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Did you make a New Year's resolution to stay healthy this year? Is that resolution difficult because of your love for alcohol? Well, guess what, you're in luck! There are actually some health benefits to alcoholic drinks that you can take advantage of next time you make or order one. We've even included a list of the top 10 healthiest alcolic drinks for you, but before we jump into the fun part, here are some of the benefits alcohol can provide for us.
Health Benefits Of Alcohol
Alcohol and health are closely linked, for good and for ill. Though alcohol health risks are numerous and some are well known, such as cirrhosis of the liver, there are health benefits of alcohol if it is taken in moderation. Consumed in moderation, alcohol can offer certain health benefits. Studies have linked moderate drinking with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as a lower risk of some types of cancer. Moderate drinking has also been found to have neuroprotective effects, which may prevent neurological disorders from developing. Furthermore, drinking alcohol in moderation may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce stress levels. While more research is needed to confirm the positive effects of moderate alcohol consumption, consuming alcohol responsibly can provide numerous health benefits. Here are some the health benefits of alcohol:
Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
One of the health benefits of alcohol is to lower risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic stroke. Recent studies have linked moderate drinking with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Alcohol raises high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, which is known as “good” cholesterol because it helps to clear away cholesterol deposits in the arteries that can accumulate and cause blockage or stroke. Additionally, moderate alcohol consumption increases blood circulation, which prevents the formation of clots that can lead to heart attacks. In addition, alcohol can reduce inflammation in the body, which contributes to the hardening of the arteries—a major factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. While consuming more than one or two drinks daily may actually increase your risk for cardiovascular diseases, drinking alcohol responsibly and in moderation offers numerous health benefits.
Lowers Risk of Diabetes
Numerous studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption can lower the risk of developing diabetes. Moderate drinking has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, which is important for managing blood sugar levels. Research also suggests that moderate drinkers are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, alcohol consumption may reduce inflammation in the body, which can contribute to an increased risk of diabetes. While it’s important to consume alcohol responsibly and in moderation due to potential risks that may come along with excessive drinking, it’s possible to benefit from some health advantages by drinking carefully. A lowered risk of diabetes might come if a woman or a man over 65 has one drink a day or a man who is younger than 65 drinks two alcoholic beverages a day. Still, a person who drinks even this little must not drive or operate heavy machinery. Accidents are too often overlooked as alcohol health risks.
Longer (And Happier) Life
Alcohol health risks include a shortened lifespan if it is abused. On the other hand, another of the health benefits of alcohol is adding a few years to your life. According to some studies a couple of glasses of alcohol a day, preferably taken with meals, can lower the risk of death. A growing body of research indicates that moderate alcohol consumption can lead to both a happier and longer life. Studies have suggested that adults who drink moderately can expect to live an average of two years longer than those who don’t drink at all. Moderate drinking has been linked to better cardiovascular health, improved mood, and even reduced risk for certain conditions such as dementia. Additionally, studies have indicated that people who drink moderately tend to have more social interactions and are generally happier. While it is important to be mindful of the risks associated with excessive drinking, moderate consumption may offer some positive benefits with regard to overall happiness and longevity.
No More Common Cold
Recent studies have suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol can reduce the risk of developing a common cold or other respiratory infections. This is likely due to alcohol’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help protect against viruses that can cause colds. Additionally, moderate drinking has been linked to improved immune function and may even help improve white blood cell activity. While excessive drinking can do more harm than good and it is important to consume alcohol responsibly, moderate consumption may offer some health benefits related to common colds. If you’re a non-smoker, a moderate level of alcohol can reduce your risk of catching a cold. Some scientists believe that this health benefit comes about because of the antioxidants found in wine.
Lowers the Risk of Getting Dementia
For some, moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of developing dementia. Certain studies have suggested that drinking one to two drinks per day can decrease the likelihood of cognitive decline as we age. Moderate drinking has also been linked to improved blood flow to the brain and may even help protect against forms of degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is important to note that excessive drinking is not recommended, since it can lead to worsened health outcomes and an increased risk of health issues like dementia.. Another of the health benefits of alcohol may be lowering the risk of dementia. It is thought that a few glasses of alcohol a week may stress the neurons in the brain just enough to fortify them against the stresses that lead to dementia.
The 10 Healthiest Alcoholic Drinks
Are you ready to get healthy with these fun drink recipes? This list of alcoholic drinks proves that alcohol can be healthy if done correctly.
Kicking this list off is going to be a fan favorite, the Julia. The ingredients are simple, but the end result is a fun and healthy drink you can share with friends and family.
- 1 oz white rum
- 3/4 oz Amaretto
- Thick cream
- 1/3 cup of strawberries pureed
- Strawberry syrup
The cream provides vitamin D and protein while the strawberries are loaded with vitamin C. This is an easy way to get in your daily serving of
The muskmelon is a great drink if you're looking to really impress your friends. It's a little more complicated and will require a blender, but the end result is definitely worth it.
- 1 1/4 dark rum
- 1/4 cup diced up ripe melon
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz orange juice
- 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
The melon and the juices are also full of vitamin C and also provide all sweet overall flavor, meaning you don't even need the extra teaspoon of sugar. The muskmelon is another drink that proves that some alcoholic drinks can actually be good for you.
3. Golden Gate
There are many variations of the infamous Golden Gate drink, but here is one that is sure to be a hit with you and any guests you have over.
- 3/4 oz dark rum
- 1/2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/4 oz dark creme de cacao
- pinch of ginger
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, and the cacao that goes into creme de cacao is rich in magnesium, and calcium, making this just as healthy as it is fun.
4. Tall Dutch
The Dutch are known for being tall, which may be where this drink got its name from, or the fact that it has so many ingredients. Either way, if you feel like spending some extra time making a truly spectacular drink, here's what you need:
- 1/2 oz Advocaat
- 1/2 oz light rum
- 1/2 oz dark rum
- 1/4 oz orange juice
- 1/4 oz milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
Advocaat is a liqueur made from egg yolks, sugar, and spirits, and the egg yolks are rich in essential fatty acids and proteins. The orange juice provides the vitamin C, the milk provides calcium. Cinnamon is known for manganese, calcium, fiber and antimicrobial properties. It's pretty obvious that this drink not only contains a bunch of ingredients but is packed with health benefits too.
Alright, halfway through the list, and this one is definitely interesting. The Oracabessa is a fun drink, and once you get past the banana base, it's actually pretty tasty, and not to mention healthy.
- 1.5 oz creme de banane (banana liqueur)
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz dark rum
- Lemonade to top up
- Slice of banana garnish
The lemon juice and lemonade provide the vitamin C, while the sliced banana provides potassium, enough said.
6. Blue Blazer
Only attempt this one if you're a pro, and sober, because it involves boiling water, and if you're fancy, even some flames. The Blue Blazer could be your new favorite, and your guests will be in awe if you make it in front of them.
- 1 1/2 Irish Whiskey
- 1 1/2 oz boiling water
- 1 tsp clear honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Light on fire (optional)
Water is known to mitigate alcohol health risks, and honey is not only sweet but packed full of some good stuff. That good stuff includes enzymes, amino acids and essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and selenium. It also has a good amount of the B vitamins, which helps your body function properly.
Simple, yet, elegant. This is an easy drink to make, and you can never go wrong with some good brandy. This one makes the list because it's easy to make, tastes great, and has some health benefits you can't ignore.
- 1 1/2 brandy
- 1 tsp Kummel caraway liqueur
- 1/2 oz cranberry juice
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Cranberry juice has famous antibiotic properties, and kummel is a colorless caraway liqueur. Caraway seeds have little saturated fat, no cholesterol and are low in sodium. What's even better is that they’re rich in vitamin C, manganese, zinc, potassium, copper, iron and dietary fiber which provides loads of benefits for you.
8. New Orleans Gin Fizz
It's about time a libation made the list, in other words, a drink you're actually supposed to enjoy before noon. The New Orleans Gin Fizz is the perfect drink to enjoy brunch or breakfast with friends and family. Break away from the traditional mimosa with this tasty and healthy drink. Be careful though, it's a bit heavy on the gin.
- 2 1/4 oz dry gin
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp lime juice
- 3/4 oz sugar syrup
- 1 egg white
- 1 oz cream
- club soda to top
The egg white in this drink has no cholesterol but is full of protein, folate, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium while only having 17 calories. This libation is a great example of the relationship between alcohol and health.
9. Bloody Mary
You've probably ordered this drink before, but if you're going to attempt to make a Bloody Mary, you want to hit the grocery store first. This drink has tons of nutrients, but can be a hassle to make. Here are the ingredients you are going to need:
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 3 oz tomato juice
- 1/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco sauce (to your preference)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1/2 tbsp horseradish
- Stirred with a stick of celery
The celery has almost no calories but is full of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The tomato juice is full of vitamins C, K, the B complex vitamins, magnesium, copper, and manganese, making for a healthy alcoholic drink option that can be enjoyed at any hour of the day.
Rounding off the list is Restoration, the drink with red wine. You know we had to include a drink with wine because let's face it, red wine is delicious and full of nutrients. Here's what you'll need:
- 4 oz dry red wine,
- 3/4 oz brandy
- 3/4 oz Chambord
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- soda water to top
Red wine has been proven, time and time again, to carry antioxidants that help lessen your chances of developing coronary artery disease. What that means is this drink is good for you heart, and your soul if you ask me.
Moderate alcohol consumption can offer some potential health benefits, even though it comes with certain risks. Studies have shown that drinking in moderation can help lower the risk of developing many conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, moderate drinking has also been linked to improved psychological well-being and decreased stress levels. However, alcohol should be consumed responsibly and in moderation; excessive drinking is associated with an increased risk of liver damage, certain cancers, and a host of other medical issues. Therefore, it is important to recognize the potential benefits and risks associated with alcohol before making decisions about your own use.
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