Before kicking off this post, let me just say, everything in moderation, friends. There are zero health benefits to drinking heavily and often. In fact, there are dozens of ways it could ruin your life and your health and all of your relationships! But that is a story for a different day.
For the purposes of this piece, we’ll be focusing on the ways in which certain alcohols (again, in moderation!) could actually be good for you. If you’re going to drink, you might as well drink responsibly.
We hear often about the health benefits of red wine, but few seem to know that white wine has its own share of positive attributes. This one’s for all you who mistakenly believe chardonnay and pinot grigio taste better than a nice, robust cab. You’re wrong, but this one’s for you anyway:
According to scientists, white wine helps with heart and metabolism function (though not as much as red wines!) and can also improve cholesterol levels. Where white may actually beat out red concerns lung function; research from the University of Buffalo found a link between drinking white wine and lung health—potentially due to high antioxidant levels—though not enough studies have been done to claim a stable correlation.
White wines are also naturally lower in histamines than reds, making them a better holistic option to treat allergies triggered by histamine levels. However, they do tend to be higher in sugar.
Man, rum never gets any action, does it? Personally, I’m alright with this. I drank enough Captain Morgan in college to sate me for the rest of my now-shortened life. But it actually has some surprising and particular health benefits.
For example, one 1.5 oz serving of rum has been found to reduce anxiety and help prepare the body for sleep. This LinkedIn article will have us believe it also prevents osteoporosis and alleviates arthritis because “the whole process of creating rum gives the drink more power, minerals and anti microbial properties.”
According to Forbes, a shot of tequila before “can stimulate the appetite, and one after a big dinner can aid digestion,” though they advise pairing each with a glass of water. This may be because the sugars in tequila are simple sugars, which means the body has a simple time breaking them down.
The publication also notes that certain studies “have shown that tequila can break down dietary fat, which can indeed help lower LDL levels, the bad cholesterol.” One such study was conducted by the American Chemical Society, which also found that tequila can aid in lowering blood sugar and—WHEN USED IN MODERATION—can actually help you lose weight.
Tequila has also been linked to better sleep, and is, at least according to The Independent, every fitness fans’ drink of choice.
Whiskey has as many antioxidants as wine, but none of the carbs, fat, or sugar, making it a safer bet for those concerned about weight. It has high levels of ellagic acid, which helps absorb rogue cells such as cancer cells, among several other health benefits which include but are not limited to lowering the risk of heart disease and combatting the common cold.
According to Dr. William Schaffner, Chairman of Preventative Medicine at Vanderbilt University, the latter is due to the fact that the alcohol dilates blood vessels, making it “easier for mucus membranes to deal with the infection.”