18 Ways That Alcohol Can Actually Be Healthy

Ever wondered if alcohol can actually be healthy in moderation? Here’s reasons why alcohol can actually be part of a healthy lifestyle:

1. Alcohol can help fight colds

According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who drink wine are much less likely to catch the sniffles than those who don’t drink it. Researchers claimed that it could be due to the anti-inflammatory compounds found in wine because they offer protection from the common cold. They also suggested that flavonoids, a nutrient group with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits, could be a factor.

The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Bahi Takkouche, said: “Drinking 14 glasses of wine per week, two a day, is a strong preventative against colds. This effect is even stronger with red wine.” Pretty awesome, right? Just keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should drink it while you have a cold.

2. Red wine can give you a healthier heart

There are actually numerous studies that prove red wine is great for heart health. Wine-drinkers are less likely to be diagnosed with conditions like heart failure, chest pain, and peripheral artery disease. It’s because red wine is filled with antioxidants and it can increase blood flow to the heart. It also contains resveratrol, which helps protect the blood vessels, prevent blood clotting, and reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol). Excuse us while we go get a glass of wine real quick.

3…And so can vodka

Like wine, vodka can improve blood flow as well, but it offers different kinds of benefits, too. It causes collateral vessels to develop, which then creates more oxygen pathways and keeps the heart healthy. But if we were to compare this to wine in terms of its overall effect, then wine would be the clear winner. One study actually found that the antioxidants, resveratrol, and anti-inflammatory properties in wine made it the better option for heart health than vodka.

4. Red wine can actually boost your libido

It’s true! According to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, drinking wine on a regular basis can increase your sexual desire and overall sexual function. It boosts the level of nitric oxide in your blood, which helps your blood vessels relax. This allows for increased blood flow to the genital muscles and other important organs. So if you ever need an extra boost before you do the deed, sipping some wine (but not too much!) first might do the trick.

5…And it can boost your memory

A study from Texas A&M; University found that wine can help with cognitive function and prevent a decline in memory. The red skin of the grapes contains resveratrol, which, according to the study, has positive effects on the hippocampus (the part of the brain that’s associated with memory, emotions, and learning).

Ashok K. Shetty, Director of Neurosciences at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, said: “The study provides novel evidence that resveratrol treatment in late middle age can help improve memory and mood function in old age.” Looks like we’ve got a new go-to remedy when our memory starts to fail us.

6. Beer can help protect your brain

Good news, beer lovers. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a popular compound found in hops, called xanthohumol, can prevent the damage of brain cells. It even has the potential to slow down the development of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Pretty impressive, right? Just make sure you don’t guzzle too much beer at once.

7. Vodka can help prevent bad breath

If you’re ever out of mouthwash, try using a bit of vodka instead. And by this, we actually mean vodka without any added sugars, because that kind will only destroy your enamel. This booze has enough alcohol content to kill bacteria and get rid of funky breath, so you can always gargle a shot of vodka whenever you’re in a pinch. And if you want to get fancy, try adding a dash of mint or cinnamon to give it some flavor.

8. Alcohol can inspire more creativity

Well, vodka and cranberry juice, to be exact. In a study from Consciousness and Cognition, the subjects were given this cocktail before they were asked to complete a word-association task. And surprisingly enough, the ones who drank vodka cranberry did way better than the ones who stayed sober. The alcohol group answered their questions a lot more intuitively and took less time to complete the task, while the sober group relied more on systematic thinking.

9. Wine can help you look younger

It’s kind of ironic, because drinking too much tends to do the exact opposite. But in moderation, wine can help fight early signs of aging. And it’s all because of that one powerful ingredient: resveratrol. It stimulates an enzyme that usually promotes cell regeneration and DNA repair. Cheers to looking five years younger!

10…And it can increase your life-span, too

According to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, those who drink wine have reduced total mortality. In one study, subjects who consumed wine actually showed reduced mortality risks, compared to those who didn’t. Also, researchers have claimed that women who drink a glass of wine a day have a lower risk of mortality compared to those who drink less often (or not at all). *sips some more wine*

11…And it can boost your exercise performance

According to the Journal of Physiology, the resveratrol in red wines can improve muscle strength, heart function, and exercise performance. There’s catch, though. Researchers found that it takes a lot of resveratrol to see these effects. So while these benefits are impressive, it’s probably not the best idea to make wine your go-to beverage before your workouts. If you happen to have a drink on the same day, then that’s great. But just don’t rely on wine too much for your sweat sessions.

12. Red wine can help you burn fat

We’ve got good news if you’re looking to shed some pounds! According to a study by Oregon State University, drinking red wine can help you burn extra fat and manage metabolic disorders, like fatty liver. Researchers found that a chemical called ellagic acid can slow down the growth of existing fat cells and the formation of new ones. It also serves as a metabolism booster for fatty acids in the liver cells. So go ahead and indulge in a bit of wine – it just might help you get in better shape!

13. Beer can help you recover after workouts

Now you have an excuse to head straight to happy hour after you’ve worked your butt off at the gym. According to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, beer can help replenish your body, just like water does. You’re probably thinking: How is that possible when alcohol is diuretic? Well, according to researchers, when your body is so dehydrated it can’t afford to lose more water. So the beer can be used to rehydrate and the diuretic effect usually disappears. So fascinating…

14. Alcohol can help soothe sore muscles

The best part is that it doesn’t even matter what kind of alcohol you choose. Whether it’s an ice cold beer or a glass of wine, alcohol can help soothe your muscles. The International Journal of Kinesiology & Sports Science includes a study where two male groups went through intense exercises. When they were done, one group consumed alcohol while the other consumed a placebo beverage. And guess what? After their recovery period, those who drank booze had less muscle soreness than those who didn’t. Crazy huh?

15. Beer lowers your risk of getting a heart attack.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and University College London found that those who drink beer moderately are less likely to suffer from heart attacks caused by blood clots. And surprisingly, they are also less likely to experience a stroke, heart failure, or coronary death. Another Swedish study has also found that women who drink about one to two beers per week have a lower risk of getting a heart attack. So if you enjoy the occasional beer, chances are your heart is in pretty good shape.

16. Whiskey can help cure a sore throat

Having a sore throat sucks, but luckily, whiskey can save the day. If you ever need a little DIY remedy, mix some whiskey with warm water and honey. It should offer some temporary relief and speed up the curing process. So make sure to keep some whiskey in your cabinet.

17. Beer is good for your kidneys

According to the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology, beer can actually reduce the risk of kidney stones by over 41 percent. In the study, researchers compared the effects of consuming sugary soft drinks with the effects of consuming beer and coffee. While the soft drinks wound up increasing the chances of getting kidney stones, both beer and coffee proved to help reduce those chances. But beer was the clear winner since coffee reduced the risk only by 26 percent.

18. Beer and wine can reduce your risk of getting diabetes

According to the journal Diabetologia, people who drink beer or wine up to four times a week have a lower risk of getting diabetes. The study showed that men who consume it are 27 percent less likely to have the condition, while women are 32 percent less likely. But of the two, wine had the better effect because it has more chemical compounds that can improve blood sugar levels.

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