Brandy, if consumed daily in moderation, has a variety of health benefits. Brandy contains antioxidants which have the ability to lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood, thus keeping the heart healthy. The polyphenol compounds in brandy also reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system, resulting in lower blood pressure. Unlike other alcoholic drinks, brandy does not contain any carbohydrates, so it doesn’t cause any bloating. It can be safely enjoyed without worrying about it being converted to fat. Brandy has also often been used to relieve respiratory issues such as coughs, colds and sore throats, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Brandy is an alcoholic beverage whose name comes from a Dutch word “brandewijn”, meaning ‘burnt wine’. The name is apt as most brandies are made by applying heat, originally from open flames, to wine. The heat drives out and concentrates the alcohol naturally present in the wine. Brandy is made by further distilling wine to increase the alcoholic content. Brandy contains around 30-60% alcohol by volume. Brandy is derived from wine, but it is aged in oak barrels, which increases the alcohol content and also gives it the unique color. While brandies are usually made from wine or other fermented fruit juices, it can be distilled from any liquid that contains sugar.
Alcohol-containing beverages such are brandy have a particularly high calorie content. One single shot of brandy contains 100 calories. Drinks that mix brandy with other beverages contain an even greater number of calories, because of the added sugar. Similarly, fruit flavored brandy also has an additional calorie count because of the addition of sugar.
Brandy has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. This makes brandy very effective in relieving respiratory issues such as sore throats and coughs. The strong alcoholic content in brandy can help eliminate bacteria and loosen up phlegm and mucus, thereby acting as an expectorant.
For over thousands of years, brandy has been used as a traditional solution for the treatment of issues such as colds, coughs and the flu. Brandy has natural warming properties, which helps induce healthy sleep. Additionally, the antibacterial nature of alcohol makes it very useful in helping strengthen the functioning of the immune system. It can eliminate pathogens that may be in your system and can boost your immune system with the help of its antioxidants.
Similar to other types of alcohol, brandy has a lot of positive effects on the heart. When drunk in moderation, research has shown that it contains a wide range of beneficial antioxidants, much like the wine from which it is derived. Brandy’s antioxidant properties can help bring down the levels of accumulated bad cholesterol in the body, thus balancing out cholesterol levels and preventing plaque build up. Furthermore, the polyphenolic compounds in it significantly reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system, which eases tension in the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
There are certain cancers that are exacerbated by excess consumption of alcohol, but studies over the years have shown that brandy can help in the prevention or treatment of certain cancers. One of the essential components of brandy is ellagic acid, which is a powerful organic compound that can prevent the development and metastasis of cancerous cells. The most obvious effects of brandy in treating cancer can be seen in case of ovarian or bladder cancer.
Brandy has excellent antioxidant properties some of which are attributed to the presence of copper in some of the aging barrels. These antioxidants, which are organic compounds can help eliminate free radicals in the body as well as neutralize their effects. Free radicals are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause our body’s healthy cells to mutate or undergo cell death. Antioxidants can help prevent this type of cellular death in the skin, hair, internal organs, as well as the brain. Therefore, brandy has been proven to eliminate aging and aging related symptoms such as poor vision, wrinkles on the skin, cognitive issues, and other chronic conditions.
Unlike alcoholic drinks like beer which have a high carbohydrate content, brandy has no carbs. As a result, there is no conversion of carbohydrate into fat in the body, thus making sure that brandy does not lead to storage of fat. However, just because brandy does not contain any carbohydrates does not mean you should drink it in excess. As with any kind of liquor, moderation should always be exercised.
Due to its high polyphenol content, brandy offers a plethora of cardiovascular benefits. Alcoholic drinks that contain polyphenols suppress the activity of a gene, called NF-kappaB, that plays a role in inflammation. Because excessive inflammation and overactivation of NF-kappaB contribute to heart disease, brandy's negative effect on NF-kappaB might benefit your cardiovascular health.
Similar to any other alcoholic drink, brandy has calming and tranquilizing properties, which can help induce sleep. As a result, brandy is often recommended, and is very popular as an after-dinner drink.
Brandy is a type of alcohol that can be used for a variety of purposes, including medicinal purposes. Brandy is widely renowned for its ability to slow the signs of aging and control weight issues, as well as treat respiratory issues. Drinking brandy in moderation has been proven to help with sleep issues and improve sleep patterns. Brandy can also boost heart health and keep the heart functioning well. Brandy has certain compounds and acids which can prevent the development and spread of cancerous cells.
When consumed in moderation, the only side effects of brandy include those equal to that of a general alcohol-induced hangover. But when consumed in greater quantities, brandy has side effects which include changes in the central nervous system, as well as a rapid drop in blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia. Brandy can also adversely affect normal functioning of the liver and kidneys, as well as smooth functioning of the heart.
Long before the 16th century, wine was a popular product for trading in European region. In the early 16th century, a Dutchman trader invented the way to ship more wine in the limited cargo space by removing water from the wine. Then he could add the water back to the concentrated wine at the destination port in Holland. They called it 'bradwijn', which later became 'brandy'. Today, brandy is brewed all over the world, in areas such as the US, France, Germany, Greece, Australia, Spain and Italy.
When there is too much accumulation of fat cells in the liver, the healthy tissue gets replaced by the fat cells resulting in fatty liver. The liver colour changes to yellowish greasy one. More than half of liver related diseases are caused due to fatty liver. Some of the common symptoms of fatty liver include excessive sweating, nausea, excess abdominal fat, itchy eyes, gallstones and fatigue. Luckily, though, a fatty liver is a reversible condition.
Here is a list of 5 effective ways to avoid fatty liver:
Cholesterol is a greasy substance present in the blood that is required for building healthy cells and maintaining cell membranes. It is basically produced by the human body but can also be taken from food. It also helps convert the sunlight into vitamin D. However, having high cholesterol can increase the risk of heart diseases.
Hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol increases the risk of coronary heart disease that causes heart attacks. Diet, exercise and weight are the three main factors that can affect cholesterol levels. It starts to rise after the age of 20. So, keep an eye on your weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, in order to stay away from diseases.
Nuts are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, proteins, fiber, nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. One should include a handful of nuts in daily diet. Peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, and other nuts reduce blood cholesterol. Studies have revealed that eating a quarter cup of almonds a day can lower LDL by 4.4 percent. Moreover, you can consume some roasted almonds without oil. Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Chomp them to lower your LDL by 16 percent.
Note – All nuts are high in calories, so avoid overeating.
Oats are considered as traditional cholesterol buster. It is packed with soluble fiber and contains beta-glucans that helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol and lower down its level naturally. You can drop your LDL by 12-24%, if you eat 1½ cups of oatmeal regularly.
Grind an onion in a juicer. Add one teaspoon of honey in a teaspoon of onion juice. Alternatively, take one cup of buttermilk and mix one finely chopped onion along with one-quarter teaspoon of pepper in it. Consume it on daily basis.
4. Orange Juice
Orange juice is a rich source of vitamin C, flavonoids and folate. Drinking 3 cups of fresh orange juice regularly can help you reduce blood cholesterol levels.
5. Coriander Seeds
Studies have shown that coriander can lower the levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. The seeds of coriander have hypoglycemic effects that are also beneficial for diabetic patients. Take one cup of water and add 2 teaspoons of coriander seed powder to it. Boil this solution for a few seconds, and then, strain. Add some milk, sugar, and cardamom for taste. Drink it twice a day.
6. Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used to lower the cholesterol levels. It contains monacolins, isoflavones, sterols, and monounsaturated fatty acids. For lowering the high cholesterol level, consume 1200 to 2400 mg of the supplement once or twice a day.
Note – It should be used under a physician’s direction.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps lower your triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. It is a very effective remedy for curing a number of ailments. Mix 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it 2 – 3 times a day for at least a month.
8. Fish Oil
Fish oils and fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, trout, salmon, herring, bluefish and sardines are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. They lower triglycerides and prevent heart ailments. Consume around 1-4 gram of fish oil daily.
Moreover, eat at least 2 servings of fish once in a week, most probably fatty fish, as they are the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Alternatively, if you are a vegetarian, then include ground flaxseeds which are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Honey is loaded with a number of minerals and vitamins which makes it an ultimate cholesterol fighter. Besides, the antioxidants present in honey do not let the cholesterol move out of the blood and also prevents its entry into the lining of the blood vessels.
Soybeans are well-off in magnesium, phosphorus, protein, calcium, B complex vitamins, and iron. It contains 10 times more calcium than meat. Eating soya nuts, soybeans and other food products made from soy (tofu and soy milk) are the modest way to reduce the production of new cholesterol. It is recommended that consuming 25 grams of soya protein in a day can lower the high cholesterol by 5-6 percent.
Note – Some people may face digestion problems when they eat soya. They may perceive loose stools, stomach ache, or diarrhea. So consult a nutritionist before including this smart food into your diet.
11. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry has high vitamin C content and abundance of minerals that can deal with a number of ailments. It is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the heart muscles by reducing excess cholesterol build-up, thus, keeps the arteries and blood vessels clean. Add 1 teaspoon powder of Indian gooseberry in a glass of warm water. Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
The high nutritional value and unique taste of garlic has made it a kitchen staple. It plays an important role in treating several diseases, apart from adding up an appetizing savor to food. The anti-clotting properties and sulfur contents of garlic balances the cholesterol level and reduce the formation of plaque in blood vessels and prevents clots that can cause heart stroke. Grate freshly peeled raw garlic onto your salad dressings, dal, rasam, pizza, or soups.
13. Brown Rice
Brown rice is affluent in lots of minerals, fiber and vitamins. If you want to lower your cholesterol level, then replace white rice with brown rice, as its bran contain highly saturated oil which plays a vital role in balancing the cholesterol levels. One cup of brown rice provides 11 percent fiber.
Turmeric holds excellent wound healing properties. It also lowers the levels of LDL cholesterol; hence, it can cut down the build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries. This may lower the blood cholesterol.
15. Brinjal (Eggplant)
Brinjal is a reasonable and easily accessible vegetable that contains ample amount of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B1 and B6, manganese, niacin, folate, copper and many more essential nutrients that maintain blood cholesterol levels. Eggplant also contains nasunin, a free radical scavenger that improves the blood flow by relaxing the walls of blood vessels. Incorporate brinjal in your diet to reduce the harmful LDL cholesterol from your body. It can be consumed in any form – stuffed, marinated, grilled, roasted, or fried.
16. Coconut Oil
Although, coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is considered one of the most beneficial and effective home remedies for high cholesterol. It contains lauric acid that increases HDL and improves the LDL/HDL ratio. While cooking, add moderate amount of organic coconut oil. Consume at least one to two tablespoons of this oil daily.
Note – Do not use processed or refined coconut oil.
17. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are rich in minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, selenium, manganese and zinc. They also contain good amount of vitamins B, A and C. The components, termed as steroidal saponins, present in fenugreek seeds reduce the absorption of cholesterol by the body that comes from fat-rich foods we eat. Take 2 ounces of fenugreek seeds daily to lower down the level of cholesterol by 14 percent. Besides, it reduces the risk of heart attack by 25%.
Beans are packed with cholesterol lowering soluble fiber. Hence, they bring down the LDL level and help keep your heart healthy. There are several types of beans, such as kidney, pinto, navy, chickpea, black, or butter beans. Eat, regularly, a cup of your favorite bean for 6 weeks, so as to decrease the cholesterol by 10%.
Even though avocados do not have any dietary cholesterol, they directly affect the cholesterol levels. This creamy fruit is filled with several nutritious qualities and contains significant amount of fiber and good fats such as oleic acid, healthy monounsaturated fat that lowers the unhealthy cholesterol level and boosts up the HDL (good cholesterol). It can be added to a variety of dishes. You can mix it into guacamole, slice it in salad or top a sandwich. Alternatively, make a fine avocado dip.
Note – Being high in calories and fat (30 grams fat and 300 calories per avocado), avocados should be used moderately.
20. Olive Oil
Olive oil is enriched with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can cut down the LDL cholesterol without affecting the HDL. Consume at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a day. You can also sauté or roast the vegetables in this oil.
Note – Olive oil contains lot of calories, so don't consume more than the recommended quantity.
Apple is rich in pectin and contains natural antioxidants known as flavonoids in their skin that lower cholesterol level and keep your lungs healthy. One medium sized apple contains vitamin A and C, around four grams of fiber and less than 100 calories. So, enjoy this healthy fruit.
Note – If possible, consume fruits with their skin, as it contains additional fiber.
The high antioxidant content of celery lowers the risk of heart disease, as it prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol. A component present in celery, called butylphthalide, balances the cholesterol level. You can include it in salads, vegetable juice, soups and any other dish.
23. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens have anti-inflammatory properties, and are also abundant in sulforaphane, calcium, fiber, and vitamin C that regulate the blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These are low in sodium, hence, reduce the LDL. Consume half cup of mustard greens, in a day, to lower down the cholesterol level by 15 percent.
Besides possessing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, broccoli has a variety of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C. The fiber in broccoli combines with the bile acids in the digestive tract and excretes it out from the body. This way, it drops the blood cholesterol level.So, make it a part of your diet by including it in soups and salads.
Chocolate is a powerful antioxidant that maintains the HDL cholesterol levels. The cocoa flavanols and plant sterols found in dark non-milk chocolate can reduce the LDL cholesterol by 2-5%. The flavonoids in chocolates prevent blood platelets from sticking together and keep the arteries unclogged. Eat about an ounce of chocolate in a day to boost up the good cholesterol and prevent the bad cholesterol from oxidizing.
Note – Choose a chocolate that has bittersweet taste or dark one. Milk chocolate has no flavonoids.
26. Red Wine
Alcohol can lift up the HDL cholesterol level by 5-15 percent. Red wine is advantageous in lowering cholesterol level because of its polyphenol antioxidants. It is recommended that women should drink a 5-ounce glass of wine, in a day, while men can drink up to two glasses. If you don’t prefer to take alcohol, then substitute it with grape juice. It provides equal benefits.
It is the most nutritious cereal that helps lower the blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and normalize the blood sugar levels. A fiber called beta-glucan, present in barley reduces the cholesterol levels by 4 to 10 percent, depending on its consumption. It is an excellent substitute for wheat. Consume this healthy food in the form of chapattis and noodles.
Tomatoes are an important source of lycopene, an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color. Daily consumption of lycopene lowers the level of LDL cholesterol. Simply munch on raw tomatoes or sip tomato juice.
Note – Cooking tomatoes with some oil helps your body to absorb more lycopene.
Flaxseeds have abundant lignans that decrease blood cholesterol, promote a healthy digestive tract, and keeps the heart problems at bay. It is loaded with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which checks the production and absorption of cholesterol. Simply take flaxseeds with water to lower the LDL level.
Spinach contains plenty of lutein that prevents the cholesterol from getting attached to the arterial walls and protects arteries from clogging. Vitamin E present in it checks the formation of plaque, hence, reduces the risk of heart stroke.
Regular consumption of one cup plain yogurt with active cultures can reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol) by 4 percent. Apart from this, it reduces the overall risk of heart ailments by 10 percent
Beets are loaded with carotenoids and flavonoids, which checks the build-up of LDL, and raises healthy cholesterol levels in the body. It also contains several essential nutrients – fiber, vitamin C, folate, manganese and potassium that heal various ailments. Have beetroot juice or combine it with some other fresh fruit juice.
33. Green Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidant compounds that can lower the cholesterol level as these compounds help the blood protect the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation. Hence, it prevents the blood clot and relaxes the blood vessels. A single cup of green tea has more antioxidants than any other vegetable or fruit. So, enjoy at least 3 cups of green tea every day.
34. Licorice Root
5 to 15 grams of licorice extract, three times a day, is recommended for lowering the high cholesterol levels. You can sip licorice tea. Boil 150 ml milk/water in a pan, then add 1 teaspoon licorice root. Lower the heat and allow it to brew for 5 minutes. Don’t add sugar/honey, as licorice itself is 50% sweeter than sugar. Filter this solution in a cup.
35. Chicory Root
Chicory root is popularly known as an additive for coffee. Being a great source of vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants, this root wondrously balances the cholesterol level and prevents cardiovascular ailments. It regulates the natural metabolism of body’s cholesterol, thereby, checks the high production of LDL cholesterol. It can be used as coffee additive and substitute.
Note – Avoid products with chicory during pregnancy.
Rhubarb is a cholesterol-buster herb that speeds up the metabolism and lowers the LDL cholesterol because of its high fiber content. Cook it in a double boiler. Add maple syrup or little honey as sweetener. You can also add cardamom or vanilla. It is better to consume this after a rich fat meal.
The leaves of artichoke plant contain a special type of compound, termed as cynarine, which increases the production of bile in the liver that results in rapid elimination of cholesterol from the body, hence, unclog the arterial walls. So, this veggie actually lowers blood cholesterol levels.
38. Hawthorn Berry
Hawthorn berry acts as a tonic for heart which nurtures the entire circulatory system, and thus, lowers the cholesterol levels. Its leaves, berries and flowers are used for curing heart problems. You should take it 3 times a day in any form – capsule, powder or tincture.
Margarines are enriched with a substance called plant sterols that help lower the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). Take it on a regular basis, for 3 weeks or more, to reduce the cholesterol level by 10 percent. Since margarines are made from plant oils, they contain zero cholesterol. It can be used in cooking and baking. You can also spread it on your bagel or toast.
Note – It reduces beta-carotene absorption. Hence, compensate this by eating lots of carrots, sweet red peppers, spinach and sweet potatoes.
Ginger is an herb that not only adds flavor to your food, but also decreases the cholesterol levels. You can have ginger tea that prevents sore throats and controls cholesterol as well. Besides this, you can add it to your food while cooking.
These home remedies will check your LDL cholesterol to a great extent, but it is equally important to bring changes in your lifestyle for the best results.
Christmas would be incomplete without a delicious Christmas plum cake. This lovely cake is rich in fresh and dried fruits and is soaked in brandy or orange liquor. Preparations for this cake often start a month before Christmas as the fruits are cut and soaked in alcohol until it is time to bake them. Here are 8 fascinating facts about this Christmas cake.
Be mindful about choosing heart healthy foods; for example:
- plant-based diets low in fat, salt and added sugars
- high fiber and whole grains
- lean protein
- foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed, salmon and other fish, certain oils and nuts)
2. Read food labels
The labels on the side of food and beverage packaging provide a lot of useful information about the nutritional content, including calories, sodium, cholesterol, fat, sugars and key vitamins per serving.
3. Mind your portions
Many of us overeat without really knowing it. Portions at restaurants even the size of bagels, baked goods and other prepared items have steadily gotten bigger over the years. Know how much is too much, and which foods are better to load up on. Some people find it helpful to visually divide their plate and pre-portioning healthy foods for the week.
4. Learn how to cook healthy
How you prep your food is important; try to avoid frying food and substitute unhealthy fats when possible. It's also best to make snacks and meals from scratch and limit processed foods, which often contain hidden sodium and added sugars.
When you do eat out try to reduce your calories, fat and salt by asking for:
- no added butter or salt
- half of the portion to be boxed up before they plate it for you
- the dressing on the side
5. Limit alcohol
Experts advise limiting it to one drink a day for women and two for men.
12 fl oz of
8-9 fl oz of
Malt liquor (shown in a 12-oz glass)
5 fl oz of
3-4 fl oz of
(such as sherry or port; 3.5 oz shown)
2-3 fl oz of
Cordial, liqueur, or aperitif (2.5 oz shown)
1.5 fl oz of brandy or cognac
(a single jigger or shot)
1.5 fl oz shot of 80-proof distilled spirits
6. Don't shop hungry
If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are more likely to make unhealthy impulse buys.
7. Keep a food diary
This is one of the best ways to look critically at your patterns of eating over time. Based on this information, you can make healthy changes. There are also nutritional and food tracking apps that can help.
8. Ask for help
Don't go it alone or attempt to cut out major foods groups or make too many changes at once; your efforts can backfire. Talk with your health care provider or nutritionist about how many calories you should be consuming each day and come up with an eating plan that is realistic and fits your life. Ask your partner or family to help you stick to a healthy diet.
A healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and control your blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
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:
All of the above benefits are applicable only if alcohol is consumed in moderation. Thus do not use them to binge drink.