Alcohol sometimes plays a very important role in our lives as many of us indulge in toasting a glass to our happy moments as well as gulping down all our sorrows at the end of a long stressful day.
We do know that we should never go overboard with alcohol consumption as it can lead to several chronic ailments. But did you know that moderate drinking can have several benefits for our health especially for our heart?
According to a series of new surveys conducted by a popular health journal, it showed that moderate drinking boosted heart health and was great for optimum health.
Surprised? Curious to know more about how moderate drinking can be good for the heart and overall health in general, continue reading the article then as we share with you all the details
But before that- it is essential to clarify that this article in no sense promotes drinking for someone who does not or encourages alcohol consumption for the same.
Drinking excessively leads to several chronic ailments but new studies show that drinking in moderation can pose some health benefits for those and this article solely focuses on the benefits of moderate drinking.
So now that we have the statutory warning out of the way, let us now look at the benefits of moderate drinking.
What effects does moderate drinking have on the heart?
A study published by the American College of Cardiology showed that when a survey was conducted on 40 odd people, moderate drinking reduced the risk of cardiovascular ailments by 25%.
The study showed that moderate alcohol consumption boosted the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which is also known as good cholesterol.
Apart from HDL cholesterol levels, moderate drinking is also to have a beneficial impact on apolipoprotein, A1, which aids in blood clotting.
Researchers have suggested that having wine, especially red wine, can be very good for the heart.
Flavonoids and antioxidants present in red wine are said to reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments. The flavonoids and antioxidants protect the blood vessels and heart from the damage of free radicals produced by the body.
But the said components can be found in food items like grapes, blueberries, or red grape juice too.
Also read: Red Wine- GOOD OR BAD?
Another observation that came out during the interview was the fact that alcohol helps the heart by reducing stress. Moderate drinking positively affects stress-related brain signals.
When brain imaging studies were conducted on people in groups of non-drinkers, moderate drinkers, and heavy drinkers, it was observed that stress-related activity was high in non-drinkers and heavy drinkers and far less in moderate drinkers.
Alcohol can help in relaxation and reduction in stress which in turn lessens the occurrence of cardiovascular ailments.
What are the other benefits of moderate drinking?
Some other benefits that have been observed from moderate drinking are as under:
- It can lead to an increase in lifespan.
- Moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes and gallstones.
- A 2018 study published by a fertility clinic claimed that moderate drinking helped in boosting male fertility.
- Drinking in moderation can boost the immune system and also prevent the occurrence of the common cold. Resveratrol present in alcohols does this trick.
- Postmenopausal women having a drink every day might experience bone health benefits. They are also less likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Not only physical benefits, but moderate drinking can also provide several mental benefits. It ameliorates stress, helps in relaxation, and also reduces the risk of dementia.
How can you boost your heart health without moderate drinking?
Cardiovascular ailments are one of the leading causes of fatality worldwide. And rather than taking up drinking, there are various better and safer ways to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- Abstinence from tobacco use.
- Regular exercising can be one of the most beneficial ways to improve heart health. Doing exercises like brisk walking, swimming, yoga or biking can go a long way.
- Optimize your weight.
- Eat a balanced diet. Consume a low-saturated fat, low sodium diet. Including items like fish, avocados, and nuts in your daily diet can help you to lower the risk of heart diseases.
- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
- Meditation and therapy also help in reducing stress which is considered the main factor for heart diseases.
If you are wondering how many drinks are moderate drinking, then let us give you an idea.
Moderate drinking is defined as an average of one drink per day for women and one or two drinks for men. One drink can include 12 fluid ounces of beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine, and 1 ½ fluid ounces of distilled spirits.
Apart from looking at the benefits of moderate drinking, we should also always remember the harmful effects of alcohol.
Drinking excess levels of alcohol cause an increase in the levels of triglycerides in our body. When high levels of triglycerides are combined with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LPL) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels in the body, it causes fatty buildup in the artery which increases the risk of a heart attack.
Excessive drinking also increases the risk of other chronic ailments like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and liver cirrhosis. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and people who are suffering from chronic ailments should abstain from drinking.
And coming to the benefits of moderate drinking, more studies need to be done to completely solidify the claims. And as mentioned above, there are various other ways to lead a healthy life, and most of the time it has been observed that people who are moderate drinkers cannot contain themselves to one drink per day and slowly over time become heavy drinkers which severely affects their health.
Therefore, in conclusion, we can say that at the end of the day, it is completely your choice to follow a moderate drinking lifestyle but always weigh the pros and cons before you start drinking.