Why You Shouldn’t Skip Happy Hour Ever Again!
Posted by Katie Ostoich on July 13, 2012 at 5:47 PM
Get that toast ready, because guess what? A new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs finds that moderate alcohol consumption may be linked to a higher quality of life.
Researchers analyzed the alcohol intake of more than 5,000 people over 14 years. The participants reported their drinking habits and health condition every four years. At the end of the study, the researchers found those who drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day—but never more than three per day for women or four for men—reported having a better quality of life than people who didn’t drink at all.
So why were the drinkers better off? The researchers aren’t exactly sure, and certainly there are a lot of other lifestyle factors that come into play here, but they believe that moderate drinking may give you more opportunities for a rich social life. Previous research has linked stronger social circles with better mental and physical health, says Mark S. Kaplan, Dr.P.H., lead study author and professor of community health at Portland State University.
Don’t skew the findings, though: Binging on alcohol is never healthy, ladies. The key is, of course, moderation in all things. So after reading this story, go ahead and raise a glass—but not 4 or 5 or 6. Instead, make each drink count by choosing a delicious beverage loaded with health benefits, like one of the three below.
This summer, pour yourself a glass of red wine. First of all, it’s filled with antioxidants, which snatch up DNA-damaging free radicals. Second of all, it may be capable of helping prevent sunburn. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the flavanoids in grapes work to stop the formation of ROSs (specific enzymes that kill healthy skin cells). But even though your favorite glass of cabernet may (partially) save you from the sun’s wrath, don’t leave home without the sunblock—you still need it!
This brunch-time staple is crammed with antioxidants, vegetables, and incredible flavor—as long as you make it yourself. The Bloody Mary mix you get from the grocery store can be packed with high-fructose corn syrup and nearly a day’s worth of sodium. Blend your own with this spicy recipe from Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse.
For a heart-healthy beverage, grab a beer. Seriously! A recent study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that moderate beer drinkers may be 30 percent less likely than nondrinkers to have cardiovascular troubles, such as heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks. But what’s behind the brew’s benefits? Researchers credit the alcohol, polyphenols (antioxidants), and other non-alcoholic substances.