Moderation and awareness is the name of the game when it comes to your alcohol consumption. And it seems that if you abide by this rule, there could actually be some benefits to your preferred tipple. Nutritionist Sarah Flower shares some insights with us:
1. It can help you live longer
‘Studies have shown that women who drink a glass of wine daily have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who drink less often,’ says Sarah.
One glass of wine each day could reduce your risk of developing some diseases by 25% according to research by the American College of Cardiology.
Read more: Tips and tricks to knowing your wine
2. Lowers the risk of potential heart issues
‘Moderate drinking has been found to have a possible link to a lower risk of heart disease,’ says Sarah. Those with consistent drinking patterns might benefit from cardioprotective effects, reducing the risk of issues like heart attacks and strokes. Make sure to space out drinking, and do not ‘save up’ recommended units for the weekend.
3. Prevents nasty colds
It may come as a surprise to find out that a glass of red can assist in fending off a cold. ‘The antioxidants in red wine can help to reduce the risk of catching a cold by 60%’ advises Sarah.
Read more: Say no to a cold, boost your immune system
4. Can improve cognitive function
Researchers have discovered that students who drank alcohol after studying performed better at recalling new information. The consumption of alcohol causes the hippocampus (part of the brain that handles memory) to transfer newly obtained information to long-term information. This makes it easier to remember something new.
5. Red wine contains antioxidants
‘Red wine contains a powerful heart-healthy, anti-cancer and anti-ageing antioxidant called resveratrol.
It also helps to protect the skin against damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have the highest concentration of antioxidants. Have one glass with a meal, this is to make sure you skip the inflammatory effects of alcohol.
4 Steps to having a ‘healthier drink.’
- Choose red wine- there’s firm evidence that the health benefits of alcohol are mainly attributed to red wine. Spirits and beer just don’t have the same nutritional content.
- Got issues? Beer is high in carbohydrates due to the wheat content, this can contribute to digestive problems. The same can happen with Gin, which is considered to be the least beneficial for the microbial community in the gut.
- Choose low sugar- Many alcoholic drinks contain high amounts of sugar. This can contribute to weight gain, mood swings and disturbed sleep. Choose options that are low-carb and low sugar.
- Alternate drinks with water- Follow each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink. Make sure to also drink plenty of water before sleeping to reduce the effects of a hangover.