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Celebrate the Holidays!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Healthful Benefits of Drinking Alcohol

Red Wine for the Holidays
This time of year, when we are out and about at holiday parties and having the tendency to over indulge, it is nice to know that some of what we eat and drink is actually good for us! The challenge is to enjoy but not over indulge to the point of miser, gaining excessive amounts of weight or harming rather than helping our bodies.

More and more research is validating the benefits of drinking some alcohol each day. One or two glasses of wine a day (5 oz each), for instance, can decrease the average person's risk of dying during any given year by as much as 25 percent. It has been determined that people who drink one or two drinks daily have a 25 to 50 percent lower risk of heart attack, a 40 percent lower risk of stroke, and about a 33 percent reduction in the risk of developing diabetes.

Red wine, and now dark beer, appear to have the most benefits. Not only do they contain elements which reduce inflammation that helps with heart disease but they also contain anti-aging ingredients. Additionally, the alcohol helps with stress relief and has anti-anxiety benefits. As The O'Keefes explain in their book- The Forever Young Diet & Lifestyle - "Happy and healthy usually go hand in hand. Sitting down at happy hour to unwind and emotionally connect with important people in your life can help to make you more relaxed and improve your overall health."

During the holidays, connecting with friends and family in a positive way, without getting caught up in the frenzy of the season, is one of the challenges we face. It sure sounds appealing however!

Finally, a tip I have read in numerous places to help us pace our alcoholic consumptions is to drink a glass of water prior to sipping your alcoholic beverage. Another trick is to take alternating sips of water and alcohol. It will slow your pace of consumption and allow it to last longer, keeping you in control and less likely to drink more than the prescribed 2 glasses of wine or 1 dark beer.

Cheers!