By: Michelle Fasig
How many times have you promised yourself the morning after ringing in the New Year that you were going to “be healthier,” “get fit,” “cut back on the wine?” How many times have you accompanied your friends out to dinner just to sip water while they enjoy their cocktail of choice? What if I told you it doesn’t have to be one or the other; that you can still indulge in your favorite spirit while monitoring your health? So lets toast to 2016 while we show you how to keep your health in mind while enjoying a glass… or two!
Nothing beats relaxing at the end of a long day with your favorite glass of red wine and a good book. It is one of the simple pleasures in life; delicious and relaxing. Good news is, according to some sources, it might be good for us as well!
A study published by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in wine, along with the antioxidant compound Quercetin can benefit the brain. Resveratrol and Quercetin suppress high levels of c-reactive protein (CRP)- which is associated with the likelihood of displaying depressive symptoms. There is a reason drinking that glass of wine makes you so giddy!
Additionally, the antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes are known to help prevent heart disease by reducing blood vessel damage and clots, which can help improve bad cholesterol. These antioxidants can reduce the stickiness of blood platelets, which help keep the blood vessels open, significantly lowering the risk of dementia too.
While most medical literature points to wine as the winner of the healthiest alcoholic beverage, beer has its own benefits worth toasting to.
A study in 2013 published in the Clincal Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that beer can give you good bone health and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones by as much as 41 percent. Beer is high in water, has high levels of silicon, which improve bone density, and also boosts vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. While guzzling pints of beer is not recommended, enjoying your favorite brew with dinner may in fact improve your overall health.
> Gin and Tonic
If gin is more your speed, then pour yourself a Gin and Tonic and take note; gin was reportedly invented by a doctor, Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius, as a general cure-all for ailments such as malaria, the plague and gout. Known for their medicinal qualities, juniper berries are one of the primary ingredients in gin and have been bottled by monks for centuries.
If you choose to end your day with something a little bit stronger, have no fear; that poison might just be exactly what you need.
According to Australia’s Monash University, you can swap out your daily cup of OJ for a daily shot of whiskey for the recommended amount of Vitamin C. (Please don’t do this
before work though, we are not recommending this with breakfast!) While this may sound a little far fetched, the study showed that whiskey not only has more antioxidants, but the high levels of elegiac acid can reduce the risk of cancer too.
While none of these choices are necessarily healthier than the other, it is not the beverage of choice but the frequency of drinking that matters when reaping the benefits. While it is true that moderate drinking can improve your overall health in various ways – always remember: a glass of wine a day might keep the doctor away, but not the whole bottle of course!