For many years alcohol’s effect on human health has been debated by everyone from scientists to moms’ groups everywhere defending their weekly (ok, daily) wine habit. We’ve all heard that too much alcohol can hurt and even kill you, but so can too much water and you don’t hear anyone telling you not drink it. So, is it ok to indulge in mild to moderate drinking as long as you’re not overdoing it?
Well, according to research, the answer is a resounding yes. Not only is it okay to drink alcohol, it is actually encouraged. While those maintaining dry lifestyles may be living long and healthy lives, their alcohol loving counterparts are enjoying even longer ones.
Alcohol Helps Keep Your Heart Beating
Moderate alcohol consumption, especially of red wine, is good for your heart. Most alcohol contains antioxidants which increase your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. This is the “good” cholesterol that protects your arteries from damage and helps keep heart disease at bay.
Though not an organization likely to promote the consumption of alcohol, The Research Society on Alcoholism even admits that drinking a healthy amount can be beneficial. In a published review they stated that. “A considerable body of epidemiology associates moderate alcohol consumption with significantly reduced risks of coronary heart disease …. and cerebrovascular (ischemic) stroke.”
Moderate Drinking Improves Cognitive Function
It is almost jaw dropping to read all of the research that supports the fact that throwing back a shot of Jack can actually improve your mental function. The American Journal of Epidemiology outlines in their study, “Alcohol Consumption and Cognitive Function”, that people who regularly drink alcohol (at least one drink per week), were significantly less likely to suffer from poor cognitive function than those who did not drink alcohol on a regular basis.
Alcohol Makes You Prettier
Remember what it was like to suffer through teenage breakouts during adolescence? No one wants to revisit those days of self-loathing and too much hairspray. By consuming a few glasses of your favorite wine each week, you can keep your skin clean and clear due the bacteria fighting antioxidant called resveratrol found in wine.
Resveratrol inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause unsightly acne. Drinking wine can, research shows, clear up your skin better than many of the over the counter face creams because let’s face it, a science lab has nothing on mother nature.
Alcohol Fights Stress
Perhaps the reason why we are drawn toward alcohol in the first place, is because of it’s undeniably efficient ability to reduce stress levels. There’s a reason why people reach for a glass of wine over dinner or head to the local happy hour after a long day in the office. Just one glass of alcohol can help calm the nerves by increasing circulation (and thus allowing more oxygen into the blood) and decreasing brain activity, which allows for a more tranquil mood.
Drinking Beer and Wine Builds Strong Bones
Yes, you read that right. Recent research has linked moderate drinking with increased bone density. While most people think that a big glass of milk for breakfast is the only way to build strong bones, it turns out that your evening glass of wine may be benefiting you even more.
While bones tend to weaken and break down as the aging process occurs, it has been shown that the ingredients in alcohol can actually help turn this process around. Studies have literally shown, especially in women, that the people who drink regularly have bones that are being rebuilt, whereas the ones who don’t drink at all have the normal amount of breakdown. If that isn’t an excuse to pour a beer instead of a glass of skim milk, I don’t know what is.
Drinking Alcohol Gives You a Whiter Smile
For too long wine has been blamed for darkening or staining teeth, when in reality, it actually helps keep those pearly whites nice and bright. For the same reason wine gives you great skin, it also protects your teeth against several types of bacteria that can otherwise thrive in your mouth and cause plaque to grow.
Rerevatol’s antimicrobial effects will prevent excess plaque buildup and bad breath causing bacteria to help you flaunt that winning smile you’ve been aiming for. So the next time you get a “thumbs up” from your dentist, reward yourself with your favorite glass of vino.
Alcohol Wards Off Cancer
By consuming a moderate amount of alcohol, people may actually be able to help avoid chemotherapy by warding off cancer in the first place. Due to its high content of antioxidants and flavanoids, alcohol provides a great barrier against inflammation triggers which can lead to cancer cells multiplying in the body.
The old adage of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can these days be applied to a drink of alcohol as well. Often given a bad wrap for causing negative health issues, this once demonized drink is turning out to actually be a nectar of health. Rich in many antioxidants that can help protect the body against everything from the common cold to cancer, research undeniably concludes that a drink a day may be a great regimen to add to your health routine.
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