Drinking alcohol doesn’t come without certain risks. But most of the negative experiences people have with it is because of overindulgence. Of course you should always check with your family doctor before changing your diet. But if you exercise moderation and consume alcohol mostly with food, you could reap some pretty serious health benefits.
Improved cardiovascular condition
One of the biggest benefits of drinking alcohol is the reduction in the risk of heart disease. In fact, studies indicate a 25-40% reduction in most participants. These studies conclude that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol (no more than four drinks per day) are less prone to all cardiovascular events. These can include stroke, heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and any other heart-related illness.
Researchers attribute this benefit to several factors. For one thing, drinking alcohol raises your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which helps keep your arteries clean and protects your heart. For another thing, it increases circulation and prevents blood clotting, which can clog arteries and cause cardiovascular distress. Red wine is the most common type of alcohol recommended for heart health. If you haven’t had the opportunity to drink much of it, ask someone at a local market, such as a liquor store Woodbridge, NJ to recommend the best brands.
Decreased risk of gallstones
Studies indicate that “alcohol intake has a protective effect against the formation of gallstones.” And these were no small studies. One in particular monitored the habits of more than 25,000 men and women for 10 years. The participants who drank two UK units (roughly two small glasses) of alcohol every day reduced their risk of developing gallstones by a third.
Increased brain functions
Excessive amounts of alcohol can harm the brain, but moderate amounts can actually be good for it. In fact, a recent study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded that moderate alcohol consumption reduce inflammation and clean up the brain by clearing out toxins. The researchers stated that low doses of alcohol clear the brain of waste, helping to restore and retain proper functions.
Decreased risk of diabetes
While frequently binging on alcohol may increase the risk of type II diabetes, moderate amounts of it may actually decrease it. A recent study conducted by the University of Southern Denmark showed that the “risk of diabetes was significantly lower for those who took three to four drinks a week compared to those who took less than one drink a week.” And that significance was around 30%.
In the study, wine was found to be the most beneficial for controlling blood sugar than other types of alcohol. However, beer seemed to help almost as much, but only in men. The way that alcohol controls blood sugar is by inhibiting your liver’s release of glucose. In other words, it prevents your blood sugar from spiking. That’s why a glass of wine with meals is sometimes advised for keeping your blood sugar under control. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding any type of alcohol to your diet. If you don’t yet have a trusted physician, you can find out more about the best ones on a health information exchange.
Longer life expectancy
Of all the health benefits of alcohol, this one may surprise you the most. Of course, the reason for the longer life expectancy could be because of all those other benefits. But whatever the case, moderate drinkers tend to to have an 18% less chance of early death. This is an even greater percentage than estimated for those who exercise regularly.