoholic drinks each day has been known to increase HDL cholesterol by up to 12 percent in most people.