Surprising Whiskey Benefits that You Won’t Believ - Shocking Health Benefits Of Whiskey
No matter if your preference is for Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Fireball, or Wild Turkey, almost everyone has a favorite whiskey, even if they won’t admit it. Did you know that the demand for whiskey is outpacing the available supply over the past 7 years? Whiskey used to be the drink of cowboys, construction workers, and other badass types; recently, however, it has become more and more common to see people from all walks of life enjoying a shot of whiskey after work.
Of course, there are always critics who don’t enjoy whiskey. They will label it an “old man’s drink,” or tell you that it has such as strong taste that it’s hard to imagine anyone liking it. Your mother might have even told you that if you enjoyed the taste of whiskey, you must be an alcoholic! What if we told you that you can enjoy that double shot of whiskey and not feel one bit guilty about it? Even more shocking, what if we told you that whiskey (in moderation, of course) is even good for you?
The health benefits of whiskey include its ability to aid in weight loss, slow down the onset of dementia, improve heart health, prevent and manage diabetes, increase HDL cholesterol, fight against cancer, eliminate blood clots, and strengthen the immune system. Generally, whiskey is one of the healthiest forms of alcohol available.
What is Whiskey?
By definition, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is made of some type of grain mash.  The quality, flavor, price, and name of the whiskey in question depend on which type of grain you might be making your whiskey from, including barley, wheat, rye, corn, buckwheat, etc. Different types of whiskeys are produced from different whole grains using pot stills or column stills. The processes are very similar, but the taste is distinct in different parts of the world. Finally, the method of storing and aging, which is usually done in cask barrels, also determines the quality and flavor of whiskey. A rye whiskey aged for 10 years in a charred white oak cask will taste completely different from a barley whiskey aged for 15 years in a wine cask, which some distilleries choose to do. This results in a massive variety of whiskeys throughout the world and makes being a connoisseur of this particular alcoholic discipline intoxicatingly enjoyable.
However, alcohol is generally regarded as something bad that could potentially damage your liver, impact your lifestyle, and result in a number of unsavory outcomes, when consumed in excess, which is completely true. If one drinks responsibly, whiskey, just like beer and wine, can actually confer some health benefits to its drinkers. 2-3 ounces of whiskey every day 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. Before we delve into all of the health benefits of whiskey, let’s first examine the components of this powerful spirit.
Whiskey Nutrition Facts
First of all, whiskey is extremely low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and it also has a negligible level of carbohydrates. There isn’t much to whiskey, frankly, except for a large amount of alcohol, but in terms of its organic compounds, whiskey is rich in ellagic acid, which is a very powerful antioxidant and is responsible for a lot of the benefits.
Health Benefits of Whiskey
Supports Healthy Brain Function
Okay, so everyone knows that if you drink too much with your friends Jack and Jim, your brain will become whiskey-logged. However, did you know that a 2003 study found that drinking moderate amounts of whiskey reduced your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia? Wow. If that isn’t a reason to start drinking whiskey, tell us what is!
Many people associate drinking heavily with developing a “beer gut” or losing their muscle tone due to excessive alcohol. However, drinking in moderation doesn’t necessarily impact your weight, particularly if you drink whiskey. This delicious liquor has no fat and very little sodium. It does contain calories and carbohydrates, but in the form of alcohol, and the small amount it does contain is simple sugars that are quickly broken down to be used as energy for the body. Therefore, instead of pounding pints of beer at the bar, have a few neat whiskeys instead, to maintain your weight while still having a good time.
As whiskey ages in wooden barrels, it not only gets its amber hue, it also gains ellagic acid. The ellagic acid found in whiskey can control how much glucose is being released from the liver.
By slowing it down, it keeps the blood sugar in check. Whiskey also doesn’t contain any sugar. Now that’s something we all can enjoy.
Supports Heart Health
You might be shaking your head at this one, asking how it can be true, but let us reassure you — it is. Wine, dark beer and whiskey are some of the lonely alcoholic drinks that can claim to be good for your heart. The high levels of antioxidants found in whiskey can help to reduce your risk of having a heart attack. Perhaps that’s why people toast, saying, “To Your Health!”
Although excessive alcohol consumption leads to a much greater risk of cancer, moderate consumption of whiskey, which is rich in antioxidants like ellagic acid, can help to stop your cells from coming into contact with carcinogens and other toxins that can cause mutation. Whiskey is also well known for helping to protect the body from the effects of chemotherapy. Whiskey and cannabis: Now that is a cancer fighting combination everyone can get behind!
Studies have actually shown that whiskey can successfully boost your cognitive performance and reduce your chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although studies are ongoing and there is quite a bit of controversy regarding alcohol as a treatment/preventative method, there is no denying that ellagic acid is extremely powerful in terms of fighting against free radicals within the body. These free radicals are often associated with interrupting neural pathways and contributing to the slow decline towards dementia. Whiskey can reduce that mental decline and improve our quality of life as we get older. Once again, this is useful when consumed in moderation; too much alcohol kills brain cells and does the precise opposite of protecting the cognitive activity.
Again, we want to impress on you that excessive consumption can cause irreparable damage to your digestive system. However, in moderate amounts, whiskey has long been used as a means of improving digestion. It not only curbs the appetite when consumed after a meal, it can also prevent stomach aches, indigestion, and stop you from overeating.
Reduces The Risk of Stroke
Whiskey helps reduce both bad cholesterol and blood clots, which can greatly lower your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. It also lowers blood pressure by relaxing the walls of the arteries, which encourages better circulation. Nothing warms you up on a cold day like a shot of whiskey!
Healthy For Cholestetol Levels
There is good cholesterol and there is bad cholesterol. The good, known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL, is increased when drinking whiskey. It keeps the bad in check and levels out the playing field.
Save the Cheerios for the kids and sip on some whiskey.
The same health benefits that prevent the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s can help improve your memory as well. (Unless you drink to excess — then you will have senior moments all night regardless of your age!) Whiskey improves blood flow to the brain, sending fresh oxygen and nutrients to the old noggin’, which keeps your memory power in the best shape possible.
Reduces Internal Blood Clotting
In a related note for heart health, whiskey has been shown to significantly reduce blood clotting.Blood clotting is important when you are wounded so that you stop losing blood, but internally, if your blood clots at key junctures in your blood vessels or arteries, it can be disastrous. Atherosclerosis, which usually occurs due to a large build-up of cholesterol, can combine with blood clots to result in thrombosis, heart attacks, strokes, and death. Whiskey is a blood-thinner, so it significantly lowers your chances of excess clotting. It also increases the amount of HDL cholesterol, which counteracts the effects of LDL cholesterol, further protecting your heart.
Boosts Immune System
There have been certain studies that have argued for the immune system-boosting capacity of whiskey. Alcohol did have a traditional role in preventing illness and improving the function of the immune system, but a firm evidence was never in hand. Now, we see that the antioxidants and trace levels of vitamins in whiskey do in fact stimulate the immune system, thereby helping to fight off normal cold, illnesses, and infections. All of those old movies where they would pour whiskey on a wound to disinfect it is not fiction. You can pour whiskey on a fresh wound to make sure it does not get infected.
It Lengthens Your Life
We said you wouldn’t believe this one! Listen, whiskey is absolutely loaded with healthy antioxidants and other types of nutrients, which support your immune system. This can help stop you from contracting viruses and diseases. This also helps to stop free radicals from damaging your body on a cellular level, causing premature aging and chronic disease. Not only will whiskey help to keep you free from disease, you will enjoy your longer life much more than if you omit whiskey. Who knew?
Isn’t that one of the main reasons for drinking whiskey? Stress relief? Stress is hard on the brain and will run your body ragged if left unchecked. Whiskey calms the nerves and relieves stress, which is the base cause of numerous health problems. A shot or two of whiskey will calm the nerves, relieve stress, and improve circulation. This is one of the main reasons people turn to whiskey after they have had a rough day.
Hangover Free (Almost)
Whiskey has got to be one of the best choices when it comes to alcohol for so many reasons, but here is another one: Assuming you are limiting your consumption to only one or two shots, you should avoid any hangover symptoms. Most people find that wine and vodka give them headaches, even in small amounts, while others will tell you that tequila gives you raging headaches and nausea in the morning. Studies have shown that whiskey drinkers have the lowest levels of hangover symptoms. Now there are exception to every rule, and if you are one of those, then by all means, abstain.
Word of Caution: Although these health benefits sound wonderful, there is also a dangerous side to drinking whiskey. Alcoholism and binge drinking are very detrimental to your overall health and can undo any possible good things that moderate amounts of whiskey can impart. Therefore, be watchful of how much alcohol you consume, particularly if you try to drink small amounts every day. Your tolerance will increase, and you may feel the desire to continue drinking until you feel that “buzz”. This is a dangerous and unhealthy progression. Consume small to moderate amounts of whiskey for the best results.