Pulsating music running through your body at a club. Long ladies' nights spent laughing and gossiping. Late night shots with a regrettable hangover in the morning. These are the images you get when you think of drinking liquor. Drinking liquor comes with a wild night, a foggy morning and an incredibly hilarious story in the future.
Aside from coming with a crazy experience, liquor may even have some health benefits. From weight loss to heart health, drinking liquor can help improve your health. Of course, you need to remember to drink in moderation and know that liquor isn't a cure-all; even though we'd all love it if it were!
Here are five types of liquor and their many health benefits:
Vodka is a good option when you are trying to count calories. Vodka only has 69 calories per ounce. Of course, the higher the proof, the higher the calories. It can also help the heart. According to Food to Fitness, vodka helps develop collateral vessels. These vessels improve blood circulation. More vessels also mean more ways for oxygen to flow through our bodies.
Drinking small amounts of vodka can help reduce stress and lower high blood pressure. Vodka has a calming effect on the brain and induces sleep. Vodka can be used to relieve some pain of a toothache. Drinking a little bit of vodka and swishing it in your mouth allows the alcohol to be absorbed in the gums and temporarily helps.
Many herbal medicines often use vodka in their medicines. Vodka is used to make tinctures. Herbalists soak leaves and stems in the vodka. Since vodka is odorless and flavorless, the tincture absorbs the taste of the herbs. These can either be taken by mouth or as an ointment.
Tequila can help you with digestion. Some say that a shot before a meal stimulates your appetite, and a shot after a meal can help you digest your food. Pairing the shot with water is even better for digestion. Tequila can also aid in lowering bad cholesterol. The alcohol in tequila breaks down dietary fats which lower your LDL levels (or, bad cholesterol).
Tequila is a probiotic. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that are in our intestines. They are responsible for the majority of our immune systems. Some of the fructans produced from agavins that produce tequila supply our probiotics. Tequila is also prebiotic. Prebiotics make it possible for probiotics to grow and thrive. A study was done to see the effect these agave fructans have on our bodies. They found that the prebiotic attributes of tequila make our intestines the right place for probiotics to live.
Tequila can help against osteoporosis. Again, the fructans promote bone health. A study done on the effect of fructans on mice yielded interesting results. The mice fed fructans absorbed more calcium from their food and excreted less calcium from their bowls. They also showed a 20 percent increase in osteocalcin -- a protein connected to the build-up of new bone tissue.
Gin can help fight off illness. The main ingredient found in gin is juniper berries. The oils from the berries agitate the bronchial passages and cause you to expel mucus. Some people suffering from arthritis have found that gin helps with achy joints. The juniper berries are again to thank for this one. Some people have even used gin-soaked raisins to reduce inflammation.
Gin can help if you feel bloated. Juniper berries have often been used as a diuretic and the herbs in gin help your digestive system. Gin can increase your circulation. Alcohol is naturally a blood thinner. Now, add in the antioxidants of the juniper berries and you can increase your blood circulation and vascular health.
Gin can help regulate your menstrual cycle. Women who experience irregular periods can better predict when their next period will likely happen if they start using gin to regulate their periods.
Rum helps the heart in multiple ways. It combats peripheral artery disease. It restricts artery blockages. Rum acts as a blood thinner and increases HDL cholesterol. Rum can also help you get a good nights sleep. A single serving of rum can reduce anxiety levels.
If taken with moderation, it can help with muscle pain and actually prevent it. Some say drinking rum can increase your lifespan up to two to five years. It can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Rum can also help decrease the risk of getting dementia and prevent cancer.
According to studies, whiskey has been shown to successfully boost your cognitive performance and reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer's and dementia. A study for heart health has shown that whiskey can reduce the chances of blood clots. Whiskey is a blood thinner, so it lowers your chances of your blood clotting. It can also increase your good cholesterol, which in turn counteracts the effects of your bad cholesterol, further protecting your heart.
Whiskey can help reduce the chances of diabetes. Studies have shown that whiskey can sometimes reduce the chances by as much as 30-40 percent. Whiskey can improve your body’s ability to regulate insulin and glucose levels, causing the possibility of getting diabetes to decrease. Whiskey can help you relax. The barbiturates can reduce stress. Whiskey also has sedative properties to help you sleep if you have bad anxiety. A study at Harvard University says drinking whiskey corresponds with a 25-40 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease or stroke caused by blood clots.
Now, like I said before, you can't use just liquor to cure all of your health issues. But, at least when you are taking that shot of tequila or enjoying that cocktail you are also helping your body stay healthy.