Like anything great in life, whisky should be enjoyed in moderation. However, you might be surprised to know that whisky is more than an enjoyable drink you share with your friends after work or at a special event. It actually carries some meaningful health benefits. When you do have that sweet, savoury glass, you don’t have to feel bad about your decision. That’s right: Not only does whisky taste good, but it is good for you. Here are 10 surprising health benefits of whisky.
1. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
According to multiple studies, a glass of whisky a day can help reduce your risk of heart disease and heart failure. According to a study by Harvard, a moderate amount of alcohol raises the amount of “good cholesterol” in your blood. This is a natural protection against heart disease.
2. Can Help Fight Cancer
Although it should not be used as the only treatment, research shows whisky can help fight cancer. Whisky contains ellagic acid, which helps absorb rogue cells in your body. This acid is also found in fruit and wine; however, it is found in higher levels in whisky.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Not only is whisky delicious in flavour, but it contains very little sodium and no fat. Plus, the sugar in the drink is simple sugar, which is quickly processed by the body. This can help promote weight loss. Moderate beer drinkers tend to lose muscle tone and increase their “beer gut.” By switching to whisky you can keep the pounds off while still having a good time.
4. Reduce Stress
Between work, family, and everyday stresses, you deserve a break. If you are feeling stressed, a glass of whisky can take off the edge. Alcohol is known for calming the nerves. This is extremely beneficial for people with high stress or anxiety. However, alcohol should not be used as the only way to de-stress. Relying on alcohol as a way to calm your nerves can lead to further anxiety if abused.
5. Control of Diabetes Risk
If you are at risk for diabetes, whisky is good for you. The sweet drink has been shown to reduce the chances of diabetes by up to 40%. According to a study, a moderate amount of whisky can improve your body’s ability to regulate insulin and glucose levels. This is because of all the simple sugars in the drink, which are easy to process. If you can control your body’s blood sugar levels, then you lower your risk for developing diabetes.
6. Lower Risk of Dementia
Dementia is one of the most prominent diseases facing the elder population. While scientists are working hard, there is not yet a cure. Therefore, if you want to protect yourself from dementia, you need to take preventative steps to avoid the disease.
A 2003 study states that adults who consumed one to six glasses of whisky a week were half as likely to suffer dementia as non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. Once again, it is always important to practice moderation. While a couple of glasses a week will lower your risk of dementia, drinking multiple glasses a day will raise your risk exponentially.
7. Fight Your Cold
Hottie toddies are common at the bar, but when you feel that cold coming on you should try to grab one right away. The mix of whisky, hot water, lemon and honey warms you up inside and helps fight that cold.
While the infamous drink doesn’t fight the flu directly, it does dilate blood vessels to make it easier for mucus membranes to fight the infection. So, drink up!
8. Digestive Aid
After a large meal, it’s common to feel a rumble in your stomach. If you are feeling nauseous, a post-meal whisky may help ease your stomach. Since whisky is a high-proof, it stimulates your stomach enzymes. This gets your digestive system moving fast. Not only will your stomach work hard to break down the whisky, but it will also break down that large meal in the process. It’s nature's own digestif.
9. Reduces Blood Clotting
When you have an internal injury, your blood naturally clots to try and stop the bleed. However, if that clot spreads into another part of your blood system - like your heart, lung, or brain - there can be disastrous results.
Thankfully, whisky significantly reduces blood clotting. Whisky is a natural blood-thinner. Therefore, enjoying some whisky once in a while can reduce your risk of developing blood clots. Furthermore, blood clots often cause issues when they get stuck in bad cholesterol. As noted previously, whisky promotes good cholesterol, which fights the bad stuff. Therefore, if you do have a blood clot, it is less likely to cause damage, such as stroke.
10. Boost Your Immune System
Not only does whisky help you fight common colds, but it can also help prevent it. Whisky contains ellagic acid, which alone with vitamins can help your immune system fight off illnesses.
Although whisky can be good for you, you will not receive any of these health benefits if you overindulge. Like all alcohol, whisky is meant to be enjoyed in moderation.
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