Food and Nutrition

A Healthier You Could Start With.....Alcohol?

| by

I was abstinent from alcohol until my old cardiologist (who is probably the only honest doctor I've ever met in my life) suggested I take a drink or two a day for my heart health. I have to admit, it's worked out well for me, and I definitely feel better for it, not to mention I've developed a certain fondness for my drink of choice. 

People have known about the medicinal benefits of alcohol for years. Studies repeatedly show that people who consume a modest amount of alcohol tend to live longer and have overall better health than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers either one. The reduction in risks of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and heart disease are well known, and for people in particularly high risk category, the risk can be cut by as much as half. 

Alcohol has other far-reaching benefits as well, including improvement of lipid profiles by raising HDL and lowering LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of Type-2 Diabetes, RA, certain cancers, and even improving cognitive functioning and reducing the risk of dementia.  

Though red wine tends to get all the glory, but that might not be the case anymore. A study by Dr. Norman Kaplan revealed that well-crafted, microbrewed beer might actually be the better choice for those that want to boost their health. Whereas red wine is power-packed with resveratrol, beer is full of folates, B-vitamins, and proteins. Further, studies in Germany have indicated that Xanthohumol, a chemical found in abundance in heavily-hopped beers, has been so promising at reducing breast and prostate cancers that they've considered selling it in supplement form, and could even be used as a cancer treatment option.  

Hard liquor appears to have fewer benefits overall, but still has benefits nonetheless. Each different type of alcohol has certain benefits, depending on what's present in them besides the alcohol, so it's perfectly OK to mix-and-match, or to go with your favorite drink. Don't think it has to be red wine. 

Don't worry about packing on the pounds, studies show that alcohol doesn't lead to weight gain, though reasons are unclear. Do, however, be careful about what kind of alcohol you drink, you WILL pack on the weight having a few sugary mixed drinks. Avoid these and you should be alright.

Don't be afraid to tip a couple back for your health. I do, and it's worked well for me. Alcohol is one of the many natural medicines out there, and it works extremely well. Ditch those heart medications, tip a couple back, and say hello to a more heart-healthy you, without drugs or surgery. You'll be glad you did.