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Alcohol and the Holidays

By Janin Hendry

The holiday season is nearly here. Along with cookies, candy, and all kinds of good food, you will find the traditional bottle of wine or case of beer handy for adults to consume. Alcohol is best for you when consumed in small amounts, but it is easy to overindulge during this joyous and stressful part of the year.

What Is in Alcohol?

There are multiple types of alcohol that divide up into three categories of the most prominent alcohols. Wine, beer, and spirits are all over the holidays in eggnog and Grandma's hot toddy recipe. The treats are numerous, and each comes with pleasure and complications.

Wine - Wine is a traditional alcohol for more than the holidays. Made from grapes, seasonings, and aged for anywhere from a year to decades.

Beer - Beer is malted barley, wheat, and corn, which ferment during the brewing state to produce sugar and alcohol. Mixed with herbs or carbonation, the resulting beverage is a foamy addition to any football game.

Spirits - Spirits are usually the strongest types of alcohol. Spirits can age for years to give a high percentage of alcohol consumed. Some types are as high as 90 percent or above.   

How Can Alcohol Help Your Body?

Alcohol in smaller amounts is not bad for your body. There are health benefits for many alcohol types, from relaxing you to helping to heal your body after a strenuous workout.

Red wine - There is plenty of research into the benefits of red wine. Red wine provides antioxidants, which are good for your body.

Beer - Beer is rich in potassium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. While not enough to give you all your vitamins and minerals, it can add to your daily intake. A high percentage of beers can even help heal after strenuous exercise.

Spirits - Spirits are very often carbohydrate-free, which means you will not have spikes in your blood sugar. The calorie counts are often lower than beer or wine as well.

How Can It Hurt Your Body?

Overall, light to moderate drinkers in the holidays is OK, but remember -- even good foods have their downsides, such as eating too many carrots can tint your skin orange.

Weight gain - It is common to eat and drink at the same time. Beer, in particular, is very easy to gain weight while consuming other snacks.

Stained teeth - Red wine, like coffee, is very good at staining your teeth if consumed regularly.

Hangover - The hangover can occur no matter what type of alcohol you consume. No matter how much water you consume, red wine is also full of histamines, causing headaches. Many high percentages of beers, wines, and spirits will leave you feeling sluggish the next day or even sick when consumed in excess.

Final Thoughts

The holidays are full of fun and cheer. You are with family or practicing social distancing for health and sanity purposes, and it is easy to get carried away. The holidays are not without stress, and alcohol can complement the holiday or make it a headache.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mansfield, Tex.  

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