Dr. Vikas Sharma
Drinking alcohol is harmful to the body, but only in large / excessive proportions. In fact, moderate drinking (without getting drunk) of good & fine alcohol, a few times in a week along with nutritious food, is beneficial & good for the general health / longevity. Here are the 7 alcoholic drinks that are secretly keeping you healthy & going strong:
Whisky: An Irish man once said, “What whisky will not cure, there is no cure for.” What’s even more surprising is that in the 1920s, whisky was considered as medicine and sold in pharmacies as a tonic. A study conducted by American Journal of Critical Nutrition has found that alcohol can help in preventing obesity as one of the most popular benefits of whisky is weight loss. Drinking a small glass of whisky can help in calming your nerves and reducing anxiety. The biggest advantage of whisky is that it prevents ischemic attack, which is caused when a blood clot occurs. Whisky allows free circulation of blood in the body, thereby helping the heart pump blood without any problem. One of the prime benefits of whisky is that it inhibits the growth of cancerous cells in our body. The ellagic acid present in whisky is known to combat free radical cells and even prevents them from re-growing and can help in controlling the amount of glucose released from the liver. This keeps your sugar level in check. Whisky is known to reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and any other memory related problems.
Whisky helps to numb throat pain, when it is gargled in a mixture with warm water. It helps in preventing dementia. Whiskey is believed to be one of the healthiest drinks (when consumed in moderation) amongst all the alcoholic drinks.
Rum: Rum is the first branded spirit to come into existence, well, you heard it right. The oldest dated rum bottle is Vieux Rhum Anglais found in 1830. When consumed in moderation, rum not only helps to relieve stress, but also stabilizes blood pressure levels. To top it all, rum gives an instant boost to energy levels and challenge extreme cold wave conditions. When the weather outside is cold, rum raises the body temperature. Rum can act as a blood thinner and even combat peripheral artery diseases. Well, you can reduce heart attacks through its consumption. Moreover, you can even prevent osteoporosis as rum helps in increasing the bone mineral density. Having this wonderful drink occasionally, guards you against flu viruses also.
Brandy: Brandy is one alcoholic drink which is full of healthy antioxidants. It has anti ageing properties, hence is very good for the skin. Brandy also reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body and also helps in the treatment of bladder and ovarian cancer. Brandy has antibacterial components and its high proportion of alcohol helps to get rid of the cold, throat pain and coughing in no time. The perfect pairing of its warming nature and relaxing quality made it a trusted source to boost the immune system for hundreds of years. The polyphenolic compounds present in brandy helps to reduce inflammation in the arteries. It also lowers the blood pressure and prevents other cardiovascular problems and because of the soothing and relaxing qualities, it induces a person to a sound sleep.
Gin: It’s a low-calorie spirit with a mere 97 calories per shot, as the average glass of wine contains 160 calories or pint of beer contains 208 calories (comparartively). Gin only contains traces of sugar which makes it a smart choice if weight management is your goal. More gin = fewer wrinkles as the core ingredient in gin is juniper berries, which are jam-packed full of antioxidants. These in turn can help to promote the appearance of healthy, youthful skin, which means that a regular intake of cocktails could hypothetically be responsible for your smooth, line-free face. Gin eases bloating, so switching to gin will give you a much flatter stomach than your usual beverage and help reduce bloating as juniper berries also act as a natural diuretic. The combination of gin and tonic is very useful while treating malarial infection as it contains hydroxy chloroquinine, which is used for the treatment of malaria & nowadays, COVID -19. Gin can also help to fight kidney and liver diseases. It’s good for your bones and can help fight off coughs.
Vodka: Vodka (in moderate quantity) helps in clearing bad breath as the high alcohol content kills all bad odour bacteria present. It also helps to reduce stress and disinfect wound externally. It improves the health of the skin and stimulates hair growth on the scalp. Toothache is also another issue which Vodka can give relief.
Beer: The most common alcoholic drink, beer is loaded with antioxidants called phenols. This protects you from heart diseases as it is good for blood circulation. Beer (when consumed not more than a few bottles or cans) also lowers the risk of high blood pressure and helps in maintaining it.
Red Wine: Apart from being a truly classy drink and having the same benefits of beer, the additional brownie point of red wine is that it helps in increasing one’s life span by generating longevity genes. It also increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol in the body. Red wine is rich in antioxidants. It keeps heart healthy, regulates blood sugar, reduces the risk of cancer, helps in treating common cold. It keeps you slim and keeps your memory sharp.
We have all heard that alcohol is a bad influence and a terrible companion, but these advantages of above mentioned 07 drinks clearly prove that it’s not alcohol, but your decisions that make all the difference. If you drink responsibly, you can enjoy these amazing advantages and give your health a boost. Also, remember that while these benefits of 07 drinks sound brilliant, it is very important to not overdose or binge drink any type of alcohol. This is why consume a small or moderate amount and make sure to never give in to addiction to lead a happy and healthy life.
(The author is Scientist of Biochemistry in SKUAST-Jammu)
Dr. Vikas Sharma