This weekend, you can round up your friends and have a drink without feeling guilty about it, because alcohol – in the right amount – can actually be good for your health. Yes, really!
Check out the health benefits of your favourite spirits.
1. Regulates cholesterol
Beer raises your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels, thereby preventing your arteries from getting clogged and improving your heart health.
2. Boosts brain power
Research shows that people who drink beer in moderate amounts are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than non-beer drinkers.
3. Soothes a cold
Beer is made of barley, which when warmed up can improve blood circulation and reduce congestion. So, the next time you have a cold, drink a warm beer!
4. Contains fibre and B vitamins
Certain dark varieties of beer contain fibre, which can slow down the absorption of alcohol and regulate your digestion. Beer is also rich in B vitamins like folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and B12. These vitamins make your skin soft and smooth, and can reverse pigmentation to some extent.
5. Prevents kidney stones
Beer has kidney-protective properties, so much so that it can lower your chances of getting kidney stones by a whopping 40 percent!
6. Strengthens bones
A study found that drinking two beers a day can improve bone density, but be careful because the same study found that drinking more than two beers increases your chances of getting a fracture.
1. Aids weight loss
Vodka is carbohydrate-free and has only 64 calories per ounce! The problem arises when people mix it with sugary juices and soft drinks. The trick is to mix it with water or soda, and add lemon, mint leaves or fruits for flavour.
2. Regulates blood pressure
Vodka improves your blood circulation and regulates your blood pressure, thereby reducing your chances of having a heart attack.
3. Relieves stress
Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down the activity of the brain and the central nervous system, making you more relaxed. Among all the various types of alcohol, vodka is particularly effective when it comes to stress-relief.
4. Lowers fever
If a person has high fever, applying vodka on their forehead, arms, legs and chest can help bring down their temperature.
5. Improves digestion
Adding small amounts of vodka to your food can do wonders for your digestion. Penne vodka, anyone?
6. Soothes toothaches
Applying a little vodka to your tooth can cure a toothache, since it disinfects the tooth and numbs the pain a little.
1. Boosts brain power
Whiskey is loaded with ellagic acid, a chemical that improves cognitive function and prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s. You have to consume it in moderation however, because drinking too much of it does just the opposite.
2. Protects your heart
Over a hundred different studies have shown that alcohol has heart-protective benefits, and whiskey is one of the foremost in this department. In fact, research shows that drinking moderate amounts of whiskey on a regular basis can reduce your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke by 50 percent!
3. Prevents cancer
Ellagic acid is a powerful antioxidant that also prevents cancer. It battles the harmful free radicals that your body produces, keeping diseases at bay.
4. Boosts immunity
The jury is still out on this one, but some studies show that whiskey has the power to boost your immunity, helping your system fight off colds, illnesses and infections.
5. Prevents diabetes
Whiskey can reduce your chances of getting diabetes by 30 to 40 percent, because it improves your body’s ability to manage glucose.
6. Helps weight loss
Whiskey too has zero carbs and is low in calories. Drinking a small amount of whiskey after a meal can improve digestion and suppress your appetite, preventing you from overeating.
1. Contains medicinal properties
There’s a reason why we always associate rum with sailors. The British navy would give each of its sailors a ration of rum, because rum can help prevent scurvy, a condition marked by a deficiency of Vitamin C.
2. Increases longevity
Drinking moderate amounts of rum can add anywhere between 2 to 5 years to your life!
3. Prevents muscle and bone problems
Rum can help reduce muscle pain and prevent osteoporosis, since it increases bone mineral density.
4. Treats the common cold
Rum has antimicrobial properties that can help you do away with those sniffles.
1. Lowers your blood sugar levels
Tequila is made from the agave plant, which contains a natural sugar called agave. Agave triggers insulin production and thereby causes your blood sugar levels to fall.
2. Regulates cholesterol
Research shows that agavins act like fibre and lower your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Tequila also regulates the absorption of fat from your intestines, making you feel less bloated when you drink.
3. Contains prebiotics and probiotics
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in our intestines that control everything from digestion to immunity. Prebiotics make space for the probiotics, by creating a hospitable environment for them.
4. Prevents diseases
The agavins in tequila have several properties that help your body stave off a number of diseases, including osteoporosis, dementia and diabetes.
1. Contains a number of medicinal ingredients
The main ingredients in gin are juniper berries, which are a natural remedy for coughs, congestion, renal insufficiency and menstruation problems. Apart from these berries, gin is typically made with other medicinal herbs like coriander, cassia, nutmeg, sage, angelica root, and rosemary.
2. Prevents malaria
The combination of Gin and Tonic was actually invented by the British as a way to prevent malaria!
3. Reduces the inflammation associated with arthritis
Juniper berries are loaded with compounds that battle chronic inflammation, so drinking small amounts of gin on a regular basis can combat arthritis.
4. Fights infections
Gin fights both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, thereby helping your body stave off bacterial infections.
5. Keeps your skin healthy
Juniper berries are loaded with antioxidants that keep your skin young, healthy and wrinkle-free.
6. Improves digestion
The herbs in gin trigger the release of digestive enzymes and stomach acid, making it easier for your system to break down food.
7. Promotes weight loss
Like vodka and whiskey, gin too has a minimal amount of calories. In fact, it helps you out a little more by improving digestion and reducing bloating.
1. Keeps you young
Red wine contains resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes that has anti-ageing properties.
2. Prevents cancer
Several studies have shown that wine can reduce your risk of getting cancer, colon and breast cancer in particular.
3. Reduces the risk of depression
Research shows that drinking two to seven glasses of wine per week can reduce your chances of depression considerably.
4. Keeps your heart healthy
Wine prevents blood clots and regulates your cholesterol levels, thereby keeping your arteries clear and preventing heart attacks and strokes as a result.
5. Protects your memory
Studies show that drinking one glass of wine every day can improve your memory and reduce your risk of developing dementia.
6. Helps you live longer
A Finnish study found that wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than people who drink beer or other spirits!
1. Improves heart health
Brandy is made by distilling wine further, to increase its alcoholic content. It therefore has all the properties of wine, in a more concentrated proportion. The antioxidants in brandy balance cholesterol, reduce plaque build-up, lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.
2. Slows down ageing
The antioxidant compounds in brandy, some of which are attributed to the presence of copper in some of the ageing barrels, have a strong effect on the body. They fight the free radicals that cause ageing, keeping your skin and even your brain young.
3. Reduces the risk of cancer
Brandy contains ellagic acid, which prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells.
4. Soothes colds and coughs
For years, brandy has been used as a remedy for respiratory problems like colds, coughs and sore throats. It eliminates harmful bacteria, loosens up mucus and soothes away the irritation.
5. Boosts immunity
The antioxidants in brandy boost your immune system, while the alcoholic content helps kill off harmful pathogens.
1. Enables weight loss
Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that originates from a certain region in France, however it happens to contain fewer calories than both red and white wine! It is also served in slimmer flutes, making it easier for you to limit your intake. Studies also show that the bubbles make you sip on it more slowly, so you will probably drink lesser of it overall.
2. Improves memory
Studies show that a person’s spatial and short-term memory can improve after they drink a little champagne. Spatial memory is the ability to recognize one’s surroundings, as well as perform complex tasks and calculations. Short-term memory is the information that your brain retains for a short period of time.
3. Boosts heart health
While most people associate red wine with heart health, few know that champagne is as good for the heart as a glass of red wine.
1. Contains plenty of antioxidants
Research shows that a glass of cider delivers the same amount of antioxidants as a glass of red wine.
2. Makes for a good gluten-free option
Since cider is made of apples, it contains no gluten (unlike beer), making it a good option for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
A word of caution, before you get carried away.
Experts recommend that women limit their alcohol intake to one drink per day, and that men limit their intake to two drinks per day. And no, you can’t save up these drinks and drink them all on the weekend, because binge drinking is extremely harmful to your health.