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From an early age we’re taught that alcohol is bad for us, but is that really true? Drinking yourself silly every night can have disastrous consequences, but having one drink a day is associated with a number of health benefits. The key here is moderation. Moderate drinking can be defined as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. This is a daily quote system and not to be taken as an average over time.
Here are a few ways your body can benefit from the occasional drink:
- It boosts cardiovascular health: Many types of alcohol are rich in phenols. This helps fight stress, reduces the risk of hypertension and can protect the heart against a number of cardiovascular conditions. Moderate amounts of alcohol can also increase the amount of good cholesterol in the body and influence the clotting of blood. Higher levels of cholesterol help protect against heart diseases while by influencing the blood clotting process, alcohol can indirectly help prevent the formation of blood clots in the arteries.
- It slows aging: Some types of alcohol like wine are rich in antioxidants. This helps flush toxins out of the body and can slow down the aging process. An antioxidant called resveratrol that is found in red wine can even increase the lifespan of cells and activate enzymes that slow down the aging process. It is also said to increase DNA stability thus extending a person’s lifespan.
- It can help fight diseases: Alcohol is said to lower the risk of catching a cold. A warm drink like brandy can also be used to treat sore throats and a cough. Tonic water contains quinine that is anti inflammatory and has analgesic properties. Though medication for malaria is now easily available, tonic water can be used to treat the initial phase of the disease if proper medication is not available.
- It enhances your libido: Excessive drinking can lower your sex drive, but when consumed in moderation, alcohol can lower the risk of erectile dysfunction. Moderate amounts of alcohol also help lower inhibitions and thus encourage people to form sexual relationships.
- It improves cognitive ability: Almost all forms of alcohol contain ethanol that helps neurons resist wear and tear. This can lower a person’s risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia later in life. It can also enhance problem solving abilities and encourage creativity.
All of the above benefits are applicable only if alcohol is consumed in moderation. Thus do not use them to binge drink.