Whisky is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. Besides it being the least likely spirit to give you a hangover, it also has beneficial medicinal value.
Whisky is good for you? According to the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, it is. BBC News reported, “the researchers found that whisky and red wine helped to protect against coronary heart disease by raising the body’s level of anti-oxidants. However, it was the whisky drinkers who absorbed a greater proportion of the “phenol” chemicals that provide the protective effect.”
The word whisky comes from “uisge beatha”, the Gaelic for “water of life,” and with all these health benefits it contains, I can see why. But before I go into all of that, I think it’s important to mention that consumption of alcohol in excess can cause serious health issues, impact your lifestyle, and result in a number of unfavourable outcomes. Organic Facts says, “If one drinks responsibly, whiskey, just like beer and wine, can actually confer quite a few health benefits to its drinkers.” An ounce or two of whisky every week won’t be enough to get you drunk or negatively impact your health, but it will be enough to give you a healthy boost to a number of essential bodily functions.
The health benefits of whisky:
1. Boosts Your Memory
The antioxidants found in whisky help improve the brain’s health. Also, blood circulation is improved. Both of these contribute to memory functionality. Additionally, whisky contains ethanol, which was found to enhance memory recall ability, or synaptic plasticity.
2. Reduces Risk of Stroke
Whisky helps to prevent cholesterol from building up in the cardiovascular system. It can also assist in removing excess cholesterol from the body. The walls of the arteries become relaxed, which reduces the risk of obstruction. These aspects all help to considerably reduce the risk of stroke.
3. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Whisky contains “ellagic acid”, an acid that prohibits DNA from coming in contact with cancerous compounds (like nitrosamines and polycyclic hydrocarbons). It is also helpful in protecting the body from chemotherapy. Dr. Jim Swan spoke at the EuroMedLab 2005 conference in Glasgow, UK, and said “the ellagic acid in whiskey breaks down harmful free radicals in your body. Whiskey boasts a greater concentration of ellagic acid than even red wine.”
4. Aids in Digestion
For hundreds of years, whisky was used as a digestive aid. It was usually consumed after a meal, helping to relax the body after eating a heavy meal. It can also help to reduce your appetite, preventing you from overeating. Best of all, it will aid in digestion, reducing your risk of stomach ache or indigestion after that extra helping of dessert.
5. Weight Loss
Whisky’s composition and elevated alcohol percentage also contribute to it being an effective appetite suppressant. Whiskey provides only few calories and contains zero fat and cholesterol, so there is no risk of chronic diseases caused by trans and saturated fats. The calories and carbohydrates it does contain are in the form of alcohol, which are simple sugars that are quickly broken down to be used as energy for the body.
6. Prevents Colds & Boosts Immune System
The antioxidants and trace levels of vitamins in whiskey help to stimulate the immune system, thereby aiding the body to fight off pesky colds, illnesses, and infections. It’s also a wonderful cough syrup for those suffering from an itchy throat. For best results, add a little bit of whisky to a cup of hot water and lemon.
7. Helps Control Diabetes
“Whiskey has been consistently shown to reduce the chances of diabetes, sometimes by as much as 30-40%,” according to Organic Facts. “A moderate amount of whiskey can significantly improve your body’s ability to regulate insulin and glucose levels, thereby lowering the possibility of developing diabetes.”
After reading these 7 ways that whisky can benefit your health, please keep in mind there are several other ways to increase the productivity of the brain and body without the use of alcohol.
Related: The Truth About Coffee and Alcohol
If you are not a drinker, there is no reason to start. If you are a drinker, moderation is the key. The holiday season is upon us and over-indulgence is rampant. With that being said, try to keep your wits about you and do what is best for our mind and body.
Written by Raven Fon