Just like any reputable liquor commercial on television, let’s get this disclaimer out of the way: “drink responsibly.”
Now then, if you are going to imbibe and pigs would fly before you’d ever consider becoming a teetotaller, then you might as well enjoy an occasional drink that might even offer some health benefits.
So before revealing what the healthiest alcoholic beverages are, let’s first get out of the way those that definitely are not the healthiest.
Think of the typical light beer that many Americans drink. Now think of the same beer and multiply it times six. One light beer may not be all that particularly bad for you but drinking more than one can, not surprisingly lead to a beer belly. Beer contains a lot of yeast. A little yeast in the diet isn’t inherently bad. However, considering that many people eat processed food, which contributes to an overabundance of yeast in the gut, drinking beers (plural) only exacerbates the problem.
Beer may in fact contribute to an overpopulation in the gut of Candida Albicans. C. Albicans is a yeast that feeds off of sugars.
If you love beer and you must guzzle some suds, slowly sip and enjoy a very dark beer. An article in Travel & Leisure suggests that dark Belgian beers are better for gut health because they undergo a double fermentation process rather than a single fermentation characteristic of lagers and pilsners.
When it comes to wine, the drier it is, the healthier it is. That’s because dry wine contains the least amount of residual sugar. Residual sugar is the amount of sugar in the grape that’s left over after the yeast has gobbled up the sugar in grapes and fermented. What are types of dry wines? Think: pinot noir; malbec; syrah; merlot, and cabernet sauvignon.
Avoid sweet wines such as port, madeira, riesling, and moscato.
Dry and semi-dry wines, in addition to having low residual sugar, contain the plant compound that acts as an anti-aging antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol explains, in part, why the French eat lots of saturated fat from cheese, yet have relatively low cardiovascular disease. Thanks to resveratrol, which you can also obtain from eating grapes, you can manage your blood pressure, cholesterol and lipid levels, and help control inflammation.
Feel a cold or sore throat coming on? Mozy up to the bar and order a hotty toddy (also called a “hot” toddy). Even if you’re not feeling a little off, if you are going to drink, the combination of whiskey, lemon, honey and hot water may offer medicinal benefits. The ingredients may offer anti-viral properties, which is what you need if you’re battling a cold.
Anything Distilled With Reishi Mushrooms
If you want to feel relaxed with a stiff one, might as well do it in the healthiest way possible. Edible, therapeutic mushrooms such as reishi is one of the best things you can possibly consume to support your immune system. To get the benefits of reishi and enjoy a slight buzz, here’s what to do. Take your favorite distilled drink (whiskey, rum, tequila, etc.) and add some dried reishi mushroom to it. (Just do a Google search for it.) Let the concoction infuse for 4-6 weeks. Then, know that you’re not only supporting your immune system, you may also be extending your lifespan, as studies on reishi have suggested.
If your gut can handle the acidic nature of tomato juice, then indulge a wee bit. Tomato juice is an excellent, concentrated source of lycopene, the carotenoid antioxidant that has anti-cancer properties. Tomato juice also contains several vitamins and minerals.
What About Hard Seltzer?
Alcoholic drinks with seltzer might be lower in calories and carbs than, say, a pina colada or other fruity, tropical drink, but that doesn’t mean this trendy adult beverage is inherently healthy. Most troubling is that it’s not entirely clear what kind of alcohol the most popular brand of hard seltzer (White Claw) contains. The ingredients merely says ‘alcohol base.’ While seltzer water is definitely healthier than tonic water, owing to the fact that the latter contains 32 grams of sugar whereas seltzer contains no sugar, hard seltzer drinks don’t offer the therapeutic benefits of the drinks mentioned above. Still, drinking a hard seltzer might be better for your gut than a regular beer.
Cheers to your health!