Approximately 86.4 percent of adults over the age of 18 have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives. A little over 70 percent have consumed it in the last year, and 56 percent have consumed it int he last month.
It’s safe to say that Americans love their alcohol. Have you ever wondered why people drink, though, and if there are any benefits to drinking? If so, keep reading.
Listed below are seven reasons why alcohol can be beneficial to your health. You’ll also learn the right way to drink to experience these advantages.
Top Seven Health Reasons Why People Drink
Is alcohol good for you? At first, you might assume that the answer is a resounding “no”. In reality, though, there are some health reasons to consume wine, beer, or hard alcohol, including these seven:
1. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
When consumed in moderation, alcoholic beverages have been shown to minimize one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This has to do with the fact that moderate alcohol consumption can elevate high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) levels. Higher HDL levels are linked to cardiovascular system protection.
Alcohol consumption can also influence blood clotting and help to prevent blood clot formation. This, in turn, can reduce one’s chances of experiencing heart attacks and strokes.
2. Longer Lifespan
Drinking alcohol could also help you to live longer. Research shows that people who drink fewer than four drinks per day for men and two drinks per day for women can reduce their risk of death by about 18 percent.
It’s unclear exactly why alcohol consumption increases one’s lifespan. It may have to do with its benefits to heart health, though.
3. Improved Libido
Many people find that their libido improves when they consume moderate amounts of alcohol. It’s true that too much alcohol can have a negative effect on libido and may increase a man’s chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction. In limited quantities, though, it can be beneficial.
4. Common Cold Prevention
People who consume alcohol on a regular basis (and in moderate quantities) may be less susceptible to the common cold than those who do not. This is especially true if alcohol consumers also do not smoke (smoking can increase one’s risk of catching a cold).
The protective benefits of alcohol might have to do with increased antioxidant consumption. Beverages like red wine contain antioxidants that bolster the immune system and protect the body’s cells from damage.
5. Reduced Risk of Dementia
Folks who consume alcohol in low-to-moderate amounts might be more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Researchers believe that this might have to do with the temporary stress that alcohol creates on the brain. This short-term stress helps to strengthen the brain and makes it more resilient to future damage.
6. Reduced Risk of Gallstones
Drinking alcohol in moderation might reduce your risk of developing gallstones, too. Gallstones are hardened bile deposits that develop in the gallbladder. They can cause severe pain and may even need to be removed surgically.
Excessive drinking can be taxing on the body and may lead to other problems with the gallbladder, liver, and digestive system. In small quantities, though, alcohol seems to have the opposite effect.
7. Reduced Risk of Diabetes
People who consume moderate amounts of alcohol often have improved insulin sensitivity compared to others who do not drink. This, in turn, reduces their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is especially true if the person’s alcohol consumption is coupled with other healthy lifestyle practices, such as exercising on a regular basis and eat a healthy diet low in sugar and processed foods.
The Healthiest Way to Drink Alcohol
It is possible to include alcohol in a healthy diet. However, it’s important to know that not all adult beverages are created equal. Here are some tips to help you choose the best alcohol to drink and to experience the health benefits without negative side effects.
Drink in Moderation
As you likely noticed, all of the health benefits outlined above come with moderate alcohol consumption. What does this mean?
For men, moderate alcohol consumption means no more than two drinks per day. For women, it means no more than one drink per day.
Limiting your alcohol to one or two drinks per day allows you to experience the health benefits without any negative health effects, such as liver damage. You’ll also be less likely to wake up with a hangover the next day.
Choose the Right Drink
Certain alcoholic drinks are better than others. The beverages that are most likely to cause harm include beer and sugary cocktails. The following are the best hard alcohol and wine options:
- Red wine
All of these beverages come with their own health benefits and are less likely to cause a hangover or other side effects. As the folks at https://www.cwspirits.com/ have pointed out, they’re also easy to find at most liquor stores, including online shops.
Use Activated Charcoal to Detoxify
After a night of drinking, especially if you’ve exceeded the one or two-drink rule, it’s best to consume some activated charcoal. Activated charcoal binds to toxins and helps to get them out of the body before they can cause harm. People who use activated charcoal are less likely to experience hangovers after drinking.
Staying hydrated will help you avoid a hangover and stay safe, too. A good rule of thumb is to have one glass of water per alcoholic beverage. Mineral water can be especially helpful in replenishing electrolytes and preventing dehydration.
Pour Yourself a Drink Today
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why people drink to improve their health. Keep in mind, though, that there are certain ways to drink that are better than others. Follow the guidelines above and you’ll be able to reap the health benefits of alcohol while still drinking in a responsible manner.
Don’t forget to check out some of the other health-related articles on our site as well. Whether you have concerns about diet, exercise, or both, we’ve got resources to help you out.
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