Whisky, Red Wine, Beer and Health Benefits
It’s true that alcohol, when consumed in excess, is bad for you and can cause a massive range of health and social problems, from cirrhosis of the liver to families breaking up among other things. However, when alcohol is enjoyed responsibly, in moderation, it can actually benefit your health. Here’s a look at some of the surprising ways whisky, red wine, and beer can make you a healthier person.
One of life’s little luxuries is a bit of good, single-malt Scotch whisky. Along with being fat free and extremely low in carbohydrates, two drams or servings of whisky or any other type of alcohol will lower your chances of developing dementia or having a stroke by 50 percent. Furthermore, the risk of developing diabetes can be reduced up to 40%; this is due to alcohol’s ability to increase your body’s “good” cholesterol levels and decrease blood clots.
Another thing that alcohol is good for is fighting cancer; it contains ellagic acid, a chemical that destroys cells that are cancerous. Scotch whisky is the type of alcohol that contains the highest amount of ellagic acid, so don’t be afraid to have one or two ounces per day. You’ll be decreasing your risk of developing cancer.
If you’re watching your weight, whisky is probably better for you than drinking wine or other types of alcohol: whisky only has 55 calories per serving. To compare, red wine has about 90 calories, and a serving of light beer contains around 100.
Drinking a moderate amount of red wine is also very good for your health. It contains a staggering number of antioxidants and is claimed to have an anti-aging effect. The rejuvenating properties were so well publicized that there were even spas that began offering red-wine facials and baths; however, it appears as though the wine needs to actually be consumed in order for a benefit to occur. Facials and baths have the annoying tendency of staining your skin, so they are best avoided.
The main benefit of drinking red wine appears to be a healthy heart. Thanks to resveratrol and other antioxidants, red wine reduces the risk of developing heart and cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol has also been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; other studies have shown that it can also contribute towards a longer lifespan.
Having a glass of red wine that’s rich in melatonin may also help you get a good night’s sleep. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chianti are varietals that contain the substance which regulates the body clock, so a glad before bedtime might be a good idea if you want better rest. Melatonin is also an antioxidant, which means it has anti-aging properties and can help prevent cancer.
As mentioned above, red wine can help prevent cancer. Researchers from Spain’s Santiago de Compostela University found that a glass of red wine per day reduces the risk of developing lung cancer by 13 percent. The overall risk for men developing prostate cancer is cut by 50% by drinking four or more glasses of red wine every seven days, and moderate red wine consumption can cut women’s risk of breast cancer. However, women must be very careful not to overindulge; too much red wine can actually increase the risk of breast cancer, so it’s best to keep to only one or two servings of red wine per day.
Interestingly, researchers also found that people who drink more than two glasses of red wine per day don’t catch colds as often as people who don’t drink wine at all.
Finally, red wine, because of the presence of the already-mentioned resveratrol and saponins, has anti-inflammatory properties and can lower LDL cholesterol.
When it comes to health and fitness, beer usually isn’t the first substance that comes to mind. Beer is associated with the infamous “beer belly”, weight gain, and Homer Simpson. While beer does have negative effects when too much is consumed, when it’s taken in moderation, it has some truly stunning health benefits.
Most surprising is the fact that drinking one beer a day for women and two beers a day for men can make your bones stronger. Because beer is high in silicon, moderate drinking gives your bones a boost. However, drinking more than the recommended amount can put you at a higher risk for suffering a fracture. Again, moderation is the key!
A pint of beer a day also appears to be good for your heart by reducing the risk of heart disease by about 30 percent. Having one or two beers also appears to contribute to an increase in your body’s levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol.
One or two beers a day can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 25%. However, once again researchers showed that consuming more than 2 beers had absolutely no benefit in this department.
Beer drinking seems to be particularly good for women; along with the other health benefits of a pint a day, women 25-40 years of age are less likely to develop high blood pressure.
Whisky, Red Wine and Beer
All three types of alcohol contribute towards longevity and a better quality of life if and only if consumed in moderation. In fact, some researchers boldly state that if Europeans stopped drinking their one or two beers a day, life expectancy on the continent would decrease by two years. Happiness, it is suspected, would also decrease drastically.
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