Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Drink to Your Health

To Your HealthAcross the ages and around the globe, people have raised their glasses to wish each other good health.

Curious, isn’t it, since we know that there are health risks associated with drinking alcohol? However two-thirds of the adult population does enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink.

As long as you have no contraindications for alcohol, you can reap the health benefits of moderate drinking.

For women, that means no more than one alcoholic beverage on average per day. For men, the recommended average daily limit is two drinks.

The limit is less for women, not because women tend to be smaller than men but, because a woman’s body metabolizes alcohol differently.

One drink is defined by the CDC as 5 oz. of wine, 12 oz. of beer or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor. If you’re drinking for your health, you’re best off choosing:

1. Red wine,
2. White wine, or
3. Dark beer.

Red wine contains a high concentration of the antioxidant Resveratrol, while white wine has a lower concentration. Dark beer is the next choice because it too is rich in antioxidants.

If you choose not to drink alcohol, not to worry – antioxidants are available in many foods as well as in supplement form. Choose a variety of richly colored fruits and vegetables – an antioxidant “cocktail” if you will.

According to the American Heart Association, one to two alcoholic drinks per day have been shown to increase HDL (the good) cholesterol by about 12% as well as thin the blood. The net result is to prevent the formation of artery-clogging fatty plaques, reduce the risk of clots and keep blood flowing freely.

Moderate drinking also appears to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease and other age-related dementias.

How to toast “To your health” in several languages:

• “A tu salud or simply “Salud” (Spanish)
• “À votre santé” or “Santé” (French)
• “Per la salute (Italian)
• “G'sundheit!” (Alsatian-German)
• “Na zdrowie!” (Polish)
• “Skål!” (Icelandic)
• “L'chaim” (Hebrew)
• “Sláinte mhaith!” (Gaelic)
• “Bonam sanitatem!” (Latin)



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