A very timely question, we have been asked frequently around the Studio these days. Now that the holidays are over, we are all trying to get back to our healthier eating and drinking routines. No doubt around the holidays most of us indulged a bit more than we usually do. More parties, dinners and socializing. We all know that alcohol contains empty calories. So, if you do indulge, think about the pros and cons. Weigh them for yourself and make the best choice for you.
Alcohol, whether mixed, blended, on the rocks, with salt or without all has a moderately high caloric count. (7 calories per gram, to be exact) Women’s Health Base gives you a look into just how many calories you are drinking in your Cosmo and how to make better decisions if you do indulge, here’s what we found on Women’s Health base:
So, is there an upside to alcohol use at all? Let’s take a look at a few popular drinks some of you may be drinking and see what the current science is telling us:
Red Wine: Why It Wins
Scientists single out the wine’s polyphenols (antioxidants occurring naturally in the grape skin) which protect the lining of the heart’s blood vessels. An antimicrobial substance called Reservatrol can also help prevent damage to blood vessels, discourage blood clotting, and reduce bad cholesterol. Recently, studies have shown that drinking red wine also can decrease lung cancer risk, along with those powerful polyphenols fighting off Alzheimer’s disease.
White Wine: Still Good for the Heart, and More
While many studies argue that white’s weak compared to red, others point to the lighter stuff being just as cardio-protective as the Merlot. What’s missing is the grape skin, removed for white wine fermentation, which provides those antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits in darker wine. Meanwhile, though, any wine has been shown to control the growth of bacteria involved in tooth decay and sore throat.
Whiskey: A Shot a Day Keeps the What Away?
This question brought a smile to my face. I remember taking a trip to Brownsville, Florida to a revival center a few years back. The day I was there, just happened to be a parishioner’s 100th birthday. When the tea-totaling pastor asked her what her secret to longevity was, she smiled and said. “I take a shot of whiskey in my orange juice every morning!” Wow! Maybe she had something there!
What if you could substitute the dark stuff for your morning OJ? That’s the good news coming from Australia’s Monash University, where they found a daily shot of Jack could provide the same antioxidant benefits as the recommended intake of Vitamin C. When whiskey is stored in oak barrels to mature, it also absorbs compounds that sheath our body’s healthy cells. Another whiskey substance — ellagic acid, which is found in fruits we eat — is said to help fight cancer by absorbing rogue cells, according to a 2005 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Guinness: Heart-Attack Killer?
University of Wisconsin researchers found that a pint of Guinness Extra Stout was about as effective as low-dose aspirin in preventing dogs’ blood platelets from clotting — and reducing their risk of a heart attack. Don’t expect the benefit to carry over to your Bud Light, though: the researchers pointed to Guinness’ flavanoid antioxidants (which work as anti-inflammatories) as a possible reason for the difference. And they found that the darker beer was three times as likely as lighter beers to inhibit clotting.
Other Beer: What’s (Sorta) Good for You
Any brew — no matter its type — will be a source of silicon, which can contribute to bone growth and development. That’s according to scientists who studied seventy-six brands of beers, only to discover that this staple was a “major contributor” to silicon intake in the Western diet. Other scientists have found that particularly hoppy beers contain a micronutrient called xanthohumol, which can inhibit the growth of tumors and the enzymes that activate cancer cells. In other words, drink up.
Remember, as with most things in life, moderation is key to a happy and healthy life! Cheers!
To find more information regarding alcohol and your body read more on Esquire.
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