Alcohol isn't exactly considered a healthy lifestyle choice; more often than not, it's associated with empty calories and bad decisions. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few benefits to drinking in moderation. In fact, gin is a liquor with a wealth of potential benefits to offer. So read on, and discover ten ways in which gin might actually be a good drink for you.
Juniper berries are an incredibly healthy fruit that carry a multitude of medicinal benefits. These super berries are also—you guessed it—the main ingredient in gin. Used for centuries as an topical antiseptic, juniper berries can also help fight off coughs and lung congestion. The oils contained in juniper berries agitate bronchial passages and expel mucus.
Try a bit of gin if your joints are aching or if you suffer from arthritis. According to BIDMC, gin's makeup helps to relieve the pain caused by achy joints, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, some arthritis sufferers even use gin-soaked raisins to reduce joint inflammation.
Many people avoid gin due to its slightly bitter taste, but that lip-puckering flavor is an aid to the digestive system. The herbs used to create gin can increase both stomach acid secretions and digestive enzymes; this increase in fluids necessary for breaking down ingested food allows for better digestion.
If you happen to be traveling to a country where malaria occurs, you may want to order a gin and tonic when you get there. According to Slate, the gin and tonic was developed in the 1800s to make quinine more palatable. And quinine, derived from cinchona bark, was an essential medicine that worked to both cure and prevent malaria. Although we would never encourage you to substitute antimalarial drugs with drinking a gin and tonic, at least you know of a way to make those quinine tonics more tasty... and more fun.
If you're having issues with bloating, or urinary tract infections, gin may be able to help. Since juniper is a diuretic, it increases urine output and therefore stops water retention. In the case of UTIs, increased urine output often flushes out toxins and bacteria associated with the infection.
It sounds counterintuitive, but since the juniper berries in gin are diuretic, they can theoretically be helpful with liver disease (which usually sees issues with abdominal bloating and water retention). Then again, if drinking alcohol is what caused your liver disease in the first place, you might want to put the bottle down.
Herbal remedies and teas can work wonders, and the composition of gin makes it an excellent choice for those who seek a more "natural" alcohol. Made of juniper berries, coriander, cassia, nutmeg, sage, angelica root, and rosemary (among others), it's a smorgasbord of natural and nutritious herbs. In short, gin is probably the healthiest liquor on the market today.
You've heard of red wine's anti-aging benefits, but did you know that gin offers a comparable effect? This drink, once again thanks to its natural ingredients, is packed with antioxidants that work to keep your skin fresh, dewy, and youthful. Have a gin martini, and you may be aiding in encouraging cellular restoration and overall skin restoration.
Note: While juniper berries do have a lot of antioxidant properties, regular gin is relatively devoid of antioxidants, so you need barrel-aged gin to get any antioxidants (the lengthy aging process in wooden barrels produces polyphenols and furans that are leeched out from the casks).
Okay, so heavy drinking won't exactly lead you to more birthdays—but, in moderation, gin may help your blood circulation as you get older, which can prolong life. Juniper berries also contain flavonoids, which have a whole slew of benefits for cardiovascular health: prevention of atherosclerosis and clogged arteries are just some of the amazing things they can aid in preventing.
In addition to potentially warding off obesity and weight gain, gin is a relatively low calorie alcoholic drink. A shot of gin weighs in at 97 calories... I'll drink to that!
Again, we're not endorsing the self-administration of gin instead of the usual medications prescribed for these issues, but it's nice to know that drinking alcohol doesn't have to be 100% vice. So queue up those gin and tonics or gin martinis, and tell anyone at the bar who will listen that you're drinking to good health... and for your health, as well.