Women learn about heart health over wine


Alexandria Whitten

Julie Fortenberry shares tips with women in attendance of “Women’s Health and Wine Night” at Martin Wine Cellar on Feb. 13. At the event, women learned tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent heart disease.

Alexandria Whitten, Pack News

Throughout the month of February, designated American Heart Month, everyone is encouraged to learn about risk factors for heart disease and other cardiovascular issues, as well as make lifestyle decisions to keep a healthy heart. 

Women are specifically targeted to learn more about heart health through the American Heart Association’s initiative Go Red for Women. Touro Infirmary organized an event focuses on women’s heart health on Feb. 13, called “Women’s Health and Wine Night” hosted at Martin Wine Cellar.

“February is a good month to be reminded to take good care of yourself and see what changes you can make,” said Julie Fortenberry, a registered dietitian at Touro Infirmary.

At the event, women enjoyed appetizers and drank wine as they learned important information from health professionals to improve their risk factors of heart disease and cardiovascular events.

Fortenberry shared with the attendees nutritious recipes and tips to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s always interesting to me that people don’t take care of their heart because it is the most important organ in our body,” Fortenberry said, “We think about its job—pumping blood across our entire body—we want it to be strong, we certainly want it to be working well.”

Fortenberry encouraged the women to have a healthy diet and create colorful plates of food, including both cooked and raw vegetables and other foods high in fiber.

Fortenberry also told the attendees that exercising and staying active is an important way to keep their hearts healthy. She explained exercising does not always mean joining a gym but that it can also include going for a walk, dancing at home or even exercising sitting in a chair.

“Whatever it is that you love, do that,” Fortenberry said.

Dr. Leonard M. Glade, who specializes in Interventional Cardiology at Touro Infirmary, was also in attendance to share information and answer questions that the attendees had.

The women in attendance were also able to have their blood pressure screened for free.

“Sometimes just checking it stresses you out,” said Glade.

Glade told the women to check their blood pressure at the same time every day for better accuracy and to track any cardiovascular treatment.

Fortenberry also shared tips on drinking wine and ideal servings to stay healthy.

“So they know that wine has some benefits for your heart, as long as it’s in moderation—that’s considered one glass for women and two glasses for men a day,” Fortenberry said, “As long as you are staying in those parameters, wine has a lot of health benefits because of the tannins that are related to wine.”