For most, drinking alcoholic beverages is part of the festive experience. Traditional beverages during the joyful time of year include spiked eggnog, toasting champagne, cracking a bottle of wine, or a bottle of liquor.
Here’s the first word of advice, “If you don’t drink, don’t start.” The holidays are not the time to temp fate. But, if you do drink there are some very interesting things that you should know. There are healthier choices when it comes to an obvious ‘unhealthy’ tradition.
You see, there are alcoholic beverages that actually have nutritional benefit and some that do not.
Why would a nutritionist be giving you drinking advice? Because, it’s realistic. Ideally drinking is not the best choice for longevity. But, it’s about living a balanced life and enjoying the holidays and festivities without over doing it and becoming too jolly.
Besides moderation and keeping yourself hydrated with water before, during and after, here is some advice for making better choices when it comes to what’s in your glass.
- Drink Champagne
The grapes that go into champagne have some important polyphenols that have actually been shown to potentially improve memory in champagne drinkers.
- Choose red wine over white
If you’re going to drink wine, choose red wine over white wine. White wine has far more sugar, red wine has two important compounds, resveratrol and quercetin that actually improve brain health and are both very potent antioxidants.
- Choose Aged, Dark Spirits
If your going to drink spirits, use aged spirits. That is the darker spirits that have been in wood. Turns out they’re polyphenols in wood that are extracted by the alcohol and the alcohol is actually a vehicle to get polyphenols into you. Un-aged, clear spirits like vodka or gin. Try to stay away from.
Extra Tip: When drinking red wine, choose cool-climate Pinot Noirs such as Oregonian wines or red wines from high elevations such as Chilean Cabernet or an Argentinian Malbec. Why? Chilly weather and high elevations are good for producing high concentrations of resveratrol.
Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant. Research has shown that resveratrol can possibly aid in repairing blood clots and damaged vessels. If you do buy Chilean or Argentinean wine, make sure you buy organic. Wine from these countries are usually high in pesticides due to lack of regulation.